Sunday, March 25, 2007

They Love Him, They Love Him Not, They Love Him

First, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was recommended for an honorary degree from the University of Florida.

Then, the Faculty Senate voted it down 38-28.

University officials said they could not recall any precedent for the Senate rejecting the nominees put forth by the Faculty Senate's Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials Committee. The committee determines whether nominees deserve consideration according to standards that include "eminent distinction in scholarship or high distinction in public service."

"The committee endorsed him," Machen said. "It is unheard of that a faculty committee would look at candidates, make recommendations and then (those candidates) be overturned by the Senate."


So the alumni organization stepped in to prevent any further loss of esteem for the university.

The university's Alumni Association's Board of Directors passed a resolution Saturday to make Bush an honorary alumnus. The move came on the heels of a 38-28 Faculty Senate vote on Thursday to deny Bush an honorary degree.

The main difference between the awards is that the degree is given by the university and the alumni association decides who receives honorary alumni status, said Steve Orlando, a University of Florida spokesman. The association extends the honor to a handful of people each year.


It's not an honorary degree, but the official nature of the award spares the university any more embarrassment caused by the faculty senate's injecting partisan politics into what should be a ceremonial nicety.

12 comments:

40 said...

How are you so sure it is "partisan politics?" Jeb Bush was not a good Governor by any means. What else has he done?

Darren said...

Jeb Bush was not a good Governor by any means.

That's a partisan statement if I ever saw one. And he would have to have been the worst governor since UF started presenting honorary degrees to former governors to merit this slight, as the faculty senate has never before overturned the recommendation of the committee involved--at least, I infer the "never before" part from the statement that it's "unheard of".

rightwingprof said...

By what means? Florida voters seemed to think he was a good governor.

Darren said...

It's not like they reelected him and then recalled him a year later, like we did in California.

Ellen K said...

Is it just me or are things just getting nuttier by the minute? Any day now I expect to see some statement that will disallow anyone who appears to opposed the political left to be shown in any positive light whatsoever. This goes beyond simple political bias and into the area of character assassination. I don't vilify every liberal I see just because of their views. In fact I work with several and we can manage to make it through the day without knifing each other in the back. So how come it has become accepted to virtually slander anyone who happens to not think that the platform of the most liberal leftists is the way to go. I hate to bring this up, but this is just the way that Nazis got in power, by squelching dissent and creating desirable and undesirable socio-economic and racial groups. I find it just a little bit scary.

Mike said...

And any rational person would think a university faculty denying any honor to a republican unusual because...?

Darren said...

Mike: because it hasn't happened before.

EllenK: a great man once said something like "My 80% friend isn't my 20% enemy." That's how people like you and me get along with good people who happen to be libs--and probably how they get along with us.

allen said...

So how come it has become accepted to virtually slander anyone who happens to not think that the platform of the most liberal leftists is the way to go.

Because the results of the policies they favor are uniformly disastrous. That undercuts the assumption of fitness to rule which is central to the liberal leftists worldview. Since the reason to support the policy is not related to the efficacy of the policy, i.e. just because it doesn't work is no reason to abandon it, the defense of the policy is also unrelated to efficacy.

You can't defend failure by pointing to non-existent successes. So you make the intelligence, sanity and morals of your opponents the issue.

I hate to bring this up, but this is just the way that Nazis got in power

Godwin's Law is a mutha but it can force you to think about the promiscuous use of the charge and delineate the issues with some freedom from swirling emotions.

I find it just a little bit scary.

Yeah, but that's the point of all that "we the people" and separation of powers stuff. So far it's held the orchestrators of emotional campaigns to transient and local seizures of power. Not transient enough or local enough to suit me but I don't have any ready, and credible, replacements.

If you can't prevent something bad then you try to limit its scope. So far, a constitutionally-limited republic seems to have done that pretty well. But that doesn't mean we should fall asleep at the switch.

Mark said...

As a UF alumni, I am ashamed of the treatment of Jeb from the university senate. This is the only time in my time since going to the great University of Florida that I feel ashamed of my school. Kudos to the alumni association to stepping in.

Anonymous said...

Jeb sucked. Don't give him any awards. Yes, I lived there.

Darren said...

Thank you for your intelligent, articulate comment. You've added greatly to the level of discourse.

{sarcasm /off}

Anonymous said...

Anon, I live here and have for 41 years. How did Jeb suck? I'm curious about that. Name something specific he personally did or lobbied for that affected you. I'm betting that you can't, and that your statement is due to pure, blind asshattery.

skh.pcola