There is a column in today's HA by Gene Saucier, former MS Representative and administrator at USM (under McCain and Lucas). He spills alot of negative beans about Thames. For some reason, the HA did not place it for viewing on their online version. Can someone post it up there? This one could be big.
quote: Originally posted by: ram"It does not appear in the online version. I am trying to type it in a word processing program for cut-and-paste. Someone with a good scanner would earn much thanks."
Thames lacks temperament, skills to lead university
To hear Dave Elliot of WLOX-TV state last Sunday evening that Shelby Thames told him he was hired by the Board of Trustees of State Institiutions of Higher Learning to "clean house at USM" amazed me.
Until I heard this assertion, I was laboring under the obvious delusion that USM was a pretty fine university, one at least as good as Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
Now, it seems, we have been harboring an instituiton in our midst riddled with bad professors and rampant mismanagement. For 23 years I served as a top adminstrator under USM presidents William McCain and Aubrey Lucas. And while I did not agree with all of their decisions, I saw no evidence of gross mismanagement. I did see a university on the rise, one that was an asset to South Mississippi with the promise, because of its faculty, of becoming even better.
In the late 1970s Shelby Thames was promoted to the position of vice president of regional campuses. Almost immediately he began to put such pressure on his subordinates that he created turmoil and unrest among them.
In spite of this record, Dr. Lucas chose to name him executive vice president of USM. In this larger arena, Shelby's manangement techniques created even greater unrest and dissension.
Dr. Lucas finally called a special meeting at the Gulf Park campus with his deans and top administrators to consider how the unrest could be ended and peace restored to the university community. Not until the second day -- when Dr. Lucas promised to write a letter stating that he would tolerate no repriasals against any administrator for any comments made and they had a copy of this letter in their hands -- were the deans and other administrators willing to state their true feelings and concerns about Shelby's leadership.
At the close of the discussion Dr. Lucas asked whether they thought Shelby could change enough to become a competent administrator. Of the 15 people who were present, only Dr. Karen Yarbrough, a close associate of Shelby's, voted yes.
Sadly, Shelby was allowed to continue as executive vice president in spite of this overwhelming vote of no confidence until he stepped down following an incident concerning a personnel matter. In spite of the guarantee by Dr. Lucas that Shelby would not be able to take reprisals against us, all of the deans became a target of Shelby's petty vindictiveness.
Some became physically ill as a result; some stepped down and others left the university.
Shelby Thames has neither the temperament nor the people skills necessary to provide leadership to a university community. He is incapable of seeing any way but his as the the right way and, like an elephant, never forgets what he perceives as an injury done to him.
I have known him for nearly 40 years and was instrumental in helping him rise in the university, though I deeply regret that fact. The bottom-liners and power-brokers who put Shelby in as president will, if they do not demand his resignation, live to regret it.
If past history is not a warning, nothing is.
--Gene D. Saucier, a resident of Hattiesburg, is a former member of the Missississppi House of Representatives
This is absolutely the best thing yet to be printed in the paper. Everyone who reads this should understand that Thames needs to go.
Thank you, Gene Saucier, for this. IF only IHL would read it...
quote: Originally posted by: Otherside"This article needs to be sent to the IHL Board ASAP. They need to see this before their meeting this week."
Saucier's column nails Thames to the wall!
Does anyone know who to contact at the Hat Am about putting the column in the electronic edition?
I'd like to link to it in the piece I'm writing for Liberty and Power, and I'm sure that others would like to link to it as well. I'll link to this discussion instead, if I need to, but seeing it on the Hat Am's pages will bring the point home to readers that Thames has truly pooched his credibility with the local newspaper.
quote: Originally posted by: ram"Dr. Lucas finally called a special meeting at the Gulf Park campus with his deans and top administrators to consider how the unrest could be ended and peace restored to the university community."
Thames was the VP of Administration and Regional Campuses in 1981-82. There is a photograph in the Southerner yearbook from that year (p. 269) of a "Leadershop Workshop for USM Administrators." I wonder if this is the same special meeting Gene Saucier references. The administrators in the photo are
(The 1982-83 Southerner lists Thames as Executive Vice President, so his ascension to this position must have been in 1982.)
quote: Originally posted by: Googler" Thames was the VP of Administration and Regional Campuses in 1981-82. There is a photograph in the Southerner yearbook from that year (p. 269) of a "Leadershop Workshop for USM Administrators.""
It's off the main topic here, but:
Rader Grantham is a familiar name from Exit 13. While Piliawsky was at USM (1970-1972), Grantham's title was Dean of Men, later Associate Dean of Student Affairs.
And Grantham was a real piece of work, according to Piliawsky.
When was Shelby canned from his Executive VP position?
quote: Originally posted by: Robert Campbell"Googler, It's off the main topic here, but: Rader Grantham is a familiar name from Exit 13. While Piliawsky was at USM (1970-1972), Grantham's title was Dean of Men, later Associate Dean of Student Affairs. And Grantham was a real piece of work, according to Piliawsky. When was Shelby canned from his Executive VP position? Robert Campbell "
"Saucier used the euphemism "for personnel reasons."I died laughing at why no one can come out and just say it. Why the HA cannot come out and say it, but everyone is scared."
There's another person involved, even though everyone knows her name, I don't think anybody wants to be the one to print it in the paper. And too, the paper may have good reasons (legal ones) for not going there.I thought Saucier handled it tactfully.