Ah, the sound of 471 University of Kentucky faculty sticking it to President Lee Todd.
Last friday the UK faculty Senate announced that Dr. Joe Peek (check out his campaign website and watch the videos) was elected overwhelmingly (nearly 3-to-1 over the incumbent, 471 to 174) to one of the two faculty seats on the Board of Trustees.
All fine and dandy, right? That’s what I thought until I dug a little deeper. Here’s what I learned from some UK folks…
Dr. Peek is a distinguished and internationally-known economist. That’s not in doubt. But for roughly three years he was publicly mocking and ridiculing Lee Todd and his administration. Called him everything under the sun. Referred to the Board as spineless and rubber-stamping. And he’s now risen to a position of power.
Peek’s predecessor, well-known political science professor Ernie Yanarella, served two terms and is anything but a Todd lackey. He could have easily kept his seat representing the faculty. But people are allegedly so ticked off with Todd that they decided to send him a strong message with the election of Peek. That message is almost as bad as a vote of no-confidence.
UK’s PR folks have worked to try to spin the results of the election, but there’s just no way to say it isn’t bad news for Todd. I hear any number of issues are about to surface. Including, but not limited to: the issue of fraudulent self-rankings Todd gave himself, extraordinary secrecy in decision making, massive salary increases for administrators, issues of alleged administrative bullying, financial shenanigans and even alleged felonious cover-ups of Rober Felner proportions (yes, I have been digging – and I hear from through the grapevine this is one of the reasons Ryan Alessi was originally moved to Higher Ed at the H-L).
For eight years the faculty kept quiet with just an occasional elbow at Todd. But this is a true ruh ro moment.
Maybe now – after years of secrecy and hair-pulling – I can finally get my hands on the documents I’ve been refused. Maybe we’ll have answers once and for all.
Oh. Guess which newspaper is ignoring this big UK election? The Courier-Journal. Imagine that. Shades of the Felner scandal surfacing in 2010.
Take a “peek” at Peek’s post-election email to supporters after the jump…