August 1, 2004: Headlines: COS - Iran: University Administration: Palm Beach Post: July was a difficult month for University of Miami President Donna Shalala, who had to decide the fate of linebacker Willie Williams, the Hurricanes' prize recruit who showed up on campus with a nationally ranked rap sheet: 11 arrests in only 19 years of trying

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Iran: Special Report: Iran RPCV, Cabinet Member, and University President Donna Shalala: August 1, 2004: Headlines: COS - Iran: University Administration: Palm Beach Post: July was a difficult month for University of Miami President Donna Shalala, who had to decide the fate of linebacker Willie Williams, the Hurricanes' prize recruit who showed up on campus with a nationally ranked rap sheet: 11 arrests in only 19 years of trying

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-239-147.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.239.147) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 3:12 pm: Edit Post

July was a difficult month for University of Miami President Donna Shalala, who had to decide the fate of linebacker Willie Williams, the Hurricanes' prize recruit who showed up on campus with a nationally ranked rap sheet: 11 arrests in only 19 years of trying

July was a difficult month for University of Miami President Donna Shalala, who had to decide the fate of linebacker Willie Williams, the Hurricanes' prize recruit who showed up on campus with a nationally ranked rap sheet: 11 arrests in only 19 years of trying

July was a difficult month for University of Miami President Donna Shalala, who had to decide the fate of linebacker Willie Williams, the Hurricanes' prize recruit who showed up on campus with a nationally ranked rap sheet: 11 arrests in only 19 years of trying

Shalala goes long on doublespeak

By Dan Moffett

Sunday, August 01, 2004

July was a difficult month for University of Miami President Donna Shalala, who had to decide the fate of linebacker Willie Williams, the Hurricanes' prize recruit who showed up on campus with a nationally ranked rap sheet: 11 arrests in only 19 years of trying.

Ultimately, Dr. Shalala decided to disregard the complaints of victims groups and football-haters and admit Williams. She said he will be held to an extraordinarily strict standard that requires him to attend study halls, have a roommate, avoid first-degree felonies and otherwise "conduct himself without misbehaving" a daunting assignment for someone used to conducting himself with misbehaving.

The decision was controversial enough that Dr. Shalala felt the need to write an open letter to the greater Hurricanes community to explain her thought process. An eight-year Clinton Cabinet member and highly regarded intellectual, Dr. Shalala is capable of producing complex analyses that wander beyond the ciphering capabilities of the less-educated masses. As a public service, I offer interpretations of the more complicated excerpts from Ms. Shalala's letter:

"In my experience, most higher educational institutions in this country consider institutional interests above any others in making decisions, despite protestations to the contrary that we are acting in the interests of our students, or faculty or staff."

(Let's stand up for the rights of the individual linebacker. Schools are privileged, self-absorbed, egomaniacal prima donnas.)

"In the case of our decision to admit Mr. Willie Williams, we probably should take a pass, knowing the outcry might be damaging to our hard-earned reputation."

(Cynics are sure to wonder why the Hurricanes are no longer able to recruit players with 12 arrests.)

"We choose not to (take a pass) in this case. Not because, as many would argue, we need his exceptional talent on the football team. Indeed, anyone who knows anything about UM football knows we have so much talent that we have the luxury of being more selective."

(We're scared to death that Williams might wind up in Gainesville or Tallahassee.)

"It is hard to predict how well a highly prized recruit will do or, God forbid, if an injury will destroy an athletic career."

(If Mr. Williams blows a knee, he can always pursue an exciting career in geriatric medicine or constitutional law at UM.)

"More importantly, we choose to support the recommendation of our faculty and staff who constituted our admissions group."

(Coaches say Willie plays.)

"They possess broad experience in reading complicated admissions applications."

(There was the time the recruit answered the question about matriculation by recounting a recent experience involving his girlfriend.)

"Laws protecting the files of young people have resulted in inaccurate public reports... "

(Stories that Mr. Williams' can't play the pass are mean and unfounded.)

"This is hardly a perfect applicant to the University. Oh, how we love perfection perfect grades, perfect character and perfect recommendations."

(People are hung up on his 11 arrests in 19 years. On more than 6,500 days, he had no arrests at all. Williams has a non-arrest rate of more than 99.8 percent. What kind of ridiculous standards are perfectionists trying to impose on our young people?)

"Mr. Williams is also one of us a son of Miami."

(No blue-chip linebacker is an island. When the opening kickoff flies, it flies for thee.)

"We have a special obligation, relationship and commitment to the young people in our South Florida community."

(The children are our future. Talented students majoring in accounting, history and theater also need to know that the university stands ready to support them and strike back against the mindless, irrational pursuit of perfection.)

"(As) a condition of admission, we have placed the bar high for him. There will be academic conditions that he must meet to play football at Miami."

(Academic conditions? Yes, it's time for tough love. The hope is the threat of class time will have a deterrent effect on every player in the locker room.)

Dr. Shalala has spoken. The Hurricane nation is at peace. Now it's time for Williams to serve out his mentoring.





When this story was prepared, this was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.





Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Palm Beach Post

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Iran; University Administration

PCOL12650
27

.


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: