Thursday, July 5, 2012

Botocracy no more

As I mentioned earlier, the fireworks were delayed a day.  As I was doing a last minute check to make sure they weren't pushed back again* (in another place, at another computer) I saw this headline:

USM Pres. Selma Botman steps down

I do not have time to look into this at the moment, and as I've mentioned elsewhere I've been out of the loop for about two months, but considering how damaging she was to the University of Southern Maine it is highly unlikely this is anything but a good thing.

Since people have come here to find out about her I figured I should get this out as soon as possible, even though I don't have much info right now.

She has not left the University of Maine system, her claim is that she suggested a different job to the Chancellor, he agreed and this had nothing to do with pressure from others (by which I assume she means the absolute majority of faculty, and supermajority of voting faculty, that said they had no confidence in her.)  Of course that's what you'd expect her to say if she were pushed out.

This, by the way, means that I was totally wrong in my reading of the situation when she had a member of her staff try to erase the controversy, as Wikipedia calls it, from her history.  I assumed that it meant she was secure that she'd stay at USM as President and no one would notice anything had had happened.  It may instead of have been that she wanted it to appear that that had nothing to do with her stepping down.

I'll see if I can get some more details later, but for now here's some of what I've said before:

The USM vote of no confidence against Selma Botman - The facts of the no confidence vote against then-President Botman without my traditional reams of commentary.

More Botman: Press Release - Not actually something I wrote, just a press release I reprinted.

The rest in chronological order:

I made the paper - A little less than a month before the vote of no confidence I attended a meeting regarding the Botman situation, and as a result I ended up with my picture in the paper.

Botman Update - My initial response to the results of the no confidence vote, one of my first posts about the situation Botman directly.  It includes an incomplete list of the reasons that she was bad for the university and, generally, a not-nice person.  (Also where I said that instead of the term "Botmangate" it would be better to use more words and proposed as an alternative what eventually became the tags for these posts.)

Updated Botman Update - Later the same day as the details of Selma Botman's interpretation of the vote began to unravel.

Botman, Chess, and Context - In which I talk about Selma Botman's seemingly deliberate misreading of the rules by taking one of them out of context and reading it in isolation and completely disregarding everything else.  I compare it to misreading the rules of chess by making a similar dishonest stripping of context, and also, briefly, to the importance of context in the interpretation of fiction


So, that seems to be the end of University of Southern Maine President Selma Botman, now she's just Selma Botman and hopefully the next person to fill the role will be more competent, more honest, and less vindictive.


* I didn't think they would be, but I tend to double, triple, and quadruple check things.


These last few days I've been thinking that maybe I could try to write a book about the events of the no confidence vote.  I have no history in journalism, but given that nothing had come of the no confidence vote, or so it seemed, I figured no one else would be asking people to sit down and talk about it and I thought that might make people willing to sit down with me if I asked nicely.

I've been spending some thought trying to figure out how best to ask nicely to people on the other side given that do in fact have a side.  I thought I was coming up with some ways that might work.

Now something has come of it.  I'm guessing I wouldn't be the only one asking.

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