Around Town: Wondering about status of new KSU provost? Then join the ... ‘Kremlinologists’
by Otis Brumby, Bill Kinney, Joe Kirby
Around Town Columnists
March 08, 2011 03:00 AM | 6202 views | 31 31 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HAVE REVELATIONS about new KSU provost Dr. Timothy Chandler's Marxist leanings had any effect on President Dr. Dan Papp's plans to hire him? That question is an enigma, and the public and media were left in the role of "Kremlinologists" trying to decipher it as the week began.

You'll recall that when the Soviets ruled Russia, foreign analysts (including Dr. Papp) had little in the way of public information to go on. The best way of determining the pecking order of power was by seeing who was standing next to whom on top of Lenin's Tomb during the annual May Day Parade.

Papp has had nothing to say about Chandler's status since Saturday's bombshell Around Town report about the contents of an article Chandler and another professor wrote for The Journal of Higher Education in 1998. The paper advocates various university governance reforms, but is replete with Marxist-style verbiage and scathing remarks about capitalism. It also describes the United States as "the most violent nation-state in history."

Chandler told AT on Friday that he is not a Marxist, but admitted that they had written the paper through "a Marxist lens."

AT called him again on Monday at his home in Ohio, where he was senior associate provost for Kent State University, to ask his opinion on the uproar and whether he had been rethinking his plans

"I have certainly been thinking about my position, yes," he answered.

But Chandler, who was loquacious on Friday, was tight-lipped on Monday, telling us he would have no more to say about the $228,000-a-year job until after we had talked with Papp.

"I think it would be more appropriate for him as my potential boss to speak first before I do," he said.

That would indicate he is still interested in the KSU job and that the next step is Papp's.

But Papp did not return calls Monday and was said by his underlings to be traveling.

Papp said on Friday that the hiring was "a done deal." But is it? It's unclear whether Chandler has been offered or has signed a contract, or whether the state Board of Regents would have to approve the hiring.

What is clear, however, is that Papp hasn't exactly rushed to Chandler's defense. It's also clear that a backlash is building against both Chandler and Papp. One seasoned local politico said that even a "mea culpa" by Chandler might not be enough. Yes, the paper was written 13 years ago, and people's politics do evolve, but his don't seem to have done so.

That politico added that Chandler would be a hindrance, not a help, when it comes to Papp's all-important job of raising donations and other funding for KSU. Another noted that Papp had scored a touchdown with his appointment of legendary retired UGA Coach Vince Dooley to head the committee laying the groundwork for a KSU football program - and wondered how Papp could have fumbled so badly on the provost pick.

"I just don't think he can sell him to the community," said one.

Agreed. Papp will find that selling pigskins is much easier than selling the baggage that Chandler is bringing.

As one KSU professor told Around Town, "Every college needs a couple of good Marxists on campus, just not as the provost ... the No. 2 man in command."

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WILL THE HIRING of an apparent Marxist sympathizer have an effect on alumni giving? It's too soon to say, but one prominent KSU grad - Tricia Pridemore, a leading candidate to be elected chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party - told the MDJ during a February interview that she had already decided to withhold future donations, which was well before she'd ever heard Chandler's name.

"I will say that I was asked to donate money to the university a few years ago, and I asked them why they used the word 'progressive' in their boilerplate of their press releases, you know, 'Kennesaw State University is a progressive institution,' because that word has so many meanings," she said. "It has a very socially liberal bent to it. I never did get an answer, and they never did get a check. It was surprising to me that here in Cobb County why they would they want to position themselves in that way."

SATURDAY’S AT prompted a barrage of angry responses from readers on the MDJonline.com website.

“TimeToMoveOn” wrote, “May I suggest Chandler consider moving to another University that might be more agreeable to his viewpoint, say in Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea! I am sure he will have all the academic freedom these governments will allow and he will be afforded an up close and personal view of Marxism at its best.”

“Swooper” wrote, “So Mr. Chandler does not like capitalism. He apparently believes, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Does anyone really “NEED” $228,000 a year? Let’s see if he practices what he preaches. Offer him $100,000. If he does not accept, he is obviously a hypocrite, and should be shown the door.”

The readers were not totally one-sided. “An Alumnus” wrote, “It doesn’t bother this KSU alumnus one bit and won’t change my donations one iota. The thought that one professorial paper from 1998 makes the new provost a Marxist is ridiculous. Attempting to paint him as such, as seen in this article, based on that one paper is equally ridiculous.” But the critical comments far outpaced the favorable ones.

The column also attracted comments when it was linked to AT co-editor Joe Kirby’s Facebook page. Wrote Marietta High School principal Leigh Beggs Colburn, “A pretty lousy Southern welcome to a new member of our community.” Cookie entrepreneur Allen Koronkowski, on the other hand, noted that Chandler’s “right to print his opinion does not mean that we are to accept or ignore it.”

PLANS by Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee and County Manager David Hankerson to hire former city of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management deputy commissioner Sheila Cook Pierce may be down the drain. Sources tell AT that Lee was still trying to find the three votes needed to approve the hiring and predicted that Lee might pull the item from today’s commission meeting agenda rather than risk a public defeat.

Lee and Commissioner JoAnn Birrell are said to favor hiring Pierce, but Commissioners Helen Goreham, Bob Ott and Woody Thompson are said to be against her for the $100,000-a-year job, according to sources.

Pierce was recently fired by Mayor Kasim Reed as he attempted to clean house in a system some have called “disastrous.”

Ever since the MDJ ran a story on Pierce in Friday newspaper, reader comments on the newspaper’s website have encouraged commissioners not to appoint one of “Atlanta’s rejects,” as several put it.

Some were also troubled by Pierce’s financial past, as the county confirmed she recently resolved a tax lien against her, and questioned why the county could not have promoted someone within the 4,000 county employees.

A PAIR OF LOCALS have earned two of the highest awards that Georgia Tech gives alumni.

Hubert L. “Herky” Harris Jr., Class of 1965, of Vinings, was named a recipient of the Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Harris, retired CEO of Invesco North America, was chief lobbyist for the old C&S Bank and then served in a similar capacity during the Carter Administration for the Office of Management and Budget. He is a past chairman of the Georgia Tech Foundation and a former member of the Georgia board of the American Cancer Society, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games Advisory Board, and currently serves as a member of the Carter Center Board of Councilors.

Goodman B. Espy III, M.D., Class of 1957, was the recipient of the Dean Griffin Community Service Award. Dr. Espy, an OB/GYN, traveled to Kosovo in 1998 to deliver babies and do surgery on war refugees. More recently he has traveled to Iraq to open a mammography clinic and train Iraqi physicians. He pays to have the mammography films flown here to be read because of the lack of facilities in Iraq. Espy lives in Buckhead but practices in Cobb.

Among those on hand for the annual Gold & White Honors event were Espy’s brother, dermatologist Dr. Paul Espy, and Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris Hines, Harris’ life-long friend, and wife Helen, all of Marietta.

***


ONE OF NEW state Attorney General Sam Olens’ first appointments was Marietta lawyer Sara Clay as a special assistant AG in Cobb Juvenile Court. She will continue her nationally recognized fertility practice, as well as representing the state and Department of Family and Children Services in court. She is the wife of fellow Marietta attorney Chuck Clay.

Comments
(31)
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Kent Stater
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March 17, 2011
You folks are unbelievable! Thank goodness Chandler will be staying at Kent !!
kmarietta
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March 09, 2011
Feels like we're back in the days of McCarthyism. It was wrong then to demonize someone for their beliefs and it is wrong now. Georiga seems to be moving backward into all forms of intolerance. A pity.
ModernPatriot
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March 09, 2011
Concerned Citizen,

Actually government intervention and 9/11 led to the downfall of the economy. The community reinvestment act of 1996 (or 1994, can't remember), which was signed by President Clinton, required lenders to lower their standards when giving home loans. If a lender failed to lower the standards, basically give loans to high risk individuals, they could potentially lose their FDIC insurance and suffer other penalties.

Then instead of allowing capitalism run its course, President Bush came out with the "too big to fail" concept. It is no secret President Bush was buddy buddy with corporations, but this set a precedent that a company can be as reckless as they want and, if they're big enough, the government will bail them out.

If they allowed the free market to run its course, sure some people would have lost their job, but another company would rise and take their spot. If you also look at several of the companies that failed, many were lending institutions that failed when the housing bubble collapsed due to government intervention.

To get back on topic, there is nothing wrong with someone having a personal opinion about a specific economic/political system. However, there is a problem when that person pushes their views (liberal or conservative) onto college students who, lets be honest, are very impressionable.
WTFpapp
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March 08, 2011
A da** Marxist, right on the Larry McDonald Memorial Freeway in conservative Cobb County! The good Congressman must be rolling in his grave. What is Cobb Co. coming to. Papp, your a piece of work. You support illegal immigration...what else do we not know about you? But then this is higher education, what should we expect? I say get rid of both of them.
Anonymoose
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March 08, 2011
Frischeth - other than some contributions to the decidedly low-impact field of the socioethnography of rugby, what "respected" scholarship has Chandler done, exactly? What is the pro-Chandler argument? We have yet to hear it.
C29 AMST
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March 08, 2011
Hmmm . . . RIF. for those interested in more than a reductionist rant or cherry-picking for buzzwords, go read the actual Davis and Chandler article. It's good stuff - a little jargony between the ed theory and the sociology, but certainly not a Marxist text - it's all systems theory, very Peter Senge. In fact, the authors specifically refute the Marxist model of planning - "Actions must be guided by a system of values rather than a system of rules" (56) and reject strong collectivism: "This (emphasis) is in counterdistinction to both Marxism and capitalism . . . liberation is not something done to an individual but something that an individual does" (57). The article is about issues raised by Dr. Ernest Boyer about expectations and rewards in university systems. It's mainly based on Anthony Giddens' theory of structuration which balances agency and structure and accepts complexity in systems beyond what can be specifically modeled. If there are a few terms in this 43-page work that come from a nominally Marxist version of critical theory, that has nothing to do with the subject or argument. The only way to read this as Marxism would be to not understand what it's actually saying.
Ziggerat25
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March 08, 2011
If ignorance is bliss, then "Concerned Citizen" and "Frischeth" and their ilk must be ecstatic. How can such people defend those who are trying to destroy the American way of life? Thank goodness for the MDJ! Mr. Chandler is welcome to his point of view but I resent having my taxes paying an anti-capitalist a quarter million dollars per YEAR while my family works our butts off to make ends meet!! The irony is that colleges and universities are supposed to educate folks to make more than minimum wage -- maybe even become one of those dreadful, detested "capitalists," -- yet KSU is hiring a dude with Marxist views to educate them!! It would be funny if not so frightening. And oh, yes, remember that the "good capitalists" of Wall Street were some of the biggest contributors to Obama. Just a guess, but I'm betting you voted for him. Hypocrites, all of you!!

Georg Hegel
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March 08, 2011
@Frischeth: What do you know about his "respected" scholarship? His CV lists a bunch of publications about "Rugby and Masculinity," and similar pseudo-scholarship and then a couple of pubs with a 9/11 Truther, one of which is the "Marxist lens" in question on how to run a university.

If he meant what he said in that paper (granted, an open question) then he is in no way qualified to be provost. Just one example: "When universities compete for grant monies and faculty are rewarded on this basis, the free pursuit of knowledge is readily lost." Do we really want a provost who thinks grant-funded research is a bad thing at a university trying to enhance its research profile?
Concerned citizen
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March 08, 2011
Let us remember that the "good capitalists" of Wall Street destroyed this country's economy -- not professors writing in the tradition of Marxist theory and critique.
Ironic1998
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March 08, 2011
Wonder how Dr. Papp and KSU would handle Mr. Chandler if they learned he was a former member of the KKK or a white supremist group? Liberals are such hypocrites! They only want free speech for their own point of view.
Just Wait
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March 08, 2011
I really don't care what happens at KSU. I just hope the Commissioners didn't hire that Atlanta reject that Hankerson wanted. What a mistake!
Frischeth
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March 08, 2011
It is unfortunate to read the ill informed idiotic comments about Dr. Tim Chandler, who is a respected scholar and administrator. The conservative bigots in our community are taking the opportunity to take a scholars work out of context to serve their republican agenda. These morons do not even understand the role of a theoretical framework used in research. It is disturbing to read the comments on here by the folks who think their monetary donations and religious fanaticism should be be reason to smear the career of a respected scholar. Shame of MDJ and the people of Cobb County who are behind this nonsense. I hope Papp and the KSU community will stand up for what is right and bring Chandler to KSU
debvar87
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March 08, 2011
Hiring a "progressive", or a Marxist, or someone with Marxist leanings would not increase diversity of opinion in the thoroughly left wing campus environment. Hiring a conservative would more honestly achieve that goal.
anonymous
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March 08, 2011
I think a better measuring stick for how Chandler will do at KSU would be to look at his tenure at Kent State and not a paper he wrote back in 1998. Some of you people are ridiculous with your "Red Scare" mania. Relax. Oh, and KSU Neighbor, sounds like you might be better off leaving Cobb if you are so opposed to things changing for the better.
Connie Mack Jr
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March 08, 2011
Wow! Some Communist he is making at 1/4 of Mil off KSU during a state of depression in this country..Sounds like your normal greedy corporate CEO at Goldman Sachs........lol..
Indian Joe
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March 08, 2011
I can sympathize with Cobb voter about his son possibly attending KSU. We sent our son to what we thought was a conservative out of state college. Were we shocked to see what he was being "taught" . Luckily he had grown up in a very conservative home, where politics were discussed frequently and openly, and he was able to withstand the indoctrination, but it was not easy. Many times he had to bite his lip and agree with the professor so as not to influence his grade. In fact on his major thesis, since he totally took a stand against what the professor had tried to convince him of, he literally had to threaten to go to the president of the college if his grade was penalized because of his stance. His paper was perfect and proved his position, however, he was given a c minus - until he said he was going to go to the president, at which time the professor took the paper back to "re-consider" and he ended up with an A minus. What a pile of garbage for a young person to have to go through, although it did provide a very good lesson on going to the max if you think you are right. Obviously the professor knew he would lose the appeal. This is a very good reason most college students hold themselves out as "liberal" - until they get out in the world and see what is really going on and become conservatives.
John Q Public
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March 08, 2011
It's up to Marietta Daily Journal to inform, that is it's job. I dare anyone to say MDJ doesn't have a right to free speech. If we were back in the 50's or 70's we wouldn't be as informed. Frankly the cat is out of the bag for Chandler and he outed himself by his own proud rants. I have family of KSU alumi, almost everyone does.

Dr Papp is delibertly taking this school in the future is down the tubes. The 2nd in command at KSU will adversely affect the facilty, then that will adversely affect the students. It of sepcial note that the Education Department (where our teachers are born and bread) will have to adopt the political leanings or get a failed grade. Then they will be disbursed out into our public & private schools speaking Marxism-Socialism to our children. It is a conspiracy of the minds.

Marxism $ ?
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March 08, 2011
If I give money to ksu, will the new provost use it to promote marxism on campus with leftist faculty hires? Hopefully not---there's enough of that already.
el paso
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March 08, 2011
Tricia Pridemore says she withheld a contribution to college because the college said they were progressive. This sounds like the type of knuckle dragger the Republicans need.
Cold Warrior
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March 08, 2011
@KSU Alum - You're are right, Universities are (and should be) places where different ideas and values are discovered, studied and debated. This is healthy learning. But in the 1960s healthy debate escalated to dissent and then rapidly morphed into activism and radicalism. This campus radicalism manifested itself in groups such as SDS, Weathermen and Weather Underground. These were student groups whose mission was the overthrow of the American system and replacing it with the utopian ideology of Marxism and Communism.

Even though it has been forty years since the campus revolts of the 60s, and groups like SDS and the Weather Underground are no longer making the headlines, there are still elements of that time (and those groups) who are still carrying the Marxist/Communist flag. And, from what we've learned, it seems that Chandler is one of these elements.

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