Last week, Alex Friedrich reported that MNSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone made this provocative statement:

While the heads of the unions may have made the regrettable decision to walk away from the table, their seats will be there for them whenever they decide to return.

That’s from Rosenstone’s letter. That wasn’t all he said. This comment from Chancellor Rosenstone is intellectually misleading, if not dishonest:

Charting the Future is an unprecedented effort to engage students, faculty, staff, and all of our campuses in seeking creative solutions to significant threats to our future. The effort is nothing short of the most broadly consultative initiative in the history of the system, involving more than 5,000 students, faculty, and staff across the state.

I’d agree with Chancellor Rosenstone if he meant that CtF is consultant-driven. I’d especially agree if he was referring to McKinsey & Co. If he’s implying that they value other people’s contributions, I’d argue that this quote ends that fallacy:

Others, however, says Rosenstone appears angry and aggressive when he gets suggestions over things such as power-sharing.

Kari Cooper, president of the Minnesota State University Student Association, said Rosenstone and a campus president attacked her suggestions and questioned her leadership at a recent meeting. “I left that meeting in tears,” she said. “I wasn’t going to sit there as a student and be talked to like that from people who are supposed to be supporting me and supposed to be collaborating with me.”

It’s been rumored that Rosenstone has a temper. If Ms. Cooper’s statement is accurate, then that’s a verification that he’s got a temper. Whether he’s got a temper, though, isn’t as important as whether he’s up to the job of running MnSCU. Both questions, though, fall short of the most important question, which is whether MnSCU leadership is capable of consistently making the right decisions.

At this point, there’s little reason to think that they’re capable of managing anything more complex than a hotdog stand. Friday, I wrote about the Davenport-Hoffner fiasco in which Mankato President Richard Davenport terminated Head Football Coach Todd Hoffner. Davenport terminated Hoffner after charges were dismissed by a Blue Earth County judge. Add to that the IFO’s bill of particulars that I wrote about in this post. This was the highlight of that post:

It is time to re-focus on the present realities of our state university campuses instead of turning out a stream of planning documents that purport to chart the future.

I don’t want an administration that intimidates students and that doesn’t discipline university presidents when they make major mistakes charting anything, much less charting the future. I certainly don’t want an administrator who said this:

“Change is hard, and is always accompanied by high emotion and complication. Without a doubt, some things could have been handled differently, and some handled better. I remain committed to doing my best to make sure all opinions are heard and all people are treated respectfully.”

then intimidate or belittle students working on the project charting anything. Officially, Chancellor Rosenstone has the authority. Being a boss is different than being a leader, though. Based on this information, I’d interpret the information to mean that Rosenstone is a boss, not a leader.

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