A loyal reader of LFR sent me the minutes to various meetings happening on campus. One section is titled the “Faculty Athletics Advisory Committee Meeting”. One of the items discussed at the meeting was titled “Activism in athletics – a teachable moment.” According to the minutes, “President Vaidya would like the recent protesting events in the NFL and locally be teachable moments.” It continued, saying “Hudson met with Mark Jaede (History) and Jaede will meet with others on campus for programming to make this a teachable moment in the history of activism in athletics. Hudson will meet with coaches regarding the program. The committee discussed if this would be a mandatory program. Hudson advised that it was an initiative from the president so a good turnout would be ideal.”

At a time when football fans are staying away from NFL stadiums in droves, Mark Jaede is intent on driving people away from St. Cloud State sporting events. Further, this won’t be popular with prospective students. In effect, Jaede’s activism would hurt rebuild the University by alienating prospective students and their parents. This is proof that Jaede puts a higher priority on political activism than he puts on building the University.

Later in the meeting’s minutes, it says “the program for the history of activism in athletics will hopefully be in early spring. Member of this committee are encouraged to attend.”

Why would Jaede think that this program would be useful? Didn’t he think that this might drive away more people than it would attract? Does he care whether it drives potential students away? Is political activism that important to him?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about something else, too. This is President Vaidya’s initiative. Since that’s the case, he deserves criticism, too. Good riddance, for that matter. Any president that’s foolish enough to sign off on such an initiative couldn’t rebuild the University if his life depended on it.

Finally, this is why I spoke about social justice hiring by search committees. St. Cloud State and MnSCU should run from these ‘professional’ search committees as fast as their feet can fly. They’re expensive and they’re worthless. The primary goal of finding a university president is to find someone that’s qualified. Playing political correctness politics isn’t the way to recruit people to a Midwestern university. I suspect that he’ll learn that the hard way in Kentucky.

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