Jay- If this story is true, I hope that all the people who were antagonistic to Olson and the direction of NIU are now satisfied. Not that I expect that they will be, but they got their wish. Congrats, guys...you forced a man out of his job. Nice going!
David O- Yes, a few internet miscreants steer the ship of a whole university. If that's the case, they have bigger problems than the ones their critics have been alleging.
GregH- If it was not the rabid bloggers that made the difference, what did make the difference? So let them pat themselves on the back for a while. They won a battle though I don't think there is much evidence they are winning the war.
Such is the nonsense being spewed at SI of late. Do these guys really think that a couple of bloggers really brought down Matt Olson? Really? You guys don’t think very highly of the current board members by such foolish statements. You make the board out to be some kind of marionette puppets with the bloggers pulling the strings behind the scenes. No NIU board of director ever contacted this blogger and I haven’t contact any board member. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know who is on the board of directors. The above listed commentators are only fooling themselves with such nonsensical keyboard ranting. Instead they are trying to shift the blame about the departure of Matt Olson from NIU. Obviously, Matt Olson caused his own departure…that we do know. Why the board dismissed Matt Olson…that remains the unknown and it is foolish to try to state facts when none are known at this time.
To be quite honest in reply, right now no one knows exactly why the board released Matt Olson at their April 25th meeting and made his departure effective May 11th; a rather short time by most anyone’s standards. What does this mean? We don’t know and at this point in time with all the dust still up in the air we won’t know for a while. We do know that much of what Matt Olson instituted is still at this time operative, but we don’t know if those things will continue long term. We do know that when a new president is announced a sense of the direction which the board is desirous of taking will be made known.
It will be difficult for the institution to remain a viable place of education regardless of the direction, whether continuing on its present course initiated by Matt Olson, but under the helm of another or if they seek to return to their former course. To remain on their current course but with a new president still has the challenge of gathering a new clientele of churches for the student population. If a return is sought to their former course, they are confronted with credibility, integrity issues in trying to regain that former clientele of churches, not to mention the faculty and staff necessary to put them back on their former footing.
No, the future of NIU is, I believe, tottering, like an inverted triangle trying to balance itself on a corner. Either of the two scenarios I give knock the structure over, possibly collapsing it irreparably. The equilateral triangle is one of the most stable geometric designs…when placed on a side, but is also one of the most unstable when trying to balance on a corner. NIU shifted off its base and has been tottering on a corner. The outcome doesn’t look pretty and that is a tragedy, for I do not take joy or find any sense of satisfaction should NIU cease to exist. Like other institutions which have left their solid foundation, it forms yet another sad chapter in history.