Thursday, May 10, 2012

When the captain heads for the lifeboats. . . .

When the ship's taking on water from 100 million leaks and the captain heads for the lifeboats, one can assume the next port of call will be Davy Jones' Locker.

And when that captain is Chancellor Mike Martin of the good ship Louisiana State University -- and when the governor and any number of legislators are packing icebergs and aren't afraid to use them -- optimism probably is no longer appropriate. Especially when the lifeboat Capt. Martin's about to jump into is bound for the SS Colorado State -- a lateral move at best.

Of course, it could be that Martin figures his political detractors are about to pull the plug on his tenure, and he wants to quit before he gets fired -- still not a good omen for a university that's suffered 100 million one-dollar leaks and is beset by politicians ready to poke a few more holes in the hull.

ACCORDING to The Advocate, which has been chronicling the shipwreck for some time now:
Informal talks between the two parties started in December, before getting more serious in early January when Martin said he made his first of three trips to Fort Collins, Co. [sic]

Martin said he has had only preliminary talks with CSU about the direction of the system and his compensation.

“Up until now, it’s largely been them examining me. Now I can begin to talk more deeply with them,” Martin said. “I’m going to compare the adventure I could have with them with the adventure I’m having right now at LSU.”

Martin’s time at LSU has been marked by nearly $100 million in state budget cuts. He previously said ongoing state budget cuts to LSU and all of higher education over the last three years have played a factor in his possible departure from Baton Rouge.

Martin, 65, said while his original plan was to retire when his LSU contract expires in 2013, he feels as if he as more to offer.

“The last four years I thought I’d hang it up, but I don’t feel that way anymore. There’s still some more tread on the tires.”
GOOD for Martin. I'm glad he still has tread left on the ol' four-plies.

Those about to slip under the whitecaps on Louisiana's sinking flagship university, I'm sure, would be damned happy to have even an inner tube to hang onto right now.

This is the point where one would say something about how Louisianians, and their so-called government, should be ashamed of themselves and their screwed-up priorities. One would if one thought Louisiana susceptible to shame.

It isn't.

It'll be sad when that great ship goes down.

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