As the State Board of Higher Education begins a review into NDSU President Dean Bresciani’s handling of controversy over media restrictions, the president himself has taken to defending himself in emails to campus employees.
Defending himself with desperate parsing of the public record intending to put all the blame for the media restrictions on his staff and none of it on himself. Because I guess Bresciani decided he hadn’t stuffed his staff under the bus far enough yet.
You can read the latest email below (he sent one yesterday too which you can read here).
What’s puzzling to me is why Bresciani, even if we accept the timeline he lays out below, thinks this exonnerates him from responsibility.
If it was just Bresciani’s staff who came up with the media restrictions at the heart of this imbroglio, who hired the staff? A better sort of university president might realize where the proverbial buck stops.
But going further, what are we to make of Bresciani’s insistence that he only supported the media restrictions because he didn’t fully understand them? Or was misled about them by his staff (which further begs the question of why he hasn’t fired any of his staff over this)?
Wouldn’t a more competent sort of leader, upon learning of outcry from the media and public over a new policy, take the time to learn what that policy is before declaring his full support for it? Something which could have easily been accomplished as easily as having someone email him the policies?
Keep in mind that Bresciani was adamant – in his typically overwrought way – that he supported the restrictions and those he created them. This email, which I included in my original post breaking this story, is from July 31. A time when Bresciani claims he wasn’t aware of the specifics of the restrictions:
Even if we accept everything Bresciani says about this situation as true – and we probably shouldn’t given his track record – what we are left with is a president who, in the face of widespread public outcry, was vociferously backing a policy he hadn’t bothered to read for himself and praising those who created it.
Can you imagine a state lawmaker or the governor telling the public that we should excuse their past support of bad policy because they didn’t understand the policy and/or hadn’t read it themselves?
I think it’s time for Bresciani to stop digging this hole.
Here’s the full email:
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