Tuesday, November 20, 2007

UMASS Shakeup Shakedown

Governor Patrick's shaking up the UMASS Board of Trustees, ousting current chair and Romney appointee, Steve Tocco, replacing him with what surely must be a compromise to get the whole thing done, current vice-chair and also Romney appointee, Robert Manning. However, while Manning was originally appointed by Romney, he doesn't come with the same baggage conficts of interest, such as Tocco's higher-ed lobbyist background.

Furthermore, Patrick's must be happy to have someone appointed to chair the board that he helped get there - and who would help defend any serious university reform coming out of Patrick's office. It's not inspiring that Manning voted against the proposed UMASS Dartmouth law school acquisition in the past, but I'd be at least hopeful Manning will switch votes if it comes up again. It's only a matter of time before there becomes a UMASS law school at Dartmouth (it just makes too much sense), no matter how much Suffolk, BU and Northeastern kick, scream and cry.

Finally, readers will note that this is actually an important development. The UMASS Board of Trustees is far more influential to the system than most similar boards across the country.

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