Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
The debate over a proposed on-campus football stadium at UAB has been one of the biggest stories in Birmingham over the past two weeks. But the story took a dramatic shift on Friday--and it's possible that the public does not fully realize it.
Finis St. John, a member of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, explained his opposition to the stadium proposal in a letter to the UAB National Alumni Society. In the process, St. John inadvertently (we assume) shifted the focus to weak leadership on the UAB campus--and that is a far bigger story than anything involving a football stadium. (See St. John's full letter at the end of this post.)
It's a rarity for me to agree with a UA board member on anything, but St. John is right to point a finger at UAB's current administration and President Carol Garrison (photo above). He also is correct to state that UAB has far bigger problems than the venue for its football games. But St. John conveniently ignores this question: Why has the board of trustees sat quietly by while Carol Garrison has run UAB into the ground?
Evidence of Garrison's incompetence has been visible for years, and we have reported about it frequently on this blog. So why is Finis St. John just now paying attention? After all, St. John and his fellow trustees are Carol Garrison's boss. They have the power to send her packing. She's been president for 10 years, and its taken the board that long to realize she isn't up to the job?
St. John clearly states in his letter that UAB has been deteriorating with Carol Garrison at the controls. In so many words, he trashes Garrison as a leader. But St. John has taken no steps to stop the university's slide. What does that say about his leadership?
The gist of St. John's letter is this: The UAB Medical Center is in decline, and alumni should spend their time focusing on that problem rather than worrying about an on-campus football stadium. From St. John's letter: