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February 25, 2015


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Just saying...

Wow. That was fast, for Nora. Guess the Peter Principle was at work here. She should have stayed at Hofstra.

Al Brophy

Congratulations to Brant and W and L! And great picture of the Washington statue set against the mountains that's a terrific picture. Sorry we missed each other in Lexington, Brian. The civil rights conference was fabulous and it was a great treat to have the chance to talk about W and L's history before the war (when it was Washington College). I'm hoping to spend some more time in Lexington this summer, finishing up a project on popular constitutional ideas in Lexington before the War. It never ceases to surprise me how rich the manuscript and newspaper records are there and how much we can learn about the diverse set of ideas about economic development, property rights, and slavery and anti-slavery there. As you say, it is a beautiful setting, rich with ideas.


Three years seems to be the limit of a law dean under the current President -- Partlett (couple of months), Murchison (1 year), Smolla (3), Gruenwald (2), Demleitner (3). Probably does not seem worth it to do a full search if they are not going to be in office for that long.

Brian Clarke

Brian Murchison and Mark Grunewald both served as interim dean (Mark twice). Brian's interim stint was, IIRC between Barry Sullivan and David Partlett (before Ken Ruscico became W&L's president). Mark served as interim dean between Partlett and Rod Smolla and between Smolla (who left rather abruptly to become President of Furman Univ) and Nora. Neither wanted nor sought the full deanship. Both are absolutely first class professors and people. By all outward appearances, Ken Ruscico has done a fantastic job as President. So not really fair or accurate (unless you have some inside scoop Dubya) to him for the decanal turnover.

Paul Campos

W&L's law school is losing money hand over fist, and it's obvious that the college's administration isn't OK with that. It announced a couple of weeks ago that the law faculty was being downsized by a half dozen positions, that salaries would be frozen for three years, that certain senior faculty members would have their salaries cut by 2% immediately, that the law school would be drawing 7.5% rather than the normal 4% or 4.5% from the corpus of its endowment for the next few years, and that the goal for annual giving had been upped considerably. In addition, the size of the student body is being reduced from around 400 to 300. All of this is designed to have the law school's budget balanced by 2019, which suggests the school is losing several million dollars per year right now.

W&L is one of the richest schools in the country ($1.4 billion endowment for a total student body of a little over 2,000) but clearly the rest of the institution isn't OK with using that wealth to float the law school. All this may just have something to do with Dean Detlietner's sudden departure.

Just saying...

No law school can break even when it has a student body of that size and still has to maintain a faculty to cover a typical curriculum, library, administrative staff in admissions, career services, etc., etc. One way might be for W&L to merge administrative departments and the library with the same main university operations. For a school that small, that might make sense.

John Beresford Tipton

TO: Dubya Feb. 25th 6:54 pm

To say that Ruscio has been a good president of W&L is what the English call a 'howler'. This guy is a disaster! His compensation is outrageous. He is a slave at the altar of diversity and multi-culturalism, and it is taking W&L down the drain. The present W&L is a place that has lost its focus in education, and is a spending machine. Ruscio's implementation of W&L's forward plans has been a big boondoggle with much $$ wasted in things that have no rationale or even make sense. A multi-million $ Global Learning Center ? No alumnus I've talked to supports this ridiculous financial boondoggle. This Global Learning Center is an idea that no alum I've talked to has even the remotest idea of what the hell it represents or can find a need for it at W&L. It's existence probably has more to do with a monument to the ego of a certain W&L administrator who is involved in international study, I guess. It also makes Ruscio feel all touchy feely and warm inside, I suppose. He is a real "Manchurian Candidate" as a lot of the college alums have begun to realize. His anti-male administration is about to backfire on W&L ($$) with a hefty lawsuit in progress... now in Federal court. I hope it costs W&L a fortune. W&L male students + fraternities feel that they have an invisible bulls-eye on their backs whenever they step foot on Ruscio's campus.

The heart of the problem is that W&L has too much money today, and an administration with no focused guiding principles who are charged with running the place; spending the annual fund money like drunken sailors. Ruscio is the biggest culprit here. You lead by example. Lawsuits against W&L right and left, etc.; alienating the alumni base. The trustees are negligent in not having exerted proper oversight over a 'rogue Ruscio' administration, in my opinion.

An alumnus from the late 1960's.


John Beresford Tipton (an alum of the college = the 'real' W&L alumni)

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