Monday, July 27, 2009

Aggy on Aggy Crime

The culprit in a break in at the Texas A&M football complex has been found, but no charges will be pressed in the case.

The person, who University Police will not identify, admitted Wednesday morning to taking eight sets of the football pads and name plates from lockers in the A&M locker room. Surveillance footage was used to nab the suspect.

Authorities say there were no signs of forced entry, so the person involved had access to the facility via a key pad entry code.

The person agreed to return the property he still had, though two pads were reportedly thrown in a dumpster and can't be found. The culprit will repay the money for the lost pads.

Besides stolen property, powder was spread across the room and athletic tape was used to spell the phrase, "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You," which are the first words in the University of Texas alma mater. A UT logo was also made using tape.

The tape job initially led to thoughts that Longhorn enthusiasts had been the perpetrators, but University Police Chief Elmer Schneider says the person was connected to Texas A&M in some way, and acted alone.

"It was a personal issue that the person chose to act out in an inappropriate manner," Schneider said, added that the person was upset over some set of circumstances.

The A&M Athletics Department has decided not to press charges.

Friday, July 17, 2009

let's play some American Football, eh?

Former Tech QB Harrell signs with CFL team

08:30 PM CDT on Thursday, July 16, 2009
Associated Press

REGINA, Saskatchewan – Record-setting Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell is headed to the CFL, having signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Thursday.

Harrell is the NCAA Division I career leader in touchdown passes but wasn't drafted by the NFL. His workout with the Cleveland Browns did not result in a contract.

Harrell had to fight the perception that his numbers were the product of Texas Tech's offensive system and he didn't have the arm strength to succeed in the NFL.

The Roughriders are already two games into their season and have three quarterbacks on their roster. Their starter is former North Carolina quarterback Darian Durant, who had only four career CFL starts coming into the season.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Alamo Mike's Last Stand?

A&M faculty vote 'no confidence' in chancellor
Rebuke of Mike McKinney adds new turmoil shortly after Elsa Murano was forced to step down as president.
By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz

Thursday, July 02, 2009

When the chancellor of the Texas A&M University System addressed the Faculty Senate last week, he described the faculty as "the mind and conscience" of the university, with a voice that can open wounds or heal them.

"I have a sincere desire to see our relationship move beyond the adversity of the recent past," said Chancellor Mike McKinney, who went on to quote Scripture as well as Shakespeare as he urged faculty members not to reignite disagreement over A&M's leadership.

Despite McKinney's overtures, the Faculty Senate voted 55-9 Tuesday to approve a resolution expressing no confidence in his leadership. Earlier, an online poll by the senate found that, of more than 1,300 faculty members responding, 83.5 percent had no confidence in the chancellor.

The votes have no official impact. The A&M System Board of Regents has exclusive power to hire and fire the chancellor, who oversees a statewide network of academic campuses and state agencies, as well as a health science center.

The faculty's action nevertheless amounts to a sharp rebuke of McKinney and, indirectly, of the regents. Faculty Senate officials said this was the first time they had passed a resolution of no confidence in the chancellor, or even considered such a resolution.

Rod Davis, a spokesman for the A&M System, said Wednesday that McKinney and the regents would have no comment on the vote.

The developments come a little more than two weeks after Elsa Murano resigned as president of the College Station campus under pressure from the regents. Murano, the first Hispanic and first woman to lead the university, had taken issue with a sharply critical performance evaluation of her by McKinney.

Asked what prompted the vote of no confidence, Robert Bednarz, a geography professor and speaker of the Faculty Senate, said, "I think his statements about the nature of shared governance and how decisions are made are in opposition to what most faculty think is the most productive way to make decisions."

Shared governance is the practice of consulting closely with faculty members, staff members and other stakeholders before making major decisions. It is a widely accepted principle of higher education administration, but McKinney at times has essentially said he takes his marching orders from the regents.

Bednarz said some faculty members also thought the regents and chancellor didn't consult sufficiently with the faculty before expanding a rule on background checks for new employees and before trimming the list of financial firms with which university employees can place retirement money.

It's unclear what effect the no-confidence vote will have. McKinney, a physician and former state legislator, is a friend and former chief of staff of Gov. Rick Perry.

Regents Chairman Morris Foster — like the other regents, a Perry appointee — has said McKinney has "my full support."

"There's got to be communication and clarity of roles and purposes, as well as candor and openness, for faculty to feel comfortable that governance and leadership are in good hands," said Richard Novak, senior vice president of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

The search for a new president, assuming that it's not done in haste and that faculty members are part of the search committee, could heal wounds and rebuild confidence in leadership, Novak said.

Foster has said that faculty members would be involved in the search, which he hopes to complete within six months, a short timeline for such a search.; 445-3604