Why the real story behind the UVA putsch never made it into the papers…
Yesterday I posited a theory of what might have been the proverbial “last straw” leading to the surprise sacking of beloved (and since-reinstated) University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan: her vociferous support of a faculty vote to appoint the climate scientist (and former UVA professor) Michael Mann to an environmental sciences professorship endowed by the (since resigned) vice-rector Mark Kington and his alleged coup co-conspirator Paul Tudor Jones.
The executive summary of my analysis, to recap:
- Michael Mann is so hysterically loathed by the global warming denial lobby it recently dubbed him the “Jerry Sandusky of climate change.”
- As temperatures and public belief in climate science have surged in reality, the global warming denial lobby has surged in political power and influence along with other reality denialist lobbies.
- Because billionaires have funneled so much money into it.
- Said billionaires have likewise funneled large sums of money into the political career of Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli.
- Who just spent the better part of two years leading an apoplectic fishing expedition into Mann’s career at UVA.
- And in one of the more conspicuous demonstrations of the way the influx of this money has shifted the perceived balance of power in Virginia state politics away from old guard political heavies like state monopoly utility Dominion Resources, on whose board Kington and rector Helen Dragas, the orchestrators of UVA coup, both sit…
- …Cuccinelli is running for governor in 2013 despite repeated promises that he would not.
- A position from which, were he to attain it, Cuccinelli would have a significant degree of power over Dominion’s operations…
- …to say nothing of his backers (inter alia Koch Industries) in the broader energy industry.
- Plus Teresa Sullivan was a goner anyway the minute they found out she was BFFs with Elizabeth Warren.
- And finally, when I floated this theory past Kington he emitted the most exceptional fusillade of incoherent denials, threats and attacks on my character and ethics, it seemed little wonder the coup had not proceeded as smoothly as perhaps he had hoped.
But while he may not be the smoothest character, Kington is not a freaking idiot. And so when some of you wondered why all you’d read about in the mainstream media was Sullivan’s reluctance to embrace “strategic dynamism” or whatevs, I took another look at the official Freedom of Information Act files on the matter and found this Official Guide to Trustee Track Covering 101 from 2009:
Hey, too bad Mr. Strategic Dynamism forgot to read the memo about avoiding the “Reply All” function!!!