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OT - Biondi monthly message - Office of the President

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Here is a letter from Fr. Biondi. It adds some context and facts previously unmentioned.

Recently, issues have been reported in the media and via social networks that I do not believe were portrayed with complete accuracy. I would like to take a moment to clarify the record from my perspective and that of my vice presidents. I hope you will find the facts below as being clear, comprehensive and coherent.

First, I wish to address my presentation to our Student Government Association on April 24, 2013. Before I speak about the presentation itself, let me provide some important background.

Last month, SGA President Blake Exline asked if I would have a dialogue with the SGA student leaders. After I accepted the invitation, Dr. Kent Porterfield, Vice President for Student Development, and Bridget Fletcher, Assistant to the President, met with Mr. Exline to discuss the parameters of the Q&A and dialogue session among our students and me.

After speaking with Mr. Exline, it was our understanding that the Q&A session with me would be only with the student leaders, as well as the support staff who normally attend SGA meetings. Mr. Exline also requested that the session be closed to external media. The University News, however, was welcomed to cover the event, and they published their report on April 25, 2013.

When I walked into the SGA chamber and greeted Mr. Exline and waved to our student leaders, I noticed two members of the faculty sitting in the corner of the room. I commented to Mr. Exline that it was my understanding that the Q&A session was to be with SGA student leaders only, with the staff advisors who normally attend the meetings also present. Mr. Exline agreed and asked the two faculty members to be excused.

After the faculty members departed, the Q&A session began. Mr. Exline posed a series of wide-ranging questions that had been submitted by student leaders. As Mr. Exline chose the questions randomly, I answered each one directly and honestly with details.

The session with me ended about 45 minutes later. Before leaving the meeting, I thanked the SGA student leaders and indicated my willingness to meet with them at least once a semester.

Because the Q&A session was planned as a dialogue with the student government representatives only — and the faculty members who came to the meeting were not invited by the SGA President, but nevertheless attended — I believe the criticisms of me regarding my participation in the meeting are groundless, as are any suggestions that I should be censured for the events that took place that evening.

The fact is, I appreciated the opportunity to have a candid conversation with our SGA student leaders, and I hope to have more discussions with them soon.

Joint Presentation to the Faculty Senate

On April 26, 2013, in his role as the Secretary of Saint Louis University, William Kauffman, J.D., Vice President and General Counsel, sent a letter to the President of our Faculty Senate on behalf of the Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee regarding the Senate’s April 30, 2013, meeting.

The letter to Dr. Mark Knuepfer detailed the Executive Committee’s decision to delay a planned joint presentation to the Senate by representatives of the Board and the administration.

The full text of Mr. Kauffman’s letter follows below:

Mark M. Knuepfer, Ph.D.

President, Saint Louis University Faculty Senate

RE: April 30 Saint Louis University Faculty Senate Meeting

Dear Mark:

I am writing as the Secretary of Saint Louis University on behalf of the Saint Louis University Board of Trustees Executive Committee concerning the April 30, 2013, meeting of the Faculty Senate at which Board Chairman Brouster and Father Biondi are scheduled to attend.

The Executive Committee presently is in the process of focusing on the nomination process for a recommendation to the full Board at its upcoming meeting for a new chair to succeed Chairman Brouster who resigned earlier this month. This unanticipated event and the Committee’s ongoing need to review the recent climate survey of faculty, staff and students, and discuss it with the Board of Trustees, coupled with the need for preparation for the Board of Trustee committee meetings next week, including the Board meeting on May 4, 2013, means that Chairman Brouster and Father Biondi will not be able to attend the scheduled April 30 Faculty Senate meeting as previously planned.

The Committee is mindful that the contemplated meeting between the Faculty Senate and the University President and Board of Trustees Chair is one of the six important outcomes of the meetings between the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees Executive Committee. In recognition of this fact, it is the desire of the Committee to seek a rescheduled time for the meeting at a mutually convenient and early opportunity once the new Board leadership is in place.

Very truly yours,

William R. Kauffman

Secretary of the University

cc: Thomas H. Brouster

Lawrence Biondi, S.J.

As you can see in the letter, the decision to delay this joint presentation was made by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. Moreover, the letter clearly states that the Executive Committee will seek to reschedule the meeting with the Faculty Senate as soon as possible when a new chair of the SLU Board is elected.

Despite these facts, Dr. Knuepfer released a strongly worded statement that attributed the Executive Committee’s decision to me personally. Below is his complete statement as posted in the media.

A letter from the President of the Faculty Senate:

The Secretary of the Board of Trustees has informed me as President of the Faculty Senate by written communication that Board of Trustees Chair Thomas Brouster, Sr. and President Biondi will not have time to attend the final Faculty Senate meeting of the year as agreed upon in the Six Points approved by the Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate in December, 2012.

In a letter dated April 26th the Board of Trustees provides several reasons for delaying the meeting. The reasons include the Board is busy seeking a new chair, is still contemplating the Climate Survey results and is preparing for the Board meeting on May 4th. This change in plans is particularly disappointing to those of us who have worked so hard to improve shared governance at St. Louis University this past academic year. Although this letter explains why Mr. Brouster will not be present, it does not address why the President cannot or will not attend the meeting on Tuesday, April 30.

President Biondi's last minute cancellation is not surprising as it represents yet another example in a series of missteps and errors in judgment on his part in the past several months, thereby adding momentum to the SLU community's campaign to replace him with a more suitable leader for the University. It is implausible that President Biondi is too busy to spend 30 minutes addressing the Faculty Senate; rather, it appears that President Biondi has decided that this appearance would not serve him well in his desperate attempts to remain at the helm of the University until 2018.

In conclusion, I hope that the President realizes that the University is far more important than his ego. It is clear that a graceful resignation would truly help solidify his legacy at St. Louis University; however, his blundering attempts to hold on to his eroding power base is making his exit less graceful and more disgraceful. There is a time for him to retire and it is now.

Mark Knuepfer

President, Faculty Senate

In response, the University issued a statement on April 29, 2013, that reiterated the details of the letter to Dr. Knuepfer and expressed concern over his comments in the media. That University statement follows below.

University Statement

On Friday, April 26, a letter was sent to the President of the Faculty Senate on behalf of the Executive Committee of the SLU Board of Trustees regarding the Senate’s April 30 meeting.

In the letter, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees noted that it is currently focused on the nomination process for a recommendation to the Board for a new chair to succeed Mr. Brouster, who announced his resignation from the position earlier this month.

Given this unanticipated event — as well as the Executive Committee’s ongoing need to review the University climate survey of students, faculty and staff and discuss it with the Board — the Executive Committee notified the Senate that Mr. Brouster and Father Biondi would not be able to attend the meeting as previously planned.

One of the six initiatives developed and endorsed by the Executive Committees of the Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate is: “Representatives of the Board and the Administration will meet annually with the Senate to report on the state of the University.” This was envisioned as a joint presentation to the Senate by both the Chairman of the Board and the President.

With a commitment to the six initiatives in mind, the Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee said that it will seek to reschedule the presentation to the Senate at an early and mutually convenient time once the new Board leadership is in place.

In addition, some trustees have expressed concern over the statement that was issued by the President of the Faculty Senate regarding this matter. Moreover, any suggestion that this decision was made at any level other than the Board’s Executive Committee is not only wrong, but also an insult to the work of the Executive Committee of the Board.

Furthermore, the personal attack against Father Biondi from the President of the Faculty Senate is disrespectful and shows the kind of unwarranted rhetoric that has been aimed at the president, the administration and now at the Board of Trustees.

April 2013 President’s Message

I know all of you received my April 2013 Message, which outlined the significant and tangible academic, personnel, financial and spiritual progress we have made in recent years by working together. If you have not yet had a chance to read my April 2013 Message, you can download a copy now by clicking on this link.

In Conclusion

I hope this message and the background information I have provided have clarified some of the issues you may have heard or read about recently.

Despite any issues — real or perceived — that we may have, we cannot forget that we share a common goal, and that is giving our students the best SLU education possible. And, as I have stated before, I believe that if we can all work together collaboratively, I am confident we will move forward in the best interest of OUR University.

I wish you all the best as we complete the 2012-2013 academic year, and may God continue to bless you and your families.

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That letter today was very ridiculous. I'm starting to dislike Father a little bit over the last few days. It seemed like he was reaching out to the faculty and trying to heal the situation, but blaming a student for the SGA meeting incident is a bridge too far. I find it hard to believe he is really reaching out after that and canceling his appearance today.

This letter does not help his cause much. I still love everything he has done for SLU, but I'm losing a little patience.

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That letter today was very ridiculous. I'm starting to dislike Father a little bit over the last few days. It seemed like he was reaching out to the faculty and trying to heal the situation, but blaming a student for the SGA meeting incident is a bridge too far. I find it hard to believe he is really reaching out after that and canceling his appearance today.

This letter does not help his cause much. I still love everything he has done for SLU, but I'm losing a little patience.

While I'm not going to claim that SLU's president hasn't made some missteps, it sure seems that some people are just predisposed to make him the scapegoat. I don't see how his explanation for what happened is laying blame. Let's face it: the mob is out with pitchforks, ready to dunk a witch. Coach Crews said that he caused the delay to the announcement of his hiring as full head coach, but some people insisted he was "falling on his sword" because it was really Biondi's doing. This must be what Billikan was referring to: once people form an opinion about something controversial, they make it into a fact and cannot be persuaded otherwise, no matter how much reasoning is put in front of them.

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That letter today was very ridiculous. I'm starting to dislike Father a little bit over the last few days. It seemed like he was reaching out to the faculty and trying to heal the situation, but blaming a student for the SGA meeting incident is a bridge too far. I find it hard to believe he is really reaching out after that and canceling his appearance today.

This letter does not help his cause much. I still love everything he has done for SLU, but I'm losing a little patience.

You have been a member since today 'biondifan'.

You probably are one of the faculty who could care less about billiken basketball and made an account name as biondifan and are going to try to create a scene that you are turning against him in an attempt to gain some leverage on here.

Who creates an account called "biondifan" than later that day posts a somewhat anti-biondi post. TROLOLOLOLOLOL

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You have been a member since today 'biondifan'.

You probably are one of the faculty who could care less about billiken basketball and made an account name as biondifan and are going to try to create a scene that you are turning against him in an attempt to gain some leverage on here.

Who creates an account called "biondifan" than later that day posts a somewhat anti-biondi post. TROLOLOLOLOLOL

WHoa. Not a faculty member. I'm a current student actually. As they say in talk radio, "First time caller, long time listener." I've been a follower of this blog since I was in high school. (I even bought student season tickets before they were included with tuition.) And I DO like Biondi for the most part. (How could you not compared to how this place looked before 1987?) And I think Absurd_Bills_fan is right about the Crews/Biondi thing; it's really not clear that it was Biondi who was to blame.

Is there anything factually wrong with what I've written? If so, let me know. I'm not trying to play games with people on the content I have written.

I just wanted to have a little fun with what my name was. Sure. It's a little controversial (some might say "troll"-y) to get a name like that (especially considering I'm not as certain as I was even a month ago). If it's too terrible, I'll change it.

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The letter released honestly makes Biondi out to look weak. If you are the leader of the institution you must not be afraid to enter the lion's den - in fact you must relish it. When issues would arise that were troublesome I always - see my earlier post - would be the one who would offer to show up and have the dialogue. What I found was that if you confront the issue head on and early people usually are respectful of that action and end up taking it a lot easier on you. If you keep dodging them then they will smell blood in the water. The most telling statement in the letter was the paragraph that he states that the faculty has been disrespectful to him - when a leader says this he has lost the battle and the war - respect is earned not assured.

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Can someone explain to me what the people in this thread who are asking why the faculty were there in the first place's point is? I mean, I can't know for certain, but I think that circumstantially it's pretty obvious. They're involved in a big dispute with the president, and they wanted to hear what he had to say, straight from the man himself. This was a regularly scheduled meeting open to the public, so they probably figured it would be a good opportunity to get his side of things directly from him by listening.

What I don't understand is that people are basically asking "Why did they do that?" in some attempt to discredit them or to distribute some of the "blame" in this entire fiasco to them. How?

Nice try. I am not trying to discredit anyone - I am not even sure what that means in the context you are using it.

According to SLU.edu, there are 8,000 SLU faculty and staff members. If this was SUCH a pressing meeting that everyone wanted to be present to hear what the president says, why did exactly 0.025% of the 8,000 show up? Because approximately 7,998 of them probably understood that there is obvious value in giving the president some one-on-one time with the student government representatives so that an honest conversation can take place. After reading Biondi's subsequent letter, it is pretty clear to me that two faculty members were either too stupid to appreciate the value of this planned conversation with students or too invested in their own narrative of what is happening to care enough about the wider University to let this exchange happen unimpeded.

Let me say it AGAIN - IT WAS AN OPEN MEETING. THE FACULTY HAD A RIGHT TO BE THERE. PERIOD.

That doesn't mean that their presence was conducive to solving the problem; clearly it was quite the contrary, but they chose to go anyway, just thumbing their nose at Biondi and, to some extent, at least some members of the student leadership, just because it made the two faculty members feel better.

My personal belief is that there are a lot of faculty members who, while clearly disappointed in Biondi's actions, are becoming disappointed in the actions of the vocal minority who want this constantly splashed across the headlines. Facebook, Twitter, letters to the editor, phone calls, carrier pigeon, whatever, they are intent on getting their narrative out. This is going to be one of those absurd situations where, at some point, the outcome will be the proverbial "the operation was a success...but the patient died."

If the focus is on making as big a noise and a scene as is possible, then these faculty members are right on target. If the focus is addressing the situation and healing the University, then they are way, way off target.

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While I'm not going to claim that SLU's president hasn't made some missteps, it sure seems that some people are just predisposed to make him the scapegoat. I don't see how his explanation for what happened is laying blame. Let's face it: the mob is out with pitchforks, ready to dunk a witch. Coach Crews said that he caused the delay to the announcement of his hiring as full head coach, but some people insisted he was "falling on his sword" because it was really Biondi's doing. This must be what Billikan was referring to: once people form an opinion about something controversial, they make it into a fact and cannot be persuaded otherwise, no matter how much reasoning is put in front of them.

Considering that in an interview Crews had a day or two after the NCAA Tournament he said without question he expected that his status as coach was going to be resolved one way or the other by the end of that week... the fact that it dragged on two weeks longer certainly raises suspicion that Biondi was the source of the delay. Crews understands recruiting and how uncertainty could be used against him. He can look around college basketball and see how quickly other coaching situations got finalized. He understands the sense of urgency in getting it resolved and he expressed it in that intial interview. Do you think Biondi understands or cares all that much about the timing of hiring a basketball coach? Finally, there were reports from "insiders" that Crews was a done deal, but the "paperwork was sitting on Biondi's desk." If true, that is inexcusable.

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That doesn't mean that their presence was conducive to solving the problem; clearly it was quite the contrary, but they chose to go anyway, just thumbing their nose at Biondi and, to some extent, at least some members of the student leadership, just because it made the two faculty members feel better.

How was it to the contrary in any "clear" way?

Were they thumbing their noses at Biondi, or the students? Really? What is your source?

You're pulling things out of your ass, my friend. As far as we know they went to a meeting that they reasonably expected they'd be allowed to attend, and were passively present until the President had them removed.

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How was it to the contrary in any "clear" way?

Were they thumbing their noses at Biondi, or the students? Really? What is your source?

You're pulling things out of your ass, my friend. As far as we know they went to a meeting that they reasonably expected they'd be allowed to attend, and were passively present until the President had them removed.

First, let's be clear - I am not your friend.

Second, if this is the way your deductive reasoning works, then I am eternally grateful you are not one of my attorneys.

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First, let's be clear - I am not your friend.

Second, if this is the way your deductive reasoning works, then I am eternally grateful you are not one of my attorneys.

Why don't you answer my questions rather than making vague attacks at my "deductive reasoning" skills?

How was the professors' presence at a freely open-to-the-public regularly scheduled SGA meeting contrary to "solving the problem"?

And

Why do you jump to the assumption that they were there to "thumb their noses" at the President and the students?

The best evidence I see, to follow your deductions, is that you rest these assumptions on the idea that "approximately 7,998 of them probably understood that there is obvious value in giving the president some one-on-one time with the student government representatives so that an honest conversation can take place."

This is, of course, another totally baseless assumption.

There could be any infinite number of reasons why other faculty did not want to attend. Maybe they had scheduling conflicts. Maybe they didn't know about it. Maybe they forgot about it. Maybe they are so repulsed by Biondi that they have no desire to go out of their way to see him. Maybe they're just not interested in what he has to say. Hell, maybe even what you're saying is the case in some instances for some reason. Maybe they are tired by this fight, and would rather ignore it and get on with their lives.

Hell, maybe they just had other things they'd rather do with their time.

The point is, these two professors did not have things they'd rather do with their time, and, as you fully admit, they had every right to do what they did. As far as we know, they were just sitting there, totally within their rights, ready to see what Biondi had to say.

I mean, if you wanted to hear what Biondi had to say, and he made it a point NOT to come to YOUR senate meeting, but is instead going to another one (that is open to the public), wouldn't you also want to go to see what he had to say?

You said you're not trying to discredit the faculty in this instance, but for someone not trying to do that, you sure are going out of your way to grasp at straws to find fault in their actions. So, in addition to my two questions above I must really ask, what are you getting at in all of this?

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Why don't you answer my questions rather than making vague attacks at my "deductive reasoning" skills?

How was the professors' presence at a freely open-to-the-public regularly scheduled SGA meeting contrary to "solving the problem"?

And

Why do you jump to the assumption that they were there to "thumb their noses" at the President and the students?

The best evidence I see, to follow your deductions, is that you rest these assumptions on the idea that "approximately 7,998 of them probably understood that there is obvious value in giving the president some one-on-one time with the student government representatives so that an honest conversation can take place."

This is, of course, another totally baseless assumption.

There could be any infinite number of reasons why other faculty did not want to attend. Maybe they had scheduling conflicts. Maybe they didn't know about it. Maybe they forgot about it. Maybe they are so repulsed by Biondi that they have no desire to go out of their way to see him. Maybe they're just not interested in what he has to say. Hell, maybe even what you're saying is the case in some instances for some reason. Maybe they are tired by this fight, and would rather ignore it and get on with their lives.

Hell, maybe they just had other things they'd rather do with their time.

The point is, these two professors did not have things they'd rather do with their time, and, as you fully admit, they had every right to do what they did. As far as we know, they were just sitting there, totally within their rights, ready to see what Biondi had to say.

I mean, if you wanted to hear what Biondi had to say, and he made it a point NOT to come to YOUR senate meeting, but is instead going to another one (that is open to the public), wouldn't you also want to go to see what he had to say?

You said you're not trying to discredit the faculty in this instance, but for someone not trying to do that, you sure are going out of your way to grasp at straws to find fault in their actions. So, in addition to my two questions above I must really ask, what are you getting at in all of this?

You're an annoying, but amusing little fellow. You are trying to affirm your own narrative and are ignoring the need for a resolution. That's precisely why I would never hire you as an attorney.

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There is an easy resolution to all of this. Biondi announces his retirement. It would be good for all.

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You're an annoying, but amusing little fellow. You are trying to affirm your own narrative and are ignoring the need for a resolution. That's precisely why I would never hire you as an attorney.

This post takes you officially over the edge, Fan. Just because someone has a different opinion from you is no reason to patronize and name call. How do you know Law is a little fellow? He could be 6-5 and 240 and ready to pound you if he could track you down. Argue about your differences in philosophy, but cut it out with the snarky stuff. He certainly has not backed down and acquiesced to your position, so maybe he WOULD be a good attorney for you. Any truly successful man does not surround himself with yes men; he gathers independent thinkers who will foster an expansion of knowledge, not the cancer of group think.

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Hahahaha thanks. For the record I'm not 6'5" 240 lbs, but I can generally hold my own.

But violence isn't the answer. I'm still waiting on answers...

In fact, now I've got another question. How is what I'm saying ignorant of the need for resolution? I want there to be a resolution as much as anyone.

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SGA president's message sent today. He said Biondi inaccurately portrayed his actions at the SGA meeting (after stating that he didn't want to clear the record or anything). Then he appealed to the Board to oust Biondi, (after he talked about the positive effects Biondi has brought to SLU). He cited the division and turmoil as his reason. So basically the ugly scene the faculty & no-confidencers have made in going to the papers etc is the reason. But addressing them and their destructive actions isn't mentioned at all.

I think it is clear that Biondi is controversial, but these public cries/rants are not moving the University forward, they are moving their own agendas forward. I would really like to see a more professional process in this. No Board member is going to want to work with the Faculty Senate or appear before them with the current hostility they show. The Board (& Biondi) knows they will go to the media the next day and blow something out of context or proportion to push their agenda forward. Not the University forward.

Fellow BIllikens,

This past academic year has been difficult. Yet, in the midst of this turmoil, there is great hope. As I leave office, I would like to offer you my perspective, having served as your Student Government Association President for the past twelve months.


I could not be more proud of how the Association has conducted itself this past year. The Executive Board, Senators, and Committee Representatives have continually put students first. While it would have been easy to become consumed by the unrest that has been present, our assembly has fulfilled its duty of representing and advocating in the best interests of students. In times of trial, it is imperative to stay true to the best version of ourselves. It is my belief we remained thoughtful and reflective in our approach. As I depart, it is my hope that SGA continues to advocate for the students and maintains its integrity and transparency in all endeavors. For all of those who have served SGA this year--thank you.


In reading the most recent communication from Father Biondi, I was struck with the need to respond to, in my opinion, significant differences about the events of the past few weeks. Yet clarifying the record is not what matters most. False accusations and immaterial banter do not benefit Saint Louis University or, most importantly, the student body. Now is not the time to be right, but rather, do right. SGA has been, and continues to be, intentional about focusing on pragmatic steps leading toward the end goal: a renewed University community.


I am a student of Saint Louis University today because of the positive influence Father Biondi has had on this community. His efforts in moving the University forward will be a legacy that will define this institution for years to come. However, it is time for Saint Louis University to move beyond turmoil, beyond unrest, and beyond division. The future of the University depends upon it.


We look to the leadership of the Board of Trustees to provide clear direction to allow our community to heal. We appeal to the Board of Trustees to do what is right: to pursue the higher purpose and greater good. It is time to bring students, faculty, staff, and community together by supporting and directing a change in the presidency of the University.


These sentiments will be presented to the Board of Trustees this Saturday at their quarterly meeting.


It has been an honor to serve as your student government President this past year. I thank you for your support, criticism, and encouragement. It is my hope and prayer that our darkest days are behind us at Saint Louis University.


All the best,

Blake Exline

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This post takes you officially over the edge, Fan. Just because someone has a different opinion from you is no reason to patronize and name call. How do you know Law is a little fellow? He could be 6-5 and 240 and ready to pound you if he could track you down. Argue about your differences in philosophy, but cut it out with the snarky stuff. He certainly has not backed down and acquiesced to your position, so maybe he WOULD be a good attorney for you. Any truly successful man does not surround himself with yes men; he gathers independent thinkers who will foster an expansion of knowledge, not the cancer of group think.

Funny. He pejoratively starts saying I am "pulling things out of my ass" which apparently you are fine with, but when I call him out, all of a sudden I am name calling. Interesting.

Also, where were you when he began this challenge to what I had stated? Go back and look at his post of 17:27. I didn't challenge him; quite the contrary - he challenged me and I did not "back down and acquiesce" to his position. In his case that is a positive attribute while in my case it's, how did you say? Oh yes, "snarky".

And, yes sir, by all means, I will "cut out the snarky stuff" because, well, you said so. :rolleyes:

Once again, another person trying to fit things to their own narrative. Bother.

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SGA president's message sent today. He said Biondi inaccurately portrayed his actions at the SGA meeting (after stating that he didn't want to clear the record or anything). Then he appealed to the Board to oust Biondi, (after he talked about the positive effects Biondi has brought to SLU). He cited the division and turmoil as his reason. So basically the ugly scene the faculty & no-confidencers have made in going to the papers etc is the reason. But addressing them and their destructive actions isn't mentioned at all.

I think it is clear that Biondi is controversial, but these public cries/rants are not moving the University forward, they are moving their own agendas forward. I would really like to see a more professional process in this. No Board member is going to want to work with the Faculty Senate or appear before them with the current hostility they show. The Board (& Biondi) knows they will go to the media the next day and blow something out of context or proportion to push their agenda forward. Not the University forward.

What would you like to see specifically?

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Nice try. I am not trying to discredit anyone - I am not even sure what that means in the context you are using it.

According to SLU.edu, there are 8,000 SLU faculty and staff members. If this was SUCH a pressing meeting that everyone wanted to be present to hear what the president says, why did exactly 0.025% of the 8,000 show up? Because approximately 7,998 of them probably understood that there is obvious value in giving the president some one-on-one time with the student government representatives so that an honest conversation can take place. After reading Biondi's subsequent letter, it is pretty clear to me that two faculty members were either too stupid to appreciate the value of this planned conversation with students or too invested in their own narrative of what is happening to care enough about the wider University to let this exchange happen unimpeded.

Let me say it AGAIN - IT WAS AN OPEN MEETING. THE FACULTY HAD A RIGHT TO BE THERE. PERIOD.

That doesn't mean that their presence was conducive to solving the problem; clearly it was quite the contrary, but they chose to go anyway, just thumbing their nose at Biondi and, to some extent, at least some members of the student leadership, just because it made the two faculty members feel better.

My personal belief is that there are a lot of faculty members who, while clearly disappointed in Biondi's actions, are becoming disappointed in the actions of the vocal minority who want this constantly splashed across the headlines. Facebook, Twitter, letters to the editor, phone calls, carrier pigeon, whatever, they are intent on getting their narrative out. This is going to be one of those absurd situations where, at some point, the outcome will be the proverbial "the operation was a success...but the patient died."

If the focus is on making as big a noise and a scene as is possible, then these faculty members are right on target. If the focus is addressing the situation and healing the University, then they are way, way off target.

Alumni. By all accounts, this does not appear to be two (2) "rogue" professors causing problems and mis-representing the wishes of the faculty members at large.

It also appears like Fr. Biondi's approach, as the leader of SLU has not worked, is not working and the University continues to suffer. Without trying to mischaracterize the past, it appears that silence and ignoring of the critics did not work, then the sacrificing of the guy who proposed the overhaul of the tenure plan did not work, then the re-affirmation of Fr. Biondi by the Board of Trustees has not work and now the direct approach/PR blitz of listing all of Fr. Biondi's accomplishments have not worked. Fr. Biondi started all of of this by increasing tuition followed by questionable expenditures which did not include pay raises and then by going to this already group of faculty with a radical plan to take away tenure. Blame can and probably does exist on both sides but this was started by Fr. Biondi, and as President of SLU, he must resolve this problem.

I see two (2) ways out of this. First approach is for Fr. Biondi to call a series of meetings with the Faculty, make major concessions, make additional commitments to the current tenure program and probably buy further peace with pay raises; or, second, for Fr. Biondi to simply resign.

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Alumni. By all accounts, this does not appear to be two (2) "rogue" professors causing problems and mis-representing the wishes of the faculty members at large.

It also appears like Fr. Biondi's approach, as the leader of SLU has not worked, is not working and the University continues to suffer. Without trying to mischaracterize the past, it appears that silence and ignoring of the critics did not work, then the sacrificing of the guy who proposed the overhaul of the tenure plan did not work, then the re-affirmation of Fr. Biondi by the Board of Trustees has not work and now the direct approach/PR blitz of listing all of Fr. Biondi's accomplishments have not worked. Fr. Biondi started all of of this by increasing tuition followed by questionable expenditures which did not include pay raises and then by going to this already group of faculty with a radical plan to take away tenure. Blame can and probably does exist on both sides but this was started by Fr. Biondi, and as President of SLU, he must resolve this problem.

I see two (2) ways out of this. First approach is for Fr. Biondi to call a series of meetings with the Faculty, make major concessions, make additional commitments to the current tenure program and probably buy further peace with pay raises; or, second, for Fr. Biondi to simply resign.

But... but... but... pointing out how it may not be the "two rogue professors" thing doesn't fit AF's narrative! How dare you?!

But seriously, if these professors' actions were so contrary to the wishes of the rest of the faculty, something tells me we'd have heard something from at least one of "the other 7,998" members of the faculty by now.

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There is an easy resolution to all of this. Biondi announces his retirement. It would be good for all.

I thought you were going to say Salina/Paystubs.

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I thought you were going to say Salina/Paystubs.

Or an Office Depot parking lot.

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Why don't you answer my questions rather than making vague attacks at my "deductive reasoning" skills?

How was the professors' presence at a freely open-to-the-public regularly scheduled SGA meeting contrary to "solving the problem"?

And

Why do you jump to the assumption that they were there to "thumb their noses" at the President and the students?

The best evidence I see, to follow your deductions, is that you rest these assumptions on the idea that "approximately 7,998 of them probably understood that there is obvious value in giving the president some one-on-one time with the student government representatives so that an honest conversation can take place."

This is, of course, another totally baseless assumption.

There could be any infinite number of reasons why other faculty did not want to attend. Maybe they had scheduling conflicts. Maybe they didn't know about it. Maybe they forgot about it. Maybe they are so repulsed by Biondi that they have no desire to go out of their way to see him. Maybe they're just not interested in what he has to say. Hell, maybe even what you're saying is the case in some instances for some reason. Maybe they are tired by this fight, and would rather ignore it and get on with their lives.

Hell, maybe they just had other things they'd rather do with their time.

The point is, these two professors did not have things they'd rather do with their time, and, as you fully admit, they had every right to do what they did. As far as we know, they were just sitting there, totally within their rights, ready to see what Biondi had to say.

I mean, if you wanted to hear what Biondi had to say, and he made it a point NOT to come to YOUR senate meeting, but is instead going to another one (that is open to the public), wouldn't you also want to go to see what he had to say?

You said you're not trying to discredit the faculty in this instance, but for someone not trying to do that, you sure are going out of your way to grasp at straws to find fault in their actions. So, in addition to my two questions above I must really ask, what are you getting at in all of this?

At the time that this whole thing happened, Biondi was still scheduled to come to the faculty senate meeting. It was t the day after this that the Board sent a letter saying he and Brouster were no longer coming. Looks like you have some facts to clear up as well

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