The sham is that the "nationwide" search for a new UL president came to a screeching halt in the first public forum when Judge Dickie Haik addressed the committee as a whole ' and Sally Clausen personally ' with the call for a local candidate that would understand our culture ("Commentary: The Trust Factor," Nov. 14). That is all it took for the committee to hang its hat on, and that call has been repeated a number of times since then by the committee. Every other alum I talked with wanted the best possible candidate, not the best local candidate. We are pretty good at winning people over to our culture and would gladly settle for what Mark Emmert was able to accomplish a few miles down the road in just a few short years.

The perception of a sham is apparently the same with many of the faculty. The few I have had a chance to speak with were unanimous in the opinion that the outcome was determined before the process was started, and the search certainly seems to have been extremely well orchestrated in achieving the anticipated result.

I applaud your stance, once again taking the system to task for not doing the right thing because, quite frankly, my family of alums has cooled toward most things UL out of frustration with recent events there. Maybe your call for community leaders to get vocal will work, maybe Gov.-elect Bobby Jindal will publicly get involved, and if all else fails, maybe we will be blessed with a short-term contract.

The shame is our great university and our progressive community deserve better than the message being sent out to the world ' that the old-style Louisiana way of doing business is alive and well here, even in decisions affecting the hallowed halls of higher education.

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