On Wednesday, thanks to Abovethelaw.com, we much enjoyed the details of how St. Louis University Law School dean Annette Clark was allegedly blowing the whistle on how things operated there. She was resigning and sent her beefs in the form of a letter to the president Father Lawrence Biondi and the faculty.
Now we find out, thanks again to Abovethelaw.com, that Biondi contends that Clark resigned before she was canned. A busy letter writer just like Clark, Biondi sent his to the faculty.
Now both these highly educated professionals appear like highly emotional poor players in a crisis. This will hurt their careers. The world tends to judge us on how we manage crisis. This will also hurt the university and the law school.
What both should have done as they sensed tensions were escalating was each hire a public relations pro skilled in crisis management. There are proven-out best practices for keeping the mess from becoming more of a mess. In addition, in some cases the ordeal by media can work out to be a plus for the organization and some of the individuals. Hillary Clinton has been a genius at that. Recall how her husband's dalliance with the intern was transformed into an opportunity to soften her image.
Perhaps the boards at universities should mandate that all its major players take a seminar in crisis management. That could prevent a lot of alumni from shutting their pocketbooks during fundraising season.
In any event, during the dog days of August this was a nice bit of entertainment. It does, however, leave us with the question if these well-paid academics could earn a living, never mind a good one, in the real world? Out here we practice restraint of tongue and pen.