In Capable Hands

November19/ 2007

…. UNC alums should probably worry about a list of things like Tyler going pro and Roy getting hit by lightning.  Who will be the next Chancellor is NOT anything to be the least bit concerned about.  IT’S IN CAPABLE HANDS!  BobLee gives the definitive treatise on Meezie’s “retirement” and what’s next for “the University of The People”.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  Most of you are aware that I do chat on occasion with Skippa’s Boy aka Erskine “Buford” Bowles.  Our conversations usually involve either (1) saving western civilization …. or (2) the best Bojangles between Chapel Hill and Myers Park.   We do not discuss the daily goings-on at South Building.  No doubt Buford would welcome my incredible insights but I’d have to charge him my normal consult fee and that would confuse our friendship.  ….. Therefore, what I am going to say in this column is NOT sharing any confidential info.  

That upcoming events will show me to be dead solid spot-on is just coincidence, nothing more.


 First:  Was The Meez as goofy and the total Flibett as many, including moi, often characterized him.  Of course not.  …. Was he God’s gift to academic leadership?  Uh, not exactly.  …. Will he be missed.  Will who be missed?  …… Did EB “suggest” to Meezie it might be time to move on?  See above disclaimer.  ……. Did EB try to talk him out of it?  Bwahahaha!

Where to start 

…. The next Chancellor of The University of North Carolina WILL come from the following list of ten:

Dawn Bunting

Dean Smith

Monty The Edwards’ Neighbor

Susan Ehringhaus

Karl Rove

Ward Churchill

Alonzo Squires

Little Cletus From Lillington

Somebody Else

Pete Gaudet 

As of today’s, #9 above (“Somebody Else”) is the odds-on favorite to get the primo parking spot on campus.  Dawn Bunting will, no doubt, be quite bitter about this too.    

    Here is the key factor that every UNC-CH partisan MUST keep foremost in their mind   So long as Erskine Bowles is UNC System Prez it doesn’t really matter who is Chancellor.  It’s EB’s capable hand on Chapel Hill’s nuclear trigger so sleep well Tar Heels …. sleep well. 

   Now, having capable executive managers at every level in an academic bureaucracy is always to the advantage of common sense and smooth sailing.  The next UNC Chancellor will be a common sense EXECUTIVE MANAGER. 

   So I don’t get snarled in gender semantics, the next Chancellor (TNC) MIGHT be a She-Chancellor.  Indeed, for the first time since Hinton James galloped in to town, there may be a sanitary napkin dispenser in the Chancellor’s private loo in South Building.

   But fear not chauvinist Tar Heels …. if it’s time to cross that gender bridge, she will be very well qualified and capable.  She will NOT be a hairy arm-pitted, combat boot-wearing lesbo nutjob.  No offense to Miami’s dwarf dyke but one of those in the ACC is enough.  Any UNC She-Chancellor will have more impressive cred than simply a leather day-timer and an autographed picture of herself with Hillary, Courageous Elizabeth and Raisia Gorbachev.  Actually, I don’t think it will be a She-Chancellor but if EB picks her, I’m on board.

   In the same vein …. EB might even “recruit a Charlie Scott”.  I’m as OK with that landmark possibility as I was when Deano did it.  Why should it matter?  Why indeed.

   Will it be a “pointy-head”?  Many of you have already asked me that.  Kinda …. I think TNC (The Next Chancellor) will likely come from The Halls of Academe but with a legitimate “real world” perspective.  Ideally it’s Michael Hooker’s long lost twin brother.  Michael Hooker was WONDERFUL …. (1) He made ballsy “hard decisions” and (2) the faculty squirrels really disliked him a lot.  Two excellent qualifications in most folks book.  If it is someone from another college campus he/she will not show up wearing a Che Guevarra t-shirt and Birkenstocks.  Trust me!    Molly Broad picked someone “in her image”.  Erskine will too …. Quite different images …. Duh!

The Selection Committee …. Ahhh yes, The Selection Committee.  Nothing is so dear to a humorist’s heart than whenever UNC appoints a “selection committee”.  P.T. Barnum always gets first dibs on the leftovers from these sideshow assemblages.

   Yes, by some perverse law, this “selection committee” will no doubt be sooooo freakin’ diverse as to give Melanie Sill a case of euphoric vapors …. But not to worry.  Erskine is driving this bus and it’ll go where EB wants it to go.  The jabberwoks in the backseat will squawk and squeal and when all is said and done … TNC will be a fairly normal member of a recognizable species …. The inmates no longer run this asylum.  

   When the members of “the selection committee” are announced you will be drawn to the 5-6 oddball card-carrying wackies that are put on there to provide folks like me with comic relief.  

   At least two will be descended from Barry Saunders’ Amisted human cargo-list.  One of those two will have legitimate qualifications.  The other one will not.

   At least four of the “committee” will sit down to pee.  At least three of those will have legitimate qualifications to be in the room.  One will not.

   There are always one or two pimply-faced know-it-all undergrads on these silly committees.  One will be “greek” and the other someone they will dredge up from deep in the bowels of Venable Hall.  One will be hetero.  The other will be undecided.

   Most of the members will be affiliated with mainstream protestant denominations although not necessarily actively so.  One, by diversity law, will be a Druid.  Or two Wickets.  One Druid = Two Wickets in committee diversity selection.

   Most of the members will be able to recognize The National Anthem within twenty notes.   At least one will not.  His/Her name will have over 15 letters and lots of double consonants.  He/she will sit off by itself and chant during the meetings.

   My personal choice for the “Wild Card” diversity seat will be, of course, a chainsaw juggling midget with a wooden leg.  

   And last but certainly not least ….. about four committee members will have ancestors who came over on The Mayflower, will insist on wearing clean underwear every day, will live on cul-de-sacs and will have cross-over voted at least once in the past twelve years.  These four will be the ones EB will choose to go to lunch with more than the others.  One will be a registered Republican because Buford owes me a favor.  My one Repub will not be the Druid.

Now for all that really matters to some of you ….. will TNC be totally committed first and foremost to winning a BCS Championship within the next decade?  No.  But at least TNC will not clap like a gay seal and ask “which is our team”.  TNC will understand the over-emphasis that the lunatic faction places on athletics versus academia.  TNC will also understand that the uber-lunatics get quite small allowances from their mommies and should never be factored in to any university decision AT ALL.

   Does this effect Prince Tassel Loafer?  Yes.  He wins the $5 he bet Jack Evans that he would outlast Meezie.

   TNC will have common sense and a healthy sense of humor.  EB likes both those qualities in his staff and friends. So do Nelson, Charlie, Paul, John and the rest of the mainstream Trustees. 

   TNC will not think all institutional issues can be solved with votive candles and vigils.

   TNC will not publicly chastise the faculty squirrels but will take a few “to the woodshed” when they insist on testing TNC in the first three months.  EB will not tell TNC how to treat the atheistic anarchists but will suggest using a rubber hose since it doesn’t leave traceable bruises.

   It will not be a coincidence that Ol’ Roy, Butch, Anson, Sylvia, and Mike will each meet TNC very early on …. and will come away very impressed.  As will those in this audience who will meet TNC.  BECAUSE ….. 



   Yikes …. this will mean Nifong. Jim Black, AND Meezie will all be gone.  Is my work on Earth finished?  Please recommend a new target for BobLee to fixate on and unfairly savage.  …..  No, wait a minute …. The N&O is still around PLUS The Shineolas.  Scratch that need for a new target.  Still plenty to do here.

   UNC Alum Quiz …. What “Place” is The Davie Poplar in? 


          I guess it is obvious that I have TOTAL confidence in Erskine Bowles in this leadership role.  As documented here, I did not vote for him either time for Senate.  Maybe I knew subconsciously that “destiny” (otherwise known as God to us Christians) had other plans for his special administrative skills.  

        OK, now forward this column to EVERY UNC grad/fan/alum you call your friend.  Trust me, they are all worrying needlessly just like you were 10 minutes ago.

Hark The Sound ya’ll. 

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