Friday, September 10, 2010

Draft Dodd-ger

Hartford Courant blogger Rick Green has picked up on the fact that there's a growing movement on the University of Connecticut campus to draft retiring U.S. Senator Chris Dodd to be its next president. As evidence, Rick offers this compelling letter from a UConn student.

I may have had differences with Dodd on policy but I think he could do a lot for UConn in terms of increasing its visibility, helping to raise money and using his considerable influence to get favorable treatment at the State House in Hartford.

Plus, this would likely be the last career stop for Dodd, now 66. Several other UConn presidents, including the now-departed Mike Hogan, have used UConn as leverage to get a higher profile position at a larger institution.

As for Dodd's lack of administrative experience, isn't that what we hire provosts for? Even at boarding schools like Hotchkiss, the headmaster doesn't have a heavy hand in the day-to-day running of the school. School and university heads now spend a lot of time on the road fundraising and serving as a roving ambassador looking out for institutional interests.

I say this move would make a lot of sense. Eat your heart out, Marshall.


  1. Hell, I wish he was the President of Uconn for the past 30 years! I think he knows where Torrington is...

  2. That's all well and good, but just keep in mind that he was forced out of politics. That means that he got nailed on something that makes him ineffective as a senator, and if he's ineffective as a senator he'll be ineffective in any other high profile position of power. It's all over for Dodd.

  3. Dear Victim's Revenge,

    Thanks for your comment. Dodd was forced out of politics largely because of a feeling that he had become too comfortable, too much of an insider and a high roller.

    Well, that's pretty much the job description of most high-profile university presidents. Notwithstanding his failings as a politician, Dodd will be great at back-slapping, schmoozing, lobbying and begging people for money.

    In other words, just what the UConn Board of Trustees is looking for.

  4. I believe it was much more serious than that. When you're involved politics as long as he was, and at the level that he was at, you learn what to do to turn your position into an institution to the point it's almost an impossibility to be ousted for any reason. Some big boys came around here at the end of the Bush administration, they kicked a$$ and took names. Dodd was a casualty, and I believe there are more to come.

  5. Perhaps, but I still don't think it means Dodd can't do a good job as UConn prez.

  6. Provosts? I thought you said higher education was already too top-heavy...???

  7. They're already on the payroll. They might as well be doing something useful while the boss is out raising money that will make the university stronger -- and perhaps help hold tuition down?