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The [Tuesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

Pat Quinn has moved too slowly on the University of Illinois admissions scandal, that much is true.

But Dan Hynes is wrong to assert that Quinn should have dealt with school administrators first, before the trustees.

You start at the top. The trustees hire and fire the president. You don't remove the president first and then bring in new trustees.

And Eric Zorn continues to baffle with his assertion - repeated on Chicago Tonight last night that holdout trustees James Montgomery and Frances Carroll have done nothing to merit resignations.

Quinn, acting on the recommendation of the Mikva panel, asked the board to resign en masse - including a relatively new board member not implicated in the least in the admissions scandal. It has nothing to do with guilt and everything do with restoring confidence in the board by giving the governor the opportunity to reconfigure it.

In fact, by asking for the whole board to resign, no trustee is singled out for wrongdoing.

Quinn could then re-appoint any trustee whom he thought could be of service on the new board.

The notion put forth by Montgomery that a resignation would be an admission of wrongdoing is nonsense, as is Carroll's self-absorbed injured pride.

Beyond that, both Montgomery and Carroll did participate in the clout admissions process. While they did so less often than many of their colleagues, even once is enough to warrant their jobs.

Is that "hyper-accountability," as Zorn says in a column that might as well be titled "I'm With Hynes."

Well, where is the line? It's okay to make that phone call to help a relative or political pal once, but not five times? Is three times okay but not seven?

Quinn has moved too slowly. That much is true. But he's doing it in the right order.

*

"Illinois Senate President John Cullerton threatened Monday to push legislation ridding the University of Illinois of the last two holdout trustees," the Tribune reports.

That's rich.

"During the past five years, 114 elected officials made 480 inquiries about students vying for entry to the prestigious public campus, university records show. Cullerton asked about eight applicants, seven of whom gained admittance during the same five-year span, a Tribune analysis found.

"Earlier this year, he advocated on behalf of a New Trier Township High School senior through the U. of I. lobbyist who wrote in an e-mail to [Chancellor Richard] Herman: 'The President thought this students [sic] score seemed a little high for wait list'."

Admissions Admissions
Anthony Beale is now the second alderman to admit he made a phone call to the principal of Whitney Young to get his daughter into the school, the Sun-Times reports.

"You're talking about an A-minus student," Beale said.

Yes. But was this straight-A student left out of Walter Payton Prep because of a similar call?

*

It gets better.

"[Whitney Young Principal Joyce] Kenner said she had a 'personal relationship' with Beale, whom she knew as a baseball coach when her son was playing baseball. 'When he called me, it wasn't about him being a political figure,' Kenner said."

It was about her personal relationship with Beale.

I don't know which is worse.

*

Similarly, Kenner didn't know Ald. Ricardo Munoz as an alderman when he called her to get his daughter into her school. "She knew Munoz as the father of a boy her son played basketball with."


*

It gets better.

"I try not to be political at all,'' Kenner said. "If you ask me how many aldermen there are, I don't even know."

The principal of Whitney Young doesn't know how many aldermen there are?

*

And finally:

"Even Michael Jordan, whose youngest son by-passed the usual admission process by transferring to Whitney Young as a junior in 2007, did not contribute [money] to the school, Kenner said."

Olympic Credibility Crisis
Marc Ganis appeared on a Chicago Tonight panel last night discussing the Olympics.

The same Marc Ganis who suggested to Rod Blagojevich that he be "Rod's voice" on the Chicago 2016 committee while working as a consultant for the Tribune Company in the proposed sale of Wrigley Field to the state.

*

"The likelihood is the Games will be a net gain for Chicago," Ganis said.

Really?

"The Olympics rarely pay off," said noted University of Chicago sports economist Allen Sanderson. "They're just not good investments."

I wonder if and how Ganis still stands to gain if Chicago lands the bid.

*

GANIS: If managed properly, it will be a wonderful benefit for the city of Chicago.

SANDERSON: If we're lucky, we break even.

*

PAT RYAN: We've been more transparent than any bid in history.

Really? More transparent than Beijing?

*

From Crain's:

"Committee Chairman Patrick Ryan frequently points to Australia's increase in tourism after the 2000 games in Sydney, saying the number of international visitors passing through the city's airport has risen 25% since then.

"But an expected $2.2-billion boost in tourism spending during the five years after the games 'never materialized' for Sydney, says economist John Madden of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia."

*

"Similarly, the committee's forecast of 315,000 jobs over the 11-year period starting in 2011 is eye-popping compared to Atlanta and Washington, which estimated 77,000 and 70,000, respectively.

"Mr. Matheson of Holy Cross says a study he conducted with Lake Forest College economics professor Robert Baade found that the Atlanta games actually created about 42,000 jobs at most."

*

And speaking of Beijing:

"The United Neighborhood Organization is hosting a rally at its Veterans Memorial School campus with food and prizes. When kids and parents show up . . . they'll hear how important it is to go to school. But there will also be speakers from Chicago 2016 pushing the Olympic bid," WBEZ reports.

"UNO Chief Executive Officer Juan Rangel doesn't see any conflict in tying a back-to-school rally to the Olympics . . . He serves on a council that helps promote the Olympic bid and reaches out to the community.

Daley's Faux Mea Culpa
Trust me, he's not really sorry.

Town Hall Follies
Kirk crowds a sad mirror of ourselves.

Todd's Job
New details on an old story.

A to Z
What Zellweger's Got That Aniston Doesn't.

Durocher Digs In
Ernie Banks a phony; Ron Santo a baby.

Pro Football Pop Culture Prep
The Urlachers meet the Gosselins.

In-Box Health Care Wars
The Democrats fight amongst themselves while blaming everyone else.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: A to Z.



Permalink

Posted on August 25, 2009


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