unfit to rule? mark yudof and his interesting lifestyle

I bet you’re thinking I’m going to say something about Yudof’s sexual proclivities, aren’t you?  Sorry.  But I am going to discuss one of his nasty little secrets.  Mark Yudof isn’t held to the standards the rest of us are.  Apparently, being the president of the UC system gives him a pass.  I’m here to say it shouldn’t.

As The Bay Citizen reported last week, when Yudof moved out of his home of two years (all 10,000 square feet of it) in the middle of the night — the landlord refused to renew the lease — he left behind tens of thousands of dollars of damage.  Torn blinds, damage to walls and floors, and a brand new water feature courtesy of a water line break that took, according to the article’s sources, all of 10 minutes to fix.

And now the UC is paying for someone to take care of Yudof’s housing for him.  You know, when my great grandmother began sliding into ever more severe Alheimer’s, my family hired someone to keep track of her bills because she kept forgetting to pay them.  She’d lived in the same penthouse apartment for years, and the managers were very understanding, but when the first notice for eviction for non-payment happened, we knew we had to step in.  Mind you, at the time, she was over 80, and didn’t know who most of us were.  She was no longer capable of managing her own affairs, and something had to be done.

If Yudof needs the same sort of help as my great grandmother, the question has to be: is he fit to be the leader of what is arguably the best university system in the world?  I would argue that he is not.  And I’m not alone…there are state senators who think that Yudof’s antics are problematic as well.  They believe, as do I, that hiring someone to manage Yudof’s housing indiscretions, as well as forfeiting a $30,000+ deposit to cover the damages at the previous home, marks an inability to manage his personal affairs.   Just another spoiled rich boy who can’t manage his finances…oh well, right?

But Yudof is the UC president.  He is the man who is supposed to take this magnificent 10-campus institution to the next level.  I suppose the reasoning behind hiring someone to handle his housing is that if he’s dealing with such ‘petty’ details (an unnecessary bill for $20,000 isn’t petty to me, but okay), he can’t effectively lead the UC system. But Yudof’s inability to deal with this points to a larger issue:  can he deal with anything?  Or is he, like my great grandmother, incapable of managing himself, and by extension, the UC?  How can we give him a pass on such behavior while trying to prove to the rest of the world (and more importantly, the California legislature, who hold some mighty pursestrings) that the UC system is worth investing in?

If you or I were to cause the level of damage to our rented homes that Yudof caused to his, we’d find ourselves in court.  Instead, Yudof is given a university official to manage his housing for him.  Is this person charged with simply paying his bills, or does she get to tell him that no, the university will not pay for that, and that it has to come out of his pocket?  And more to the point, if Yudof requires such help, is he fit to lead the UC?

Mark Yudof, the man who practically privatized the University of Texas system, seems intent on privatizing the UC system as well.  Perhaps the damage he caused to his first rental house here is part of a nefarious plot.  Certainly, the legislature isn’t happy funding such antics.  Perhaps, if he keeps up such behavior, the legislature will, like an exasperated parent, simply cut him, and the rest of the UC, off.  And then, of course, there will be no choice but to privatize.

Hmmm.  If I was a conspiracy theorist, I might buy that for a dollar.

Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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