Friday, August 10, 2012

Helen Dragas Must Go

   Clearly, Governor Bob and Helen Dragas see some opportunity for corporate profit in lowering the quality of education at UVA so he can then award privatizing contracts for computerized online "education" to private companies. Perhaps Ms. Dragas will start one of those companies -- soon after she retires from her position on the Board of Visitors!
   I have not yet heard of any move to ask all members of the Board of Visitors to require themselves to adhere to the University's Honor Code. And that seems to me the key element.
   Extending the term limit for Helen Dragas, who has shown herself to be not only a truly dishonest but also a dishonorable human being, not just in her business dealings but also in her work (no, her devious machinations) as Rector of the Board of Visitors, where her dastardly actions brought discredit on the University and made its Honor Code a laughingstock  ... is a travesty.
    I find some amusing parallels to the John Hawkes novel Travesty, in which three occupants of a car are speeding toward a rendezvous with a tree in Southern France ... that will kill them all. At the end of these ridiculous shenanigans, Governor Bob will be out of office permanently, the not-Rector Helen Dragas after having puked on her own shoes a few more times, will go back to building shoddy houses in some of Virginia's more densely populated districts, and the power of Terry Sullivan to do good on The Lawn will have been circumscribed.
The Sun Is Beer! 
   With regard to computerized online "education," it seems worth nothing that people staring at computer screens often adopt robotic, trance-like facial expressions, and though they may perform well on some low-level multiple choice tests, they rarely learn anything important. They don't, for example, learn or absorb any of the transfer of personality and attitudes that takes place by way of interactions between two human beings within the mirror neuron system. That's what real education is about; and that is why it civilizes the barbarians.
   Helen Dragas made plenty of money building houses. Let her go back to that -- it is a business she understands.  And she did the right thing for her customers when some of those houses, were outfitted with defective Chinese-made drywall.  But I am willing to believe that none of that drywall was as defective as her paltry notion of how to "transform" the University of Virginia. Ms. Dragas didn't bother to write or "craft" her own oracular pronouncements or official "statements," rather, she hid behind and concealed the involvement of a non-Virginia PR agency like Hill & Knowlton. So She's Gotta Go! Will Someone please make up a batch of buttons .... with a flattering picture of Helen Dragas on them?  


If Ms. Dragas doesn't yet understand how dishonest and dishonorable she was by claiming Hill & Knowlton's work as her own, I'll be happy to explain it to her over a beer.

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