LEXINGTON—University of Kentucky President Lee Todd, Jr., a longtime whipping boy of this publication, announced plans to resign from his post at the end of the current academic year. The news came in the wake of allegations that Todd’s hand-picked wunderkind, Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Calipari, had recruited a professional athlete and thus had violated NCAA regulations once again.
However, any connection between the resignation and UK’s impending basketball sanctions were downplayed. Todd said in an e-mail that he was growing tired of his job and that the decision to retire was a difficult one.
“10 years is a long time to serve in a position that really is 24/7. So this is the right decision at the right moment,” Todd wrote in an e mail.
“This is no hyperbole,” said University Trustee Joe Miles, who tried his damnedest to make Todd reconsider. “I really did see his light on no matter what time of the day or night. He really did work 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and after ten years, he’s just tired.”
Lame duck President Lee Todd grimaces as UK approves the hiring of John Calipari. “That definitely went against my better judgment,” Todd said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
Todd leaves behind an institution in shambles. Strung along by the empty promise of Top Twenty status and hung out to dry by budget cuts and top-heavy administrative overhead, the University of Kentucky is reeling. After ten years under Todd’s leadership, the university remains at best a bottom-feeding diploma mill that is comparable to the satellite campuses of nearby states, like UNC Greensboro or UT Martin.
“Good riddance to that asshole,” said Wershawn Hung, a newly-hired professor of English Literature at UK. “Bad leadership begins at the top, and from what I hear, this guy did anything but lead by example.”
Todd joins a growing contingent of Presidents at aspiring Top 20 research institutions who have lost their resolve in the wake of state legislatures who pinch pennies. Two weeks ago, SUNY Buffalo President John B. Simpson announced his intention to retire after less than a decade on the job.
“While my retirement plans are motivated by a personal desire to be closer to family, I would be disingenuous if I did not also note that this difficult decision has been made somewhat easier by Albany’s failure to give UB and SUNY the policy tools and stable support needed to fully achieve this university’s great potential,” said Simpson. “UB’s promise, and its potential to transform this community, have been threatened severely by repeated budget cuts and, most recently, by the latest setbacks from Albany.”
Todd also feels bad about the budget constraints and admitted that he couldn’t live with the hypocrisy of drawing a salary with bonuses while freezing employee pay.
“It’s no secret that I’ve been frustrated with the economic and budget conditions that surround the University,” Todd said in his e mail to the university community.
Todd’s Top Twenty Business Plan, a veritable relic of overblown corporate psychobabble cum marketing strategy, is an abject failure.
“Surely, the document will go down with ‘See Blue’ and all that other garbage as a signifier of Todd’s arrogance,” said Hung.
Also a failure is Todd’s ongoing attempt to “clean up” the university’s independently-owned and operated Athletics Department.
“When he got here in 2001, the football team was on probation for various violation, and now the basketball program awaits the same fate,” said Merlin Asmann, a Mechanical Engineering major at UK. “I find it convenient that Todd announces his decision just as we’re in the process of getting nailed for Enes Kanter.”
Asmann referenced the impending sanctions UK will face for recruiting Kanter, who was paid to play professional basketball in Turkey.