That’s how a faculty group at Texas A&M described the situation on Thursday, and I suppose that by now I should never be surprised about the lengths to which Rick Perry will go to get what he wants. But his latest escapade – attempting to install a longtime running buddy as interim president of Texas A&M – is over the top even by Perry standards.
Perry professes his love for A&M at every opportunity, but it doesn’t stop him from taking actions that can do great harm to the A&M community. As the A&M regents meet today to choose an interim president to succeed R. Bowen Loftin, the faculty is in rebellion against Perry’s pick for the interim post. His name is Guy Diedrich, and he has scant credentials as an academic. The question going forward is whether Perry can twist enough arms on enough regents to get Diedrich approved. The fight over the interim president could undermine Chancellor John Sharp, if the board of regents splits into pro-Perry and pro-Sharp factions. One would hope that the regents would put the good of the university ahead of the good of Rick Perry, but (as is the case at UT) the board of regents is stacked with people appointed by Perry and exposed to his threats.