Thomas Lipscomb wonders why William & Mary president Gene Nichol is “hiding” in the aftermath of his decision to remove the Wren Chapel cross. As regular Power Line readers know, Nichol’s unilateral decision has set off a firestorm. 15,000 people have signed an internet petition to restore the cross, and the likely impact on William & Mary fundraising caused another college president to call Nichol’s decision “a multi-million dollar mistake.”
In response, according to Lipscomb, Nichol refuses to answer questions about his decision, and prevents others in his administration from answering them either:
Hundreds of letters and phone calls from concerned alumni and journalists have gone unanswered for four months. Why? Nichols is president of a public college. Larry Summers got into hot water with one of his faculties at a private university, Harvard, that eventually led to his resignation, but he never hid from the public and media.
Lipscomb’s piece also supports my surmise that, contrary to Nichol’s claim, the decision to remove the cross was a top-down one driven by ideology, rather than a genuine response to members of the William & Mary community who said they were offended by the cross. Apparently, a Freedom of Information Act request for correspondence prior to Nichol’s action from anyone objecting to the cross