Gene Nichol, William & Mary’s ex-president, did serious damage to the college through, among other things, his high-handed efforts to impose his ACLU sensibilities. But at least this was a legitimate policy position. Nichol saved his worst for last — a self-pitying letter announcing his resignation to the William & Mary community, in the face of the decision by the Board of Visitors not to renew his contract.
Nichol’s letter succeeded in creating enough sympathy among some of the 18-22 year olds at the college to generate a bit of student protest. The letter also served Nichol well with certain liberal newspapers, eager (as ever) to embrace a liberal morality play in which an idealistic president is thwarted by right-wingers in his efforts to bring a hidebound institution into the 21st century.
More discerning media were not taken in, though. Thus, four newspapers close to the situation
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill