I wasn't going to write about the "Hank Bounds survey to fire Shawn Eichorst" bit, but I find myself being drawn back to it after looking around at what's going on across the Husker internets.
Then I read Tom Shatel's bit about it, the one where he does his best to stir the pot, and concluded that I couldn't avoid it if I tried.
My initial reaction upon hearing about Bounds' survey of the athletic department was to assume it is a "360", a method of evaluation of a "target" that typically involves anonymous interviews with employees who are asked questions regarding said target. Those interviews are then given to the target, typically a manager, so that the target can improve upon their shortcomings with the hope that reading "stop stealing food from the fridge you jackass, you're getting paid more than us, buy your own" would actually cause the manager to change their ways.
It's easy to understand why this type of evaluation is used, especially when you realize that we're raising a whole generation of people who are better at communicating with their phones than they are with the human being sitting across from them, are easily offended by any critique, and have a need for constant praise. Add to this the need to build consensus because that's how the public sector works.
Hank Bounds has been President of the University of Nebraska since April, 2015 or nearly a year. His responsibilities include oversight of four campuses - Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, and Curtis (my hometown). The University is seeking to hire a new chancellor who will oversee the Lincoln campus.
Do you think that Bounds has had enough time to get to know the people who run the Lincoln campus? Anyone who has run an organization of that size will tell you no (those that would tell you "yes" are likely to view people as commodities, i.e., replaceable as toasters). It is far easier for Bounds to look at a new chancellor and say, "I don't know that person, but here's what her own employees said about that department" and hand the new chancellor the results of a management survey.
One, the survey will likely be more accurate than anything Bounds has to say on individual departments and independent of his personal biases. Two, it's clearly part of Bounds' management style. Three, it's Bounds way of saying to a new person, "Here's what you need to get up to speed on everyone. I have three other campuses to run and one of them is in the middle of nowhere - you'll understand if you ever get to Kearney". Four, it alleviates Bounds of any responsibility for what others have to say (which may be why it's part of his management style).
In other words, the surveys are a good move, at least for Bounds.
That's how I see it. Apparently there are a lot of you who see something sinister at work.
Where is there any indication of foul play?
Why is there this need to see conspiracy theories wherever we may look? Is it just human nature that allows us to believe we're not in control of anything, but that forces much larger and darker than us are using us as pawns in the game of life?
Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated John F. Kennedy. He did it alone. The reason why this is hard for many people is that 99% of us could never pick up a bolt action rifle and fire it accurately as quickly as Oswald did that day. There must have been another gunman (that no one has ever found). There must have been powerful people behind it. Oliver Stone said so.
I knew a guy in the 1970s who had a Ford pickup that would get 300 miles to the gallon. He told some other people about it, then took it to a Ford dealer for repair. After that it would no longer get 300 miles to the gallon and he was told by his dealership to stop talking about it. This technology has been around for years but suppressed by the big oil companies working in cahoots with the auto industry.
Shawn Eichorst was recommended by Barry Alvarez so that Alvarez could destroy the Nebraska athletic department. After Eichorst is done destroying Nebraska, he will return to Wisconsin to run their athletic department while Alvarez becomes Emperor of Wisconsin.
We never landed a man on the moon. Monsanto is killing us all with GMOs. There's going to be a war (soon) in the Middle East that sets off the biblical apocalypse. George Soros, the Koch Brothers, vaccines, and all the coaches and players everywhere are having sex with cheerleaders, which should make you wonder how cheerleaders can continue to do all those athletic routines since they should be worn out from constant sex, sex, sex. The answer is simple. Cheerleaders are aliens.
We love bogeymen.
Bogeymen allow us to abdicate responsibility (as pawns). They give us someone to blame, a very important need in human nature. Before we solve a problem we need to know who we're going to burn.. or rather be sure it isn't us, because if it is we might as well start running. A head start is all I need, please oh please.
They explain our inability to attribute other common human beings with skills or methods that we either don't possess or wouldn't utilize ("I would never do it that way" or in Oswald's case "I could never do that in a million years").
In this case, now forever known as the "Bounds Survey Conspiracy" (because I say so), the explanation might be as simple as boredom. It's the offseason. We need some drama because Nebraska fans are addicted to it, and why not Hank Bounds as a bogeyman? Someone has to take Harvey Perlman's place in the world and we don't know who our new chancellor will be. (I look forward to making up all sorts of crap about them when they arrive!)
In the Shatel article, Bounds states that he's done surveys before. It would have been easy to ask someone at his previous employers if that's the case, but nobody has.
The Lincoln Journal article states that the "review" will cost $38,000. It's unclear whether that is just for the athletic department or for the entire university. Is that a lot of money? (It doesn't seem like it to me, but remember that I'm a consultant.)
You want a conspiracy theory?
Why did Nebraska's two flagship regular media organizations write the Bounds survey article at the same time? Aren't they independent entities, capable of coming up with their own article ideas? Or are they being controlled by a force much larger than the both of them?