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“President Lilley has laryngitis”

Today’s Baylor Lariat (the student newspaper) has an amazing editorial:

Editorial: Lilley’s two cents are missing
Sept. 20, 2007

Being Baylor’s president is not an easy job. Between managing a staff of professors and administrators and fundraising enough to finance Baylor 2012, President John Lilley has a lot on his plate.

But one of the most crucial roles a university president must play, especially during times of dispute, is to act as the face of the university. By virtue of his job description, Lilley is the voice of Baylor. Lately it seems he has laryngitis.

When Baylor was thrust into the national spotlight for shutting down distinguished professor Dr. Robert Marks’ intelligent design Web site, representatives from media relations answered questions, not Lilley.

. . .

Even former president Robert B. Sloan Jr. is easier to get ahold of than Lilley. When The Lariat called the office of the Houston Baptist University president, we were patched right through.

However, when trying to reach our own president, we run into a string of red tape that media relations proudly declares is “the same treatment we give the New York Times.” This is nothing to brag about.

. . .

In an article by the Baptist Press, former Baylor professor William Dembski infers that Lilley is the culprit behind the changes to Marks’ Web site due to his absence at the August meeting. If Lilley had only been there, Dembski couldn’t make such an argument. . . .

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14 Responses to “President Lilley has laryngitis”

  1. University spokesperson Lori Fogleman, in explaining Lilley’s decision not to meet with Ben Stein, referred to Stein as “comedic actor Ben Stein”. While this is true, it is not the whole truth, and Expelled is not the comic farse she would apparently like us to believe. He’s also done quite a bit of serious work including a stint as a presidential speechwriter.

    It reminds me of when Arnold Schwartznegger was running for governor against incumbent Grey Davis, and the L.A. times headline referred to him as “Actor”, as in “Actor, Governor in close race”. Yes he’s an actor, but it was clear that the headline was designed to denigrate one candidate and exalt the other. Fogleman has done the same thing.

  2. “But one of the most crucial roles a university president must play, especially during times of dispute, is to act as the face of the university.”

    I guess some have their face confused with their a$$.

  3. Any way you want to look it, this is a devastating editorial for Lilley. He can ignore critics outside the university all he wants, but this is coming from inside his own house — his students. He’d better pay attention!

  4. In the land where free speech is prized, silence speaks much louder than words.

  5. Off Topic: After 150 years science claims to know how Darwinism works, yet 150 years later science is still scratching its head trying to figure out how a bicycle works.

    “For nearly 150 years, scientists have been puzzled by the bicycle. How on earth is it possible that a moving bicycle can, all by itself, be so stable?”

    Go figure.

  6. I don’t think a moving bike is stable all by itself.

  7. This Lilley guy really needs some lessons in PR. He’s very proficient at dropping the ball. Wait a second…is he another DI mole??? How much $$ is he getting to give Ben Stein this kind of ammo? I bet he’s getting one billion dollars.

  8. “Any way you want to look it, this is a devastating editorial for Lilley. ”

    Come now. An editorial in a student newspaper is devastating for a university president? And it’s relatively mild compared to some I’ve seen.

    If this incident has any lasting effect on Lilley, it won’t be because of one editorial in the student newspaper,

  9. lurker

    I wasn’t aware there was any mystery behind a bicycle’s stability. The wheels are gyroscopes and as such resist changes in attitude when revolving. The faster they revolve the more energetically they resist any change.

    jasini

    A bicycle with the wheels spinning is more stable than one that isn’t. Neither will stay upright forever as friction will slow the moving wheels. Try this experiment. Take a top, stand it it on end, but don’t spin it and see how long it takes to fall over. Then give a good spin and see how long it takes to fall over. That’s a demonstration of the gyroscopic effect. Spin imparted on bicycle wheels impart stability just like the spin imparted on a top.

  10. scott

    This is the internet age. A minor brouhaha that in the past would only be read by students on campus in the student newspaper can now easily reach an audience of millions (many millions if it makes The Drudge Report).

  11. But a bicycle going by itself quickly turns its front wheel, and either falls over or runs into something. I’ve tried it.

  12. jasini

    I can ride a motorcycle with a throttle lock all day long on a curvy highway without touching the handlebars as long as the wheels are spinning fast. I’ve tried it. There are many stabilizing factors at play. Gyroscopic action of the wheels is just one of them. Forward inertia is another. Have you ever played with a Hula Hoop? A common trick is to throw it forward with a fast reverse spin on it. Depending on how slippery the surface is it will stay exactly in place, upright and moving neither forward or backward, for an extended period of time as long as it stays spinning fast. The gyroscopic effect imparted by the spin gives it the stability to stay upright without any forward or backward momentum. As friction with the ground slows the spin it eventually “grabs” (stops slipping) and rolls back to you. This trick eliminates the contribution of forward momentum and isolates the gyroscopic stability while it is spinning in place. By the time it slows down, grabs, and starts rolling back to you the gyroscopic effect becomes minimal and forward momentum becomes the dominant force keeping it upright while it rolls back to you.

    Read this for more information.

  13. Davescot:
    I wasn’t aware there was any mystery behind a bicycle’s stability. The wheels are gyroscopes and as such resist changes in attitude when revolving. The faster they revolve the more energetically they resist any change.

    No. The angular momentum is not enough to explain stability much less the complicated steering process. There is lot of stuff
    here from a Berkeley professor and bicyclist, with a link to a summary right at the beginning.

  14. “But a bicycle going by itself quickly turns its front wheel, and either falls over or runs into something. I’ve tried it.”

    Me too. But not using my own bicycle. Send it down a big hill and it won’t turn.

    Place Lilly on it, then send it down a big hill that dead ends at a curb. I don’t think I would show my face either. Better yet, place Darwin himself on there……they are all ghost riding.

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