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This is the thirty-first post in an ongoing series as we file Missouri Sunshine Law (RSMo 610) requests and investigate the non-renewal of the contract of University of Central Missouri President Aaron Podolefsky. Links to previous coverage are below the fold. BG and MB

Students organized a march today which started at 10:00 a.m., moving from the Administration Building to the president’s residence at Selmo Park, to show their support for University of Central Missouri President Aaron Podolefsky. Approximately twenty-five individuals (including students, faculty, and community members) braved the cold rain to attend the event.

Deleta Williams, a former member of the Board of Governors (who was in the minority in the 4-3 vote to renew Aaron Podolefsky’s contract and who, as then board president, was apprised by letter early in 2008 about an approach to faculty initiated by another board member), attended the march and spoke in front of the Administration Building:

…out in the public making that known. I also appreciate the local people that have attended today. And one, again, thank you very much. Personally I, I’m very committed to the idea that President Podolefsky has done an excellent job at this University. And as was just said earlier about all the challenges that we meet, or have, right now, is not the time to be changing the administration. And so I am happy to be here today and to participate with all of you.

Former Board of Governors member Dee Hudson, who chaired the search when Aaron Podolefsky was selected as president, also spoke at the Administration Building:

…I’m here to support the University in that when I was on the board we worked very hard to move the University forward. And I think many good things happened. I look to the construction that’s going on right now in a time of budget crunch and yet we are busy building here. I look at the, the image of the University. We wanted very much to become a world class institution and we have now been listed in different magazines and places where they tend to rate universities. And we’ve been very successful in that….

Student Nick McDaniels, one of the organizers of the march, spoke at Selmo Park:

…I was told as a student, that it was my duty to question things, by professors. And that’s what this institution has always taught me, to question things and to be active and to never just take  somebody’s word for it. But to, to really educate myself on every issue. But, recently I was told by the Board of Governors that, actually, a member of the Board of Governors that I was to trust them. And that that was, that was, their job was to be, to look out for the best interest of the students. And I, I had such a hard time accepting this and I still can’t. I feel as students we must question them, that’s what this University has taught us, and that’s what we must do in the future. We must question and educate ourselves on the issues. And that’s why we’re here today, to protest the board and them doing what they think is best, and not what the University, what’s best for the University.

Student Derek Wiseman also spoke at Selmo Park:

…We all came today because we feel very strongly about this issue. And we disagree heavily with the board’s decision. And we feel like we deserve reasons for their decision…

Our previous coverage:

Three steps behind, and to the right (January 25, 2008)

Three steps behind, and to the right, part 2 – a microcosm of our universe (September 21, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”? (October 15, 2009) (transcript of a portion of the live radio broadcast)

It wasn’t just about a tree (October 21, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: I heard it on the radio (October 21, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: let’s not get cut out of the will (October 22, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: $87.75 will get you one sheet of paper (October 23, 2009)



“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: They’re not playing hardball, they’re playing cat and mouse
 (October 23, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: a cola and some scoreboards (October 24, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: a few more pieces of the puzzle? (October 28, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: your silence means consent (October 29, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: let’s not get cut out of the will, part 2 (October 30, 2009)

Old media irony impairment (October 30, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: I heard it on the radio, part 2 (October 31, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: where everybody knows your name (October 31, 2009)

Methinks that someone is paying attention! (November 2, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: Bond, Stadium Bond (November 4, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: where everybody knows your name, part 2 (November 4, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: I heard it on the radio, part 3 (November 5, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: nothing succeeds like success (November 6, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: your Friday news dump (November 6, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: nothing exceeds like excess (November 7, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: a grade for Accounting 101 (November 7, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: there ought to be a law (November 8, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: there’s gotta be a contract around here somewhere (November 9, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: there ought to be a law, part 2 (November 10, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: Garbo speaks! (November 12, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle (November 13, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”? Follow the money and it reveals the timeline (November 14, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: the new president search consulting contract (November 18, 2009)