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This is the fifty-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

Today I received a phone call in my office at approximately 9:20 a.m. from an individual who identified himself as a faculty member in the College of Education. A rough paraphrase of the conversation, leaving out some of it, follows:

Caller: Had been reading the coverage on the blog, especially the recent material on [Benoit] Wesly’s contributions to the University. Were you aware of the circumstances of the annual contributions of [Benoit] Wesly? [And I’m thinking, why are you calling me?]

Me: I had heard some information along those lines. Those circumstances are not rare for contributors – relationships are built over long periods of time.

Caller: The contributions came at a net cost to the university. Why don’t you cover that?

Me: You can take a look at every contributor in this fashion. If you have information [on Benoit Wesly] you can sign up and post it.

[The Foundation has only released information to the Board of Governors about Benoit Wesly’s giving history. Absent the giving history of every other contributor to the Foundation this would be difficult, if not impossible, to confirm. How convenient.]

Caller: This [coverage of the story] is not good for the University. Not going to talk about the other things.

Me: We only have parts of the story. We’ve heard the whisper campaign, so we asked for documents. We get resistance, but when we do get documents they show that there is no there there. We are still looking at a charge of $501.86 for documents.

Caller: Well, if you want it go ahead and pay it. [I didn’t think at this point that it would be fruitful to ask for assistance with the cost.]

Education makes money. The Harmon College of Business loses money. Music and Nursing lose money.

Me: And what kind of University are we? What kind of University would we be without them?

Caller: I’m not here to debate. I don’t have the time. You and Bob Yates like to debate. I don’t have the time to go into it.

Me: You brought it up.

Caller: How do you have time as a full professor to do this?

Me: It comes out of my hide. I do this on my own time.

Caller: Are you doing this from your campus computer?

Me: I have a laptop.

Caller: If you’re using your campus computer, that’s a problem. [I’m thinking, are you deaf? Are you calling me from your campus phone? And if so, is that a problem?]

Me: If you think that’s the case, then do something about it.

Caller: I’m done. [hangup]

In case anyone is wondering, I wrote this from my laptop computer.

Next time send someone smarter.

Our previous coverage of the issue:

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)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: a march on a cold and rainy day (November 18, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: raise their voices (November 19, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: great moments in radio reporting (November 21, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: Oh, my! (December 3, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: It’s simple, really… (December 5, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: I do truly care about the success of our students (December 6, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: “…a wonderful relationship there we’re really proud of…” (December 7, 2009)

Oh brother, it’s time to convene another panel on blogger ethics… (December 8, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: a lesson on how not to attempt damage control (January 26, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: a lesson on how not to attempt damage control, part 2 (January 28, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: welcome to the party… (February 1, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: welcome to the party, four months late, part 2 (February 2, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: those people from Denmark, you know, the Dutch (February 3, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: a conversation with the Muleskinner (February 6, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: a simple question (February 8, 2010)

Find the Non-Employee Game! (February 8, 2010)(NYCMule)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: a different choice of phrase would have made it all better (February 11, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: never mind the facts, here’s right wingnut talk radio (February 13, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: and we should give weight to your opinion… (February 18, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: fools for spin (February 20, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: fools rush in… (February 21, 2010)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: Who’s the more foolish… (February 25, 2010)