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How to Botch Things Up 101

OK class, today’s lesson is on how to botch things up.

Today the UB Spectrum publishes this interview with outgoing SUNYAB president John Simpson. In it Simpson says, “Some parts of the local media have tried to put words in my mouth, saying that I quit because I didn’t like what the legislature did. To think that New York drove me out because I’m disappointed or angry is simply not the case.”

Gee, I wonder where the media, including UB’s own publications and radio station, got such an idea? Could it have been from Simpson’s prepared statement/retirement speech? “I would be less than forthright not to note that this difficult decision has been made somewhat easier by Albany’s failure to give UB and SUNY the policy tools and stable support needed to fully achieve this university’s great potential.”

That line was quoted in the UB Reporter, and the sentiment echoed in the UB Spectrum two days after his retirement was announced. From there, every media outlet in town, but one, took to repeating the same party line—to the delight of UB 2020 supporters, who could then refocus their anger on Albany and downstate NY.

With yesterday’s announcement that Scott Nostaja is (sort of) withdrawing his name from the running (for now) for the interim president position, it’s interesting to witness the whole awkward episode unfold.

How is it that eleven days after you resign, you find yourself in a position where you have to explain your resignation all over again? And this time, you’re not pointing fingers at Albany, you’re pointing fingers at the media, whose big mistake was only in repeating your own press release?

I mean, why come out now and say you were planning on quitting months ago? Why not say that right from the start? It’s the truth, right? That’s what you’re telling us today, right?

John Simpson: The guy doesn’t know how to quit. Really. He simply doesn’t know how to quit.


  • AJudelson

    Buck Quigley appears to the writer who can’t really write? Right? Because why does he say the same thing twice in a row only slightly differently as if he’s not sure he successfully communicated his “point”? Right? Perhaps Mr. Quigley could take an English class at UB while covering the various press conferences at the institution. Or, put another way, maybe he could take English classes at UB when he’s there, right?

  • Jim Holstun

    AJudelson, it’s a joke, see? “Doesn’t know how to quit” means both “Highly motivated!” and “is ignorant of the proper way to resign.”

    Talking about online petitions, Jon Stewart once said: “Online petitions: they’re the least you can do. No, really: they’re the least you can do.”

    I think Monsieur Buck is an ace scribbler.

  • Bob

    what simpson is doing is the backstroke….every politician does that…

    oh yeah just to explain to people like AJudelson…he’s not really swimming its a meteorphore…or is it called a metaphor…lay off Buck genius, he’s done a great job covering UB