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Trouble in the President's Suite


The controversy surrounding Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael Rao heats up. Supporters and detractors weighed in on Peter Galuszka's “Rocky Rao,” (News & Features, Nov. 16.)

His academic credentials are pretty thin for someone the board expects to improve its academic standing. He also has something of a hit-and-run resume, having left Central Michigan University after starting up a number of expensive, unfinished projects, and having personally pledged to give $100,000 to the school. How did he find his way to VCU in the first place?
— Tutor, Nov. 16, 8:37 p.m.

The fact that information is leaking out of the president's office underscores to me Rao's need to demand a written agreement with his staff to require that they keep their mouths shut. Since they are violating that agreement and the expectation of confidentiality, their integrity should be questioned. Few like change. Maybe Rao hired someone and then realized he wasn't that great. Or are some setting up Rao so that the way will be open for Kaine to come to work for VCU since his job with the Democratic National Committee might be short lived? — VCU'08, Nov. 18, 9:22 a.m.

I don't like the idea of a hotheaded little Mrs. Rao running around saying who goes and who stays. She is qualified for this? The answer to that is “no.” Dr. Michael Rao needs to put on some pants.
— Seen It All Before, Nov. 18, 11:27 p.m.

Dr. Rao lacks the background and credentials to run VCU. Could he run a smaller, more homogenous school located in non-eventful Midwestern town? Probably. But that's not what VCU is.

It takes a really special person to withstand all the attitudes and political divisiveness of Richmond, Va. Michael Rao is not it. He doesn't have that background, nor the personality for it. And I don't why the board couldn't see this in the beginning, when they chose him.
— Weather Spotter, Nov. 20, 9:47 a.m.

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