God bless the Aggies. Who else could hire a new president amidst much fanfare (She's Hispanic, y'all!!) and then fire her 18 months later?
Although we're not quite sure why she got fired. Sure, as we showed last week via an Open Records Act request, she was given a not-so-hot job review, but hey, that's only one year.
And judging from the official statements given by both parties, it sounds like there's nothing wrong. Says departing president Elsa Murano:
I am truly grateful for the countless expressions of support that I have received from our faculty, staff, current and former students, and friends of Texas A&M. I cannot adequately express how much I have appreciated your many letters, phone calls, emails, and especially your prayers. They have been truly uplifting and I thank you from the bottom of my heart....My husband Peter and I fell in love with Texas A&M the moment we set foot in Aggieland back in 1995.
And the university's official take: "Dr. Murano has served the university with distinction over the course of her career" said Morris E. Foster, chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. "I want to thank her for her service and commitment to the betterment of the university, its faculty and its students."
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But, of course, official statements don't often tend to tell the tale. Newspaper headlines do. At the Bryan-College Station Eagle, those headlines today include "Controversy Has Been Brewing," "Community Troubled By Treatment Of Murano," and "Search Committee Members Felt Ignored."
Murano was originally hired -- despite the favorable publicity -- amid arguments about how her post would fit in with the chancellor's office. It's been an ongoing sore subject since.
Her replacement: Well, if you guessed "old white guy," you know your Aggies!!
E. Bowen Loftin, vice-president of the university's Galveston branch, was named interim president.