Who’s really to blame for loss of $3M donation?
August 27, 2007
Chancellor Jim Rogers is free to do what he likes with his money, even if that includes making a fool of himself in a transparent effort to use his wealth to weaken a political foe.
Rogers, the chancellor of Nevada’s higher education system, announced that he has decided against donating $3 million to UNR. The reason? Regent Ron Knecht of Carson City gave him a less-than-glowing review in a recent board assessment of his performance.
It takes a leap of logic to connect the two events – a college and its students in need of a new math and science center and a job review from a member of the Board of Regents. But somehow that makes sense in Rogers’ mind.
That there’s bad blood between the two is obvious. Rogers gave cash to Knecht’s opponent in last year’s election, and Knecht’s June evaluation of Rogers sometimes comes off as mean-spirited rather than constructive (“he is known primarily as a self-absorbed, self-indulgent bully and tyrant, given to rashly going off at little or no provocation.”) Knecht could have been more constructive and even may have been able to use the job review to build a dialogue with Rogers – something that would have likely benefited higher education in Nevada. Yet such harsh words are something that most professionals – certainly one of Rogers’ status – should be able to shrug off for the good of all.
It is easy to conclude that Rogers expects a negative reaction directed at Knecht following his withdrawal of the $3 million donation, but somehow we just can’t make that leap.
UNR did not lose out on $3 million because of Ron Knecht. They lost out on it because of Jim Rogers.