Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Tim by any other name is no Tim at all

Just when I thought cooler heads were prevailing, and all was returning to normal in the world of Victoria Higher education, Tim Hudson gets a new job. For those outside the reach of The Victoria Advocate, which will not possibly allow you not to know, Tim Hudson will be the new Vice Chancellor at Texas Tech University. While I am happy for anyone being presented with new and exciting opportunities, could we please gain some perspective? For crying out loud, could the worship be any more pronounced?

OK, I get it. Timmy is an important dude. He was the President of a very small University, within a not so large University System, for a relatively short amount of time. We got it. We all got it. Can we please move on now?

Or am I missing something? Is there some body of water in the Greater Victoria area that this man successfully walked across? If so, please don't let Denise Rangel know about it, or she will try to label it with historical status and dedicate thousands of acres around it as park property in perpetuity.

Maybe Timmy is the real reason God made Arizona. Maybe that country song was really about him, and both genders were speaking to and about him, because he carries such a universal appeal. Or maybe Michelangelo really painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in tribute to Timmy. Who knew? Michelangelo is probably rolling over in his grave that people today think that famous statue is of David. I can hear him screaming, "It's Timmy! Get it right!"

If you ask me, we should rename the Mona Lisa the Dr. Tim. I mean, how could anyone believe that anyone anywhere besides Timmy could have that smile? What about the Hudson Diamond? Now that is one precious rock.

But I digress. Enough of the funny stuff. Let's talk about the Good Doctor Timmy. I will not attempt to delve into the man's entire career, mostly because I don't care. But I will share with you what my limited experience was with the man. My ex-wife (while we were married) attended and graduated from UHV. And even though you may not believe it, I paid for every penny of that education. There were no grants or scholarships. We did it the old-fashioned way, with cold hard cash.

My first glimpse at what the Hudson Administration was all about was when my wife complained to me one day that she was going to have to commute to Katy twice a week for a night class. Immediately, I suspected that the class in question was some fringe elective that she had been putting off, and now she had put herself in a bad spot. To my surprise, I found out that it was a curriculum course that was part of her degree plan. Naturally this piqued my interest, so I inquired further. As it turned out, 14 students from the Victoria campus signed up for the class and 8 students from the Cinco Ranch campus had done the same. The professor for the course was from Victoria as well. This was a night class, which was going to put my wife and mother of three back in Victoria at around 11:00pm. Additionally, the course was not being considered for video conferencing, which is weird, because I just read that Timmy is super duper special at all that techie stuff.

So the wife went to the Dean, along with several of her classmates, and they voiced their concerns. According to what they were told at the time, the Dean agreed with them, but Timmy was adamant that the plan was set, and would not be changed. The Dean suggested they meet with The Tim personally, and bring more people. From what I remember, I think all 14 of the affected students eventually met with The Tim. It wasn't easy though, as the first 2 requests were denied. When they finally got in to see Tim the Magnificent, he was non-committal, but said he would see what he could do. After some serious perseverance, he finally caved and did what should have been done from the beginning. The class was ultimately taught in Victoria and video conferenced to Cinco Ranch. Too bad Timmy Terrific didn't just do the right thing from the beginning.

My next encounter with All Things Tim was when the wife was about to graduate, and I learned that her graduation was being held in Katy. My initial thought was, "Wait a minute, isn't the name of the school, The University of Houston - VICTORIA?" Had we been filling out the checks incorrectly? Completely miffed, I called UHV and asked to speak with Timmy Boy. He immediately wanted to know who I was, and refused to speak to me if I did not tell him. Yeah, like I care if you know who I am? I even spelled my name for the genius. Anyhow, so I let him know that while I was confused and a bit upset at the thought of having to drive to Katy to see my wife graduate from a University with the word VICTORIA in it, I would at least give him an opportunity to explain it to me. After an introduction to the situation that clearly conveyed to me the superiority that Tiny Tim had in the intellectual department with this backwoods hick, his explanation was as follows. He said UHV used to use Faith Family Church for their commencement ceremonies. OK, I knew that. Then he told me that FFC had increased the rent considerably for the event, and UHV would not be able to pay the tab. OK, I was with him so far. Then he lost me. He told me that UHV had campuses in Katy and Sugarland, and they needed to be included in the commencement process. Hold up there, professor. My question to him was whether or not those folks understood they were attending UH-VICTORIA when they enrolled? He said they did. I then explained that those folks made a conscious decision to attend UH-VICTORIA, and, unlike the students in VICTORIA, they had other options. At this point, The Tim Story is in full spin mode. He told me that the fall commencement was sizeable, and there were no other venues in Victoria to host the event. So I asked him where the spring commencement was held, already knowing the answer. Then I asked him another question that I already knew the answer to. That question was which ceremony was larger, the spring or fall?

At this point, I was wondering who this guy had duped in order to get his job. After becoming a little frustrated, I said "Do you even realize what you just said? Let me analogize it for you. Let's say I have 2 trees that I want removed from my yard, and you are in the tree removal business. One of the trees is 30 feet tall, and the other is 50 feet tall. After looking over both trees, you tell me that you can remove the 50 foot tree, but not the 30 foot tree. When I ask why you can't remove the smaller tree, your answer is that the shorter tree is too tall." Get it? At this point, I figured there would be nothing constructive coming from further conversation with Timmy Boy. What an ordeal. I am so glad it's over.

There is so much more to this story, but I will have to revisit it in another blog.