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Conduct Unbecoming a University

“I thought my situation was over here at IUPUI but now I find that the IUPUI News Center, run by Rich Schneider, is still telling members of the media that the problem was not in my reading the book in question but some other actions that they can not reveal to the press. “

3Jul2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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When the best can’t pull it off…

What is to be done when even the best, most idealistic and well-seasoned elected official, in the country’s most politically progressive state, cannot prevent her staff from abuses of power based on crony-ism and conflict of interest?

Create a State Ombudsman Office.

30Jun2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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The People’s Right To Know – Right Now!

By J.T. “Jerry” Miller

Former Commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Parks

You are a huge basketball fan. Your team is playing in the tournament finals. You’ve used your hard earned money to buy tickets for your family, not to mention the expensive drinks, popcorn and hot dogs. Now imagine that you and the other fans in the stands have to watch the game through a foggy window. You can’t really see the action, so you have to rely on the P.A. announcer who will give you updates on what’s going on – as he sees it.

23Jun2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Changes and Announcements Coming…

BureaucracyBlog will soon have a new look, and one or more new authors contributing to the flow of information, analysis, and ideas.  J.T. Miller, whom I wrote about in a post last month, has sent me an revised version of his op-ed piece and has kindly agreed to post occasional Kentucky updates here. There have [...]

23Jun2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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“Incredibly quick response for a governmental institution…”

A nod to yesterday’s Progress Report for pointing me to this Washington Times story. It’s about veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) being given the drug Chantrix in a Veterans Administration study about smoking cessation. Chantrix has a record of causing or exacerbating mental instability, and someone somewhere had to be nuts (to use the [...]

18Jun2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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A couple of different organizational bureaucracies…

My lack of posting much recently owes to my having had the opportunity to do some work with a couple of different organizations, each with very different cultures, though the leadership of each would describe them in terms very similar to each other. Both are service organizations, and both profess a style of operation that [...]

17Jun2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Stuck

Stuck is a movie I’d really rather not watch, but I think I’m going to have to see it. I don’t like seeing blood and gore, and Stuck has plenty of it, according to what I’ve read. But the movie juxtaposes a horrific, real life event against a callous bureaucracy, and that’s why I think [...]

9Jun2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Another International Update–Nepal

A couple of months ago I ran a story about the promotion of ethics in civil service in Nepal. It appears we can look for that to continue following the abolishment of the monarchy and the nation having been declared a democratic republic. I am far away from an expert on Nepalese politics, but as [...]

29May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Rudd and bureaucrats again…

Kevin Rudd‘s administration in Australia is going to continue to be of interest here because of his background as a bureaucrat, and his apparent dedication to bureaucracies that well serve the public. The operative word there is “apparent.” Time will tell the story, of course, but there’s a news item today–or technically, tomorrow, given that [...]

28May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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My Memorial Day Weekend

I suppose I spent the Memorial Day Weekend much as many people did. I mostly did yard work, planting flowers and cleaning up the detritus that gathers in a yard over a winter. I talked with neighbors who were walking their dogs or pushing a stroller with a studious little face peeking out from its [...]

27May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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You know you’ve lost control when…

Here’s a hoot: it appears some one or more State Department career-types—meaning non-Bushies—have been having a bit of fun in the State Department hallways. This is from the blog Nukes & Spooks: Outside the State Department ‘s press briefing room on the department’s 2nd floor hang large official photos of Bush, Rice and Vice President [...]

23May2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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“A rising tide raises all boats.”

Every community needs a Jayme Wilson. He’s being honored tonight as Humanitarian of the Year in San Pedro, CA. Mr. Wilson went from attorney to business man and community leader, and has demonstrated top notch leadership in the San Pedro area. Consider this from today’s DailyBreeze.com story: Navigating sometimes rough waters between community factions and [...]

21May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Some of those stories I was talking about…

Marian Wright Edelman, president of The Children’s Defense Fund, writes on today’s Huffington Post about the importance of a Congressional bureaucratic remedy to the crisis affecting tens of thousands of the nation’s youth who are locked away in detention centers, where they are suffering extensively from physical and sexual abuse. At issue is the Prison [...]

20May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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On “Transparency and democracy”

There’s a very good op-ed piece in today’s Louisville Courier-Journal by J.T. “Jerry” Miller, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Parks under Gov. Ernie Fletcher. Miller does a terrific job of articulating the need for transparency that transcends partisanship, as all of us of whatever political stripe are entitled to know what our government does [...]

19May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Dumbledore he’s not. (Or, proof of the man’s innocence…)

Albus Dumbledore, and presumably none less than Harry Potter, too, could certainly stir up a real full-sized tempest in a teapot, but I’m not at all sure they could have succeeded better than the Pasco County, Florida, bureaucrats who have sent substitute teacher Jim Piculas packing because he performed an innocuous little magic trick in [...]

18May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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PrawfsBlawg asks: What do bureaucrats want?

Stumbled across an entry posted by Rick Hills earlier today on PrawfsBlawg that asks, “What do bureaucrats want?” In brief, he notes that academics—particularly “economically oriented ones”—seem to assume that bureaucrats are primarily after power, and he questions that assumption. I agree with him.  I don’t think bureaucrats are always after power, or even that [...]

15May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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“It takes longer to learn less…” Canadian Conservatives’ Growing Opacity

Today’s Toronto Star features a national affairs column by James Travers that’s all about the growing opacity in Canada’s government, which owes, not surprisingly, to Conservatives who campaigned on promises of openness. Oh, so much of that have we seen this side of the border—calling something the opposite of what it actually is. Here’s Travers’ [...]

13May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Another Textbook Case of Bureaucratic Insanity

Someone saw “KKK” in the title and jumped to the conclusion that Mr. Sampson was a supporter of the KKK, and filed a complaint against him with his university’s Affirmative Action Office, alleging that his reading the book in the break room constituted racial harassment.

12May2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Oh, the challenges of setting up good bureaucracies…

This situation touches on deficient personal ethics of the officers who milked the system, but the flaw they exploited appears to have been an innocent one. That’s different from corrupt government officials intentionally setting things up (e.g. “no bid contracts”) so as to benefit themselves and their cronies, as we have seen so often during the Bush administration.

8May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Bureaucrats and Billboards

I was still living in North Carolina and under the age of majority when one evening at dinner Dad waxed eloquent and enthusiastic after meeting Vermont’s Governor Phil Hoff, and also about what had just happened in Vermont. The event of note was the ban of billboards in Vermont, preserving open scenic views along Vermont’s [...]

7May2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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