I have been following the testimonials in The Sun from longtime associates and friends of Towson University President Maravene Loeschke affirming her leadership and managerial skills ("Towson University has a first-class leader," April 24). I'm sure that she has performed many of these skills well.
However, her actions on March 8 were not a demonstration of any of them. It's hard to imagine a more mismanaged day. Evidently, in an effort to limit the number of student-athletes she would actually have to look in the eye, she tried to pull the kids out of class with less than an hour's notice, spoke to less than half of each squad, delivered a message of a few minutes in length while escorted by campus police, took no questions, and departed the scene escorted by even more policemen.
Meanwhile, she assigned subordinates to deliver termination notices to three coaches, two with more than 30 years of service to the school, and even managed to misspell the name of the soccer coach, Frank Olszewski, in his termination papers.
Then she failed to appear at a scheduled meeting in Annapolis on April 17, offering a story that she thought that the matter had been resolved and her presence was not required.
If she has difficulties with addressing groups with opposing viewpoints, maybe she is in the wrong line of work. If she has created difficulties in Towson University fundraising, then she is definitely not in a proper role since that is a major function of a university president.
Whether or not the elimination of baseball and soccer was necessary to alleviate the financial mismanagement of the athletic department by Director Mike Waddell or whether or not he should be terminated for committing funding for projects he did not have is the matter for another debate.
President Loeschke's actions have attracted the attention of national sports networks (a surprise in itself considering Towson's middling status in the world of NCAA athletics). But she may also have succeeded in transcending sports and moving Towson into the national arena of examples of business mismanagement. This is not a desirable role for the second largest school in the state. Towson simply cannot afford it.
Mike Bankoski, Timonium