A Gentle Touch of North Korea
Ron, the mormon, he is gone. Do not bother, let's move on.
Relax, this is not me trying to be poetic. Not today.
It was 2005 when the news were broken to us. Ron Davison, our excellently and innovatively strategizing dean was not any longer our dean. Yet alone a strategizing, innovative or excellent one.
What normally happens at Bond University when a high-level buerocrat falls in disgrace with the inner core of the university cronies (aka "The Brotherhood") has North Korean flair:
- the person will be escorted off the campus by security,
- the person will not be allowed to enter the campus again, ever,
- all the person's network accounts will be blocked, his email address quarantined,
- all locks for the rooms the person had access to are changed,
- the person's name is removed from the web site and other records without any trace;
While the extent of the above varied (I have for instance never heard of any executions behind the shacks), the way this was communicated was somewhat orwellsh: No reasoning, background information or explanation was offered, and implicitly it was expected that no one asks, yet alone questions the validity of the procedure.
But we have been constantly assured that it is "in the interest of the university". No way I would doubt the great leaders.
So over the years a handful of deans and head of schools disappeared. Overnight. I guess I will never learn whether one of them had actually really abused the director of Human Resources. And no, this is not wishful thinking on my part. You obviously have not met him.
Pretty unusual for North Korea, though, Ron was allowed to write a goodbye email. It was handed down to us via the university censor who also made sure that the email did not reach students:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: All Staff <email@example.com> Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Fwd: Farewell -------------------------------------------- From: Ron Davison <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org, IT Students <email@example.com> Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org I have fought the good fight, to the victors go the spoils, and now it is time to move on.
No, no further details. But Ron concludes with one of the generic text components you can download from the Internet:
I considered it a great honor to be associated with Bond University, especially the Faculty of Information Technology. The achievements of the Faculty over the last two and a half years have been inspiring, and the opportunity to lead such a supporting and committed group of students and staff during a very difficult period, humbling. I pay tribute to you. I have learnt much from you and will always treasure this great privilege.
You can keep it, if you want to.