Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Case for MORE Regional Trustees

  A couple of weeks ago, I went back into the archives to dig out some of the posts that had to do with the Strawman Proposal and the long-running attempt to kill off the Regional Trustee Concept.
  Unfortunately, I overlooked one of the most critical of them all.
  Below you will find a post of last May 2 PRIOR to the BOT meeting last spring.
  This post will be put up on the blog along with most of the other relevant posts in this debate.
    Go Navy!  John Howland
From: BlackfinSS322@aol.com
Date: Mon May 2, 2005  9:14 am
Subject: A Case for MORE Regional Trustees

USNA At Large,
  One of the countless advantages of spending Four Years by the Bay was the fact that we were exposed to just about every sport in the book.
  I learned both athletic and life lessons from every one of them.
  Take wrestling for example -- one of the dynamics of a successful wrestler is the ability to pull off "reversals."
  In essence, that's when your opponent is thinking that he has you just where he wants you and is about to go for the pin, you use his own force/pressure to effect a reversal and the next thing your opponent knows -- he's the one being pinned.
  The Alumni outside of the Yard have a reversal opportunity here.
  The Powers inside Alumni House think that it would be a really swell idea to eliminate Regional Trustees altogether.
  I don't have a clue why they think that would be a good idea.  No one connected with the management or the BOT has released any sort of analysis of the dynamics within the BOT.  A small detail.  In the real world, one wouldn't be floating major reorganization balloons w/o some sort of supporting rationale.  But, I quibble.
  In the message I put out a few days ago, reprinted below, I said "
the direction that the BOT should be going in is precisely the opposite direction -- MORE Regional Trustees!"
  So, for purposes of furthering the discussion, let's assume that we have agreement with the Powers that 
"increase Alumni voting participation" is a valid goal for any restructuring of the BOT.
  Right off the bat, w/o further discussion being necessary, that points in the direction of MORE Regional Trustees.
  No other class of Trustee is subjected to a DIRECT vote of Alumni!  Chapter Trustees are typically chosen via all sorts of mechanisms, the most common being some sort of loyal effort being expended over some period of time for the Chapter in question.  Laudable, but not really directly subject to any sort of significant vote of Alumni.
  The Class Trustees come from the Class Presidents' ranks.  And, Class Presidents are chosen for all sorts of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the concerns of the national Alumni Association.
  So, now that we have established that Regional Trustees best move the ball down the field to the goal of more voter involvement among Alumni, then the question becomes how many Regional Trustees is optimal?
  * Zero?  Nope, already demonstrated that number doesn't work.
  * Twenty three?  Naah!  Probably too much of a good thing.  Certainly there is always a legitimate concern re how big is too big for any governing board.  Besides this is a case for MORE Regional Trustees; not necessarily a case for eliminating either Chapter or Class Trustees.  A thorough discussion of those two categories might be a useful exercise for an in-depth analysis -- matter of fact, that might be an excellent chore for the existing Governance Committee to take on.
  * Four?  The existing number.  Four in this organizational context is a betwixt and between number.  It's not enough to make an obvious difference, but it is just enough, for those who don't think all this through, to easily throw brickbats at the Regional Trustee category.
  * Sixteen?  The current four could be bumped up by eliminating Chapter Trustees.  We're getting close to the right number.  Dramatically reducing the geographic territories of Regional Trustee representation will drive the Regional Trustees to being more closely tied to the major Chapters in their territory.  BUT, THEY WILL STILL NOT BE DIRECTLY TIED TO THOSE MAJOR CHAPTERS AND WILL BE REQUIRED TO PAY ATTN TO THE SMALLER CHAPTERS IN THEIR REGIONS.  This point is the key to the success of the expanded Regional Trustee concept.  It has all sorts of beneficial dynamics associated with it.
  I'll stop, for the time being, at this point.
  Hopefully, the Governance Committee will roll up their sleeves and take advantage of this opportunity to do some really serious analysis of the concept of MORE Regional Trustees.
    Live for Life, John Howland
PS A small correction.  In earlier posts, I guessed that the Read Ahead material provided to the Trustees re the proposed restructure of the BOT had been vetted by the Executive Committee.  Apparently not.  In fact, it is not clear that it was vetted by the full Governance Committee.  Stay tuned.  JH

Subj: Re: [USNA-At-Large] Just Released - Proposed Change to BOT Composition 
Date: 4/26/05 6:58:14 PM Central Daylight Time

USNA At Large,
  As I reread the very brief "Read Ahead" that Trustee Wass sent along, I have a whole variety of reactions.
  o First, appreciation to Trustee Wass for getting this information out.  The vast body of Alumni have every right to see what is being contemplated and why it is being contemplated and to have the ability to advance their two cents into the process.  I am very hopeful that there is no one on the Governance Level who would dispute that premise.
  o Of necessity, the Central Region Trustee needed to be brief in his initial communique.  I'm wondering if there is more to the proposal.  IMHO, this is a crucial decision that may be taken by the BOT.  Accordingly, it is deserving of a pretty thorough vetting.  Certainly, that should come from Alumni as well as Trustees.  However, the Executive Committee must have already had some elaborative discussions leading up to their advancing these proposals.  Those discussions and the attendant pros and cons should be shared.
  o The "stated objective" set forth by the Executive Committee advances three components.  Of the three, the only one that has any serious merit on its own is "increase Alumni voting participation."  I'm from Missouri on the other two -- that would be the "Show Me!" state.
  o As for "increase Alumni voting participation," I don't see much of anything that moves the ball toward that goal.  Indeed, I see components of the proposal that will drive voting from minimal to zero.
  o Indeed the guts of the proposal are the complete elimination of the current four Regional Trustees and two of the Chapter Trustees all six of them to be replaced by six AT LARGE Trustees.
  o Now, a sage might opine the publisher of USNA At Large ought to be in favor of At Large Trustees.  Amusing, but nothing could be further from the truth.  A truism in free society dynamics is that an official who is responsible to everyone is accountable to no one.  The sole exception being, of course, the #1 job in a free society -- in our case, the Chairman of the Alumni Assoc.
  o The BOT backed away from At Large Trustees a long time ago and rightfully so.  In a less challenged era, they were a generally useless role reserved for "name" alumni, but not expected to really do anything, but the penalty for the At Large luxury in those days was minimal.  Those are bygone days.  The Alumni Association needs, for a whole bunch of reasons, to gear up for dramatically more challenging todays and tomorrows.  The At Large Trustee mechanism is a nonstarter.
  o Matter of fact, the direction that the BOT should be going in is precisely the opposite direction -- MORE Regional Trustees!  I can elaborate on that dynamic and may do so in coming days.  (But, sure would like to see what discussions have already taken place within the Executive or Governance Committees.)
  o Dropping the Immediate Past Chair and the two BOT appointed positions is entirely appropriate. 
  o But, would also drop the voting powers of the President/CEO.  He is a hired hand.  His counsel should obviously be sought, but the BOT is his boss and he should not be placed in the conflict of interest situation that now exists.
  That concludes a few preliminary thoughts.
  The Powers have put the structure of the BOT into play.  Alumni have available to them a rare opportunity to take advantage of this situation to effect the kind of restructuring that will position the BOT appropriately for the challenges ahead.  Don't miss this opportunity -- make your views known.
    Live for Life, John Howland

In a message dated 4/26/05 5:05:51 PM Central Daylight Time, BlackfinSS322@aol.com writes:

USNA At Large,
  I am turning around the communique from the Central Region Trustee immediately in the interests of getting the word around nationally asap.
  I have some very definite views that I will put out shortly.
  But, in any event, strongly recommend that those among the At Large who have some views on this proposal get them to your Trustee(s) soonest.  Please copy me for further promulgation to all of the At Large.
  The red highlighting is mine.
    Live for Life, John Howland


U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association
Central Region Trustee
Leonard R. Wass, CAPT (Ret.)

USNA Class of 1964

Subj: Proposed Change to BOT Composition

Refer to: Central Region Letter 10-05; April 26, 2005


 The “Read Ahead” has just been issued to the Board of Trustees (BOT) prior to next week’s BOT meeting (May 6).  In it the Governance Committee is proposing a potential change to the current composition of the BOT for discussion next week, and a vote in December.  I would like the views of Central Region alumni prior to the May 6 meeting to help me determine how best to proceed.  I will summarize the proposal below.


In December 1998 the BOT approved the comprehensive report and recommendations of a 14 person Governance Study Group to implement a new BOT composition. All At-Large Trustees were eliminated from the new BOT, and the new structure was implemented over several years—being fully implemented by May 2003.  The new structure had 29 Trustees, made up of: Chair; Vice Chair; immediate past Chair; President/CEO; 4 Regional Trustees (new); 12 Chapter Trustees; 7 Class Trustees (new); and 2 Board selected Trustees (new, but optional to implement).


As of the December 2004 BOT meeting the Chair and Governance Committee Chair reported that no change need be made to the composition of the BOT.  Subsequently, over the last few months, a “strawman” to change the BOT composition was raised by the Chair to the Governance Committee.  The stated objective was to balance Class and Chapter Trustees, reduce the BOT size, and increase Alumni voting participation.  The Governance Committee is mixed in its views on the “strawman”.  In fact, an ad hoc group of the Governance Committee tasked to study the “strawman” recommended against it and recommended no change be made to the BOT composition for three years.  The Governance Committee proposal in the Read Ahead said it “accepts it as a solid basis for continuing discussion and recommends that it be given broad distribution among alumni groups.”


The “strawman” proposal before the BOT now would reduce the BOT (by 4) to 25 Trustees by: a.) Eliminating all 4 Regional Trustees, 4 of 12 Chapter Trustees, 2 Board selected Trustees, and the immediate past Chair; and, b.) Adding 6 “elected At-Large” Trustees and 1 Class Trustee.  The Chair, Vice Chair, and President/CEO would remain unchanged.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Western Region Trustee Reports re Strawman

USNA-At-Large, this post speaks for itself, Go Navy!  John Howland
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 12:09 AM
Subject: USNA Alumni Association Board of Trustees Reorganization



      The USNA Alumni Association Board of Trustees will hold its fall meeting on 1 December 2005.  Among the agenda is a vote to reorganize the Board as follows:


     The proposal before the BOT would reduce the BOT (by 4) to 25 Trustees by: a.) Eliminating all 4 Region Trustees, 4 of 12 Chapter Trustees, 2 Board selected Trustees, and the immediate past Chair; and, b.) Adding 6 “elected At-Large” Trustees and 1 Class Trustee.  The Chair, Vice Chair, and President/CEO would remain unchanged.


      My intent is to vote against the reorganization because it eliminates the Region Trustees and adds the At-Large Trustees.  My objection is that the elimination of the trustees divided by regions across the US will eventually end up with the majority of trustees representing the group of alumni that reside on the eastern seaboard.  I support increasing the number of Region Trustees to better represent our alumni.


      If you have a strong opinion one way or the other, please send me an email.  I have waited this late to address the proposal with you in order to ensure that the proposal was officially part of the agenda.


      BEAT ARMY!


      Bob Stevenson '60

      Western Region Trustee


Sunday, November 27, 2005

President Bush Visit on Wed

  Here's more detail received subsequent to the Seattle Times and Los Angeles Times report that we just put out.
  This was just put out by the Administration in the Yard.
    Go Navy!  John Howland
Staff, Faculty, Residents, Midshipmen and Friends of the Naval Academy,


   We are honored that President George W. Bush plans to address the Brigade

in Alumni Hall at 9:50 a.m on Wednesday, 30 Nov.  The President's remarks

are expected to address the War on Terrorism and be televised live on the

major news networks.  This is a great opportunity to host our

Commander-in-Chief and to showcase the Naval Academy to the nation and the



   Available seating and security constraints will limit the number of

attendees in Alumni Hall to the Brigade of Midshipmen and invited guests.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and our desire is to provide as

many seats as possible, given the space limitations of the venue.  However,

the event will not be open to the general public.  For those not able to

attend the event, we are working to simulcast the event over NADN TV.  More

detailed information will be provided on the availability of seats for

faculty and staff early in the week.


  For those attending, the uniform is Service Dress Blue and Service

Equivalent for military personnel and appropriate civilian attire for

faculty and staff.  All guests will need to be seated by 9am; plan to arrive

at least 45 minutes early in order to make it through the security screening

area and into your seats.  Only still cameras will be allowed in the venue.


  The Brigade will have a modified academic schedule on Wednesday, 30 Nov.

The schedule will be promulgated on Monday, 28 Nov.  The Superintendent also

intends to address the Brigade in Alumni Hall once the President departs the

Naval Academy.


  For everyone (DoD/USNA vehicles) on the Yard, heightened security that

morning will subject our gates, as well as traffic on the Yard in the

vicinity of Alumni Hall, to temporary closures from 8am - 11am.  Also, the

Naval Academy will temporarily be closed to the public (including tour

groups and pedestrians) from 5 am until 1200 pm that day. The Naval Health

Clinic Annapolis will have limited operations during this time.  Naval

Academy military and civilian employees not working in support or attending

the event can request annual leave.  Workload permitting, supervisors are

encouraged to allow the use of unscheduled leave for this purpose.  Please

consult with your supervisor.


  We appreciate everyone's support and planning ahead.   More information

will be provided as additional details are known.



Helen F. Dunn

Capt, USN

Deputy Superintendent/Chief of Staff

Saturday, November 26, 2005

BOT Strawman: Class Presidents Being Deployed

  The Alumni Association continues to be flushed out of their foxhole.
  Now, just five days away from the December 1 BOT meeting, we have the Class Presidents sallying forth to do battle.  Here is an example.
  Guess I've got to get picky again (sigh!):
  1.  This Class Prez says, "The purpose of the change is to open the trustee selection process to the entire membership of the Association"  Not quite true.  The Strawman gives EVERY alum the chance to vote for six out of twenty-five Trustees.  Add the Chairman and Vice Chairman to get eight Trustees subject to direct election.  That says that two-thirds of the Trustees continue to be selected via some form of "old boy" network.  Whoop de do.
  2.  (BTW, this missive was probably drafted in Alumni House for the use of the Class Presidents -- an important factor to keep in mind as you assess this missive and others like it.)
  3.  The Class Prez goes on to say, "the four regional trustees are each elected only by the members living within their respective regions"  What a crime against humanity that Regional Trustees are elected only by folks in their Regions!  IAW the Strawman, the eight Trustees will be elected by EVERYBODY which means that they will be accountable to NOBODY!  (This is all free society 101 stuff!)
  4.  The Class Prez then parrots the Alumni Association, "The purpose of the change is to ... stimulate more interest and participation in the activities of the Association"  George keeps popping up in this stuff (ORWELL, that is, along with Watt).  Just the opposite will take place.  What pathetic little interest there is now will notch down even more.  The Powers That Be cannot handle even the small spark of life that the Regional Trustee Concept has brought to the BOT.  The Strawman seeks total control of the BOT and the Alumni Association with zero, zip, nada inconvenient Trustees running around.
  5.  And if losing four Regional Trustees is not enough, the Strawman seeks to banish FOUR Chapter Trustees.
  6.  BTW, note that this missive drops the bit from George Watt of a few days ago that all of this has been brought about by the SUCCESS of the Regional Trustee Model!  We burned 'em on that one and that pretense has been popped down the memory hole.
  7.  Then this Class Prez goes on to say, "The recent emphasis on increasing representation of class presidents on the Board of Trustees began in 1998 -- it was in recognition of the increased role that the class leadership was being asked to assume in fundraising and support of the Alumni Association."  He fails to say that that major restructure event (which was based on very legitimate and thorough analysis, as opposed to this slipshod Strawman putsch) also set up the Regional Trustee Concept.  Nowhere in any forum has the Alumni Association set forth any AAR re what succeeded and what failed from the 1998 restructure.  In essence, we have the Class Trustee Concept killing off the Regional Trustee Concept and emasculating the Chapter Trustee Concept.  Small wonder that this Class Prez is in favor of the Strawman.
  8.  Bottom line -- we say again -- the Board of Trustees should take a wave-off on this "Strawman" proposal on December 1, go back to the drawing boards and do a SERIOUS study of governance issues, including the proposal that there be a SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REGIONAL TRUSTEES.
    Go Navy; Beat Army!  John Howland

Make-up of the USNAAA Board of Trustees.  Our class President David xxxxx has asked that I forward his email below regarding an upcoming vote for the make up of the USNAAA Board of Trustees. 

"Dear Classmates,
During the weeks since the last Council of Class Presidents meeting, you may have heard or received emails regarding the upcoming vote at the December 1 Board of Trustees meeting on the proposal to change the composition of the Board of Trustees of the USNA Alumni Association.  The proposal is below.  I urge you to read it and let your Regional and Chapter Trustees know your position.  To help you do that, their email addresses are provided at the end of my email to you.  Plz copy me on your emails so that I may also know your position and can let the President of the Council of Class Presidents know how our class feels about this.

The key element of the proposal is to replace four Regional Trustees and two Board Appointed Trustees with six National Trustees elected by the entire membership of the Association
.  Under the current structure, the four regional trustees are each elected only by the members living within their respective regions and each member has the opportunity to vote only once every three years.  Under the proposal, the six National Trustees will serve staggered three year terms so that two are elected each year.  Thus every member of the Association will have the opportunity to vote for two National Trustees every year.  The purpose of the change is to open the trustee selection process to the entire membership of the Association and to stimulate more interest and participation in the activities of the Association.

A secondary element of the proposal replaces the Past Chair of the Board as a trustee with the Chair of the Council of Class Presidents and phases out four Chapter trustees, thus balancing the number of Class and Chapter Trustees at eight each.

The overall result of the proposal is a Board with eight Class selected trustees, eight Chapter selected trustees and eight National Trustees (including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman) elected by the entire membership of the Association plus the President/CEO of the Association -- resulting in a board of 25 members, a modest reduction from the current 29 members.

The recent emphasis on increasing representation of class presidents on the Board of Trustees began in 1998 -- it was in recognition of the increased role that the class leadership was being asked to assume in fundraising and support of the Alumni Association.  While each of you will make up your own minds regarding this proposal, I have personally supported this initiative as I believe it will end up increasing the participation of our alumni in the voting process and provides an increased opportunity for the Alumni Association to reflect the desires of its members.

I urge each of you to express your position for this proposal to your Regional and Chapter Trustees.  A simple, brief email stating:  "I urge you to [support (not support)] the proposal to change the composition of the Board of Trustees to be voted on at the December 1 meeting," will suffice.

For your benefit, the following is a listing of the Regional and Chapter Trustees:

Eastern Regional Trustee Through Spring 2008
     CAPT William O. Rentz, USN (Ret.) '55

Mid-Atlantic Regional Trustee Through Spring 2006
     RADM John W. Adams, USN (Ret.) '5

Central Regional Trustee Through Spring 2008
     CAPT Leonard R. Wass, USNR (Ret.) '64

Western Regional Trustee Through Spring 2008
     CAPT Robert G. Stevenson, USN (Ret.) '60

Atlanta Chapter Trustee Through Spring 2008
     Mr. Carl P. McCallum '60

Boston Chapter Trustee Through Spring 2008
     Mr. Frederick J. Sheehan, Jr., '78

Greater Washington DC Area Chapter Through Spring 2008
     CDR Edward J. Sullivan, USN (Ret.) '68

Hampton Roads Chapter Through Spring 2008
     CAPT Daniel B. Lear, USNR (Ret.) '68

Knoxville-Oak Ridge Chapter Through Spring 2006
     CDR Arvel J. Popp, USN (Ret.) '62

Los Angeles Chapter Through Spring 2008
     Mr. Joseph W. Koch, Jr. '57

Pensacola Chapter Through Spring 2008
     CAPT Glenn Harold Montgomery, USN (Ret.)


Puget Sound Chapter Through Spring 2008
     CAPT Colin H. Saari, USN (Ret.) '60

San Diego Chapter Through Spring 2008
     CAPT Thomas J. Hammons III, USN (Ret.) '71

Your vote counts -- let your Trustees know your position.
All the best,

Friday, November 25, 2005

Slot Back Whittaker Lost For The Season

eFootball Fans:

I was hoping the lack of news on Karlos Whittaker was good news; however, as
written by the Annapolis Capital, he is lost for the season.

R/Dave Leather '73


Subject: Slot Back Whittaker Lost For The Season (Annapolis Capital)

Football: Slot back Whittaker lost for the season
By BILL WAGNER, Staff Writer

Paul Johnson got a flat tire on his brand new Jaguar en route to the
Army-Navy media luncheon in Philadelphia on Tuesday morning.

Navy's head coach must feel as though his triple-option offense is suffering
similar breakdowns.
Navy officially lost another key offensive playmaker yesterday when team
doctors delivered the news that slot back Karlos Whittaker had sustained a
severe knee injury that will require season-ending surgery.
Whittaker, a plebe from North Chicago, has been one of Navy's most dangerous
weapons - particularly on the outside. The speedy 5-foot-11, 194-pounder has
rushed for 290 yards and set a Navy freshman record with six touchdowns.
"It's a tough loss, but we've got to move on," Johnson said. "I'm
disappointed for Karlos. He's a good football player and was having a fine
first season."
Whittaker was injured after being tackled awkwardly on a short run against
Temple last Saturday. A magnetic resonance imaging examination performed on
Monday showed that Whittaker had torn both the anterior cruciate ligament
and medial collateral ligament in his right knee. That is exactly the same
damage sustained by starting fullback Matt Hall during the Notre Dame game.
Johnson admitted it's tough to lose two key offensive starters in the span
of week, especially with archrival Army next on the schedule.
"Injuries are a part of football. You've got to expect to have some during a
season," he said. "You can't use injuries as an excuse. Every team loses
good players at some point."
Sophomore Adam Ballard filled in for Hall against Temple and performed
admirably, rushing for a career-high 167 yards and a touchdown. Johnson said
someone else will have to step up to replace Whittaker, who did not start
but participated in as many plays per game as any slot back on the team.
"We've got other guys and they're going to have to play," Johnson said.
"We've got plenty of time to get them prepared in practice."
Junior Eddie Martin saw considerable time in Whittaker's absence against
Temple, carrying twice for 11 yards. Johnson said Trey Hines, another junior
who has primarily played fullback this season, could switch back to slot.
Johnson is also considering using a pair of talented plebes in Shun White
and John Forbes, both of whom have played in junior varsity games.
"We've got plenty of options. We'll see who performs well in practice,"
Johnson said.

Published November 24, 2005, The Capital, Annapolis, Md.
Copyright © 2005 The Capital, Annapolis, Md.

Rhodes Prep Not An Accidental Process

  Blue and Gold Officer Katherine Szerdy spotted this one for us.
  An informative article that takes a quick peek at the hidden mechanisms and inner workings of the Rhodes Scholarship process.
  BTW, one factor in the success of our academic results over the past approx. seven or eight years is our Academic Dean Bill Miller.  Bill is Class of '62 and brought a combination of bona fide military experience and significant achievement in civilian academic administration to our academic culture.  (In the interests of full disclosure I'm proud to say that I played a tiny role in helping to bring him aboard.)
  One last comment -- admittedly rough -- you can buy Prof Fleming's tales of academic woe or you can buy four Rhodes Scholars.  There is no such thing as perfection, but I view the Rhodes Scholars as more indicative of where we are academically.
  OK, OK, this is for real the last comment -- there is no conflict between producing Rhodes Scholars among the Brigade and developing core combat leaders.  M/M America want smart, educated people leading their sons and daughters in combat.  A few Rhodes Scholars along the way is just icing on the cake.
    Live for Life, John Howland



Colleges driven to take Rhodes

Academy, other schools prepare assiduously for award process

By Bradley Olson
Sun reporter

November 24, 2005

The U.S. Naval Academy's success in landing seven Rhodes scholarships in the past two years - more than in the previous decade - might have surprised some. But it was not for lack of preparation.

Before this year's four winners and another finalist trekked across the country for final interviews last weekend, they had met once a week for two months to read the classics and discuss current events. They had practiced interviews with faculty to hone their talking points and detail how they would use two years at Oxford to "fight the world's fight."

They had dined and held cocktail-party rehearsals with military bigwigs, including the academy's superintendent, Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, to prepare for cocktail parties that the Rhodes selection committees hold the night before interviews.

The process is not unusual, with some universities prepping candidates from their freshman year for applications for prestigious fellowships. The academy, along with other elite schools, has been doing it for decades.

But the preparations reflect a growing focus at universities on winning Rhodes scholarships to enhance stature. A national association was formed to help smaller schools level the playing field, and several college presidents have added fellowship wins to strategic growth plans aimed squarely at college rankings in the news media.

Academy officials say they haven't changed their approach, and are not sure why the military college has won more Rhodes awards in two years than in the previous eight years, when the academy received four.

"I gave up a long time ago trying to find out what the Rhodes committees are looking for in any particular year," said Thomas Brennan, one of two history professors who shepherd the midshipmen through the process. "There is a sense of sympathy for the armed services right now, a pride in the armed services. I have to guess that played a role."

'Best and brightest'
Nick Allard, the secretary of the Rhodes committee district that includes Maryland and Washington, said post-9/11 fervor might play a role, but he also said he believes the Naval Academy might be attracting better students than the other service academies.

"The Naval Academy is justifiably attracting the best and the brightest," he said. "They're also offering a top-caliber university experience, not just military training, but a vigorous and challenging intellectual experience."

The Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point are perennial favorites for the Rhodes grants and other fellowships that provide a free ride to elite British universities.

Rhodes interviewers and Brennan, who has been involved in the academy's fellowship preparations for almost 15 years, say that's because the cadets and midshipmen are involved in challenging programs that force them to excel in academics, athletics and leadership, as well as commit to five years in public service after college.

The guidelines for the scholarships - set up when the Rhodes Trust was created more than a century ago by British diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes - call for academic excellence, leadership, integrity, physical vigor and commitment to public service. The grants provide for two or three years of study at Oxford, valued at $40,000 a year.

Most universities that regularly land Rhodes scholars, including the Naval Academy, have a thorough internal process to winnow prospective applicants well before the October application deadline. The academy's U.K. Scholarships Committee, made up of about 10 professors, interviews between 40 and 50 midshipmen to come up with a group of 20 who will apply for several highly competitive grants to study in England, including some sponsored by alumni.

Candidates are picked based on grades, seriousness about graduate school and commitment to a military career. This year, several of the 20 dropped out because they lost interest or didn't want to delay deployments to the Middle East.

West Point, which has had six Rhodes scholars since 2001 and 82 overall, has a similar internal application process. At Harvard University, which has had 19 Rhodes scholars since 2001 and 313 overall, applicants are coached by graduate students assigned to their dorms.

Rhodes applicants have to submit eight letters of recommendation with the application, along with a 1,000-word essay about their career goals - an essay often polished by applicants and faculty mentors.

Allard, the Maryland Rhodes committee member, said the Naval Academy has always sent detailed recommendation letters.

"That makes a difference," he said. "Unfortunately, there are some very fine candidates from some very fine institutions that we just don't get enough data about. The Naval Academy is extremely forthright and honest as well. If a candidate has a blemish, we hear about it. Frankly, having a blemish explained often helps a candidate."

The applications go to 16 regions, either where the applicants are from or where their university is located. Regional committees selected about 200 finalists this year from about 900 applicants, and those finalists were invited to interviews last weekend. After the Friday night cocktail party, finalists have 15-minute interviews the next day, and some have follow-up interviews. At about 5:30 p.m., they are brought to the committee and told if they have been chosen or not.

Mock cocktail parties
This year, the application deadline was Oct. 3, but the midshipmen prepared during September and October by poring over Reading Lolita in Tehran, among other books and publications, and discussing certain parts of it with professors, Brennan said. The process, which can sometimes include practice questions, helps Mids prepare to speak confidently about the classics, current events and, most importantly, their futures.

They also have a pizza party as an informal practice and then more formal get-togethers with top academy officials, Brennan said. The mock cocktail parties - which are held at most universities that prepare students for the Rhodes interviews - are frowned upon by Elliot Gerson, American secretary for the Rhodes Trust.

Allard said he didn't think such practices help.

"The committees are very good at peeling the wrapper off the packaged candidates," he said, noting that candidates from several Ivy League institutions - which he declined to name - often seem overly polished. "The candidates who are genuine and real do much better."

Brennan said he tells students that making it to the finals is a major accomplishment, reflective of a great college career and application. After that, because of a wide-open interview process, it's anyone's guess who's going to win. Several fellowship advisers said they have heard of questions as esoteric as "Beethoven or Wagner? Go."

"It's completely out of their hands," he said. "It's almost random, even a crap shoot. What we're talking about is a selection made on the basis of only 15 minutes of interviewing. There's no way a student can control that, prepare for that or have any influence at all. I just tell them to be relaxed and be as genuine as they can."

This year, Rhodes winner Paul J. Angelo, a senior midshipman from Ohio who focuses on Latin American studies at the Naval Academy, received questions about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, President Bush's visit to Argentina this month and U.S. military anti-drug efforts in Colombia, all areas in his specialty.

But senior Midshipman Nicholas M. Schmitz of Bethesda, who is majoring in political science and economics, got questions about whether torture is justified and on the merits of the Iraq war.

Schmitz said the questions were a little more focused than he expected, given his preparation.

Other academy candidates to win were Jacquelyn R. Hanna of Lisbon, N.D., and Ensign William R. Kelly of New York, who graduated in May. Two Potomac residents attending Duke University also were among the 32 winners.

Gerson said the trust discourages universities from using the fellowships to market their academic influence, because the awards are given to individuals based on their accomplishments, not to institutions.

But Schmitz, who turned down another prestigious grant to accept the Rhodes, was happy to praise the academy. Said Schmitz of the school: "Obviously, we must be doing something right."


Copyright © 2005, The Baltimore Sun

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Leftwich Leadership Trophy to Capt. Bronzi

  It's Thanksgiving, here's another item to add to the long list of things to give Thanks for at this special time of the year.
    Semper Fi, John Howland

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Camp Hansen captain awarded Leftwich Trophy for leadership
Officer with 2-4 credits his Marines in accepting award

By David Allen, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Thursday, November 24, 2005

Courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael W. Hagee, right, presents Capt. Christopher J. Bronzi the Leftwich Trophy for Outstanding Leadership.

Courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps
Capt. Christopher J. Bronzi, center, then-commanding officer of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, speaks with Lt. Col. Paul J. Kennedy, left, battalion commanding officer, as Cpl. Matthew H. Hernandez provides security during a zone-clearing operation in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Capt. Christopher J. Bronzi says he’s not saying “aw, shucks” about receiving the Marine Corps’ Leftwich Trophy — given annually to a captain who shows outstanding leadership.

“It really did have a lot to do with the outstanding young Marines I had under me,” he said Monday in a telephone interview from his Camp Hansen office, where he now serves as battalion operations officer for the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment.

“This award is a reflection on them, too,” he said. “More than anything, this award is a testament to the quality of the young Marines we have doing a tough job in Iraq.”

The Leftwich Trophy is awarded annually to a Marine captain in the ground combat arms field. It is named for Lt. Col. William G. Leftwich, a recipient of the Navy Cross and the Silver Star who was killed in action in South Vietnam in November 1970.

Bronzi, 32, was commanding officer of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, during a seven-month deployment in Iraq. From February to September of 2004, the company conducted operations in the city of Ar Ramadi.

“We were in the Sunni Triangle,” Bronzi, of Poughquag, N.Y., said. “It was the most violence-prone province in Iraq. We had almost daily contact of some sort with the insurgents.”

He said his men “always gave better than they got.”

“We learned we had to fight and win with what we were carrying on our backs,” Bronzi said. “We couldn’t always depend on calling for backup.

“The young men I commanded were very tenacious, relentless. They had a tremendous fighting spirit. I was very impressed with them.

“I knew going in they’d be good — they’re Marines. But I had to marvel at how resilient they were. I was in awe at what these young guys did.”

While Bronzi credits his Marines for the “humbling” honor he received, his Marines throw it right back at him.

“Captain Bronzi’s number-one priority has always been his Marines,” said Gunnery Sgt. Winston Jaugan, according to a Marine press release.

Jaugan, who served with Bronzi in Iraq as the company gunnery sergeant, said Bronzi’s leadership inspired the Marines under his command.

“He is the best company commander I’ve ever served with,” Jaugan said. “I would love to serve in combat with him again. He never hesitates. He never once lost control of his company, even while under heavy fire.”

Bronzi, in his 10th year as a Marine, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He said he’s always wanted to be an infantry officer and credits other officers under whom he’s served with making him the leader he has become.

“Every battalion commanding officer I’ve had has been a great example,” he said.

Bronzi recently returned from the Philippines, where he took part in training with Philippine marines during Amphibious Landing Exercise 2006. He is scheduled to leave Okinawa in a few weeks for Camp Pendleton, Calif., where his wife, Amy, and children are waiting.

© 2003 Stars and Stripes. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Prof Fleming: Call Your Office!

  One of our At Large "Alert Readers" spotted this job opportunity for our Professor Bruce Fleming.
  How provident -- it's an opening in the Warren County CC ENGLISH Dept!
    ;-}  John Howland
PS It's not clear in this article, but Prof Daly is the fellow who apparently suggested that fragging would be a really good idea in Iraq.  JH

Provoked professor leaves WCCC post

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
The Express-Times

The adjunct professor at Warren County Community College who sent a controversial e-mail to a student there resigned on Tuesday, before the board of trustees began an emergency meeting scheduled to address the matter.

"As we prepared for that meeting, we received word from Mr. Daly that he had tendered his resignation from WCCC effective immediately," Board Chairman Ed Smith said. "The board has accepted his resignation."

Some of the 30 people in the room gasped at the news, including student Rebecca Beach, whose invitation to a campus speech by a veteran of the Iraq war provoked an irate response from John Daly, a part-time English professor at the college.

"Professor John Daly is (teaching) in a state institution and acting on behalf of the state, and I believe his comments to me is a restriction on my personal free-speech rights," Beach said.

Beach founded the WCCC chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, a national conservative activist group. In his e-mail reply to Beach's invitation, Daly wrote that he would work to keep the group from "showing their face on a college campus."

Daly did not respond to a call for comment Tuesday.

Board Chairman Ed Smith said he called the trustee meeting to discuss the facts of the incident and "and certain safety concerns that arose as a result thereof."

Smith would not explain what he meant by "safety concerns," or what he meant when he said the board planned to discuss the e-mail "and other facts and circumstances that came to the Board's attention subsequent thereto."

The college has already assigned a faculty member to teach the rest of Daly's classes this fall, President Will Austin said. He pledged to include a tolerance training session at the college's next faculty in-service day, and to consider a broad range of student input in developing the session.

"We will also rededicate ourselves to a review of our current policies and procedures to make certain that we continue to foster an open and collegial learning environment at our institution," Austin said.

A Morris County resident who attended the meeting, retired Air Force Maj. Ted Sienicki, said he had never had any reason to stop by WCCC before learning about Daly's e-mail from military friends in other parts of the country. He congratulated the board for accepting Daly's resignation.

"That's the end of his abuse of authority, and his self-serving abuse of his position," Sienicki said.

One WCCC student, Jamie Lemelledo, spoke during the meeting and asked why the dispute couldn't have remained an internal college matter.

"I think it's wrong what some people did, ruining this man's name," she said. "I don't think the man did anything wrong, I think it's too bad he had to resign."

Beach said she forwarded Daly's e-mail to the national Young America's Foundation because she wanted the American people to know his beliefs.

She said she did that at the same time she brought it to Austin's attention. Things might have turned out differently if the incident hadn't gathered national attention, she said.

"I just wanted his intolerance exposed," Beach said. "I wanted the people of this country to see what he said."

Reporter Sara Leitch can be reached at 908-475-8044 or by e-mail at sleitch@express-times.com.

1/3/à=(( 1/3/à=((

© 2005  The Express Times
© 2005 NJ.com All Rights Reserved

It's Official: San Diego's Poinsettia Bowl Picks CSU

eFootball Fans:

From the Coloradoan - looks like CSU is happy to be going to a bowl game.
Note they beat AFA rather easily earlier this year so they should be a tough
team to beat.

R/Dave Leather '73

Subject: It's Official: San Diego's Poinsettia Bowl Picks CSU (The

It's official: San Diego's Poinsettia Bowl picks CSU
Rams, Midshipmen to play for first time Dec. 22

Colorado State University football coach Sonny Lubick can relax. His Rams
are going bowling after all.

As expected, the Rams on Tuesday got an official invitation to play Navy in
the inaugural Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. It will be CSU's sixth bowl game
in seven years and Lubick's ninth bowl game since arriving in 1993.

"I would have been devastated if we didn't get a bowl bid," Lubick said
Tuesday. "This feels so good, and I'm so happy for our players. It's really
so positive for the entire program and the entire university."

The Rams (6-5, 5-3 Mountain West Conference) put their postseason hopes in
jeopardy by losing back-to-back games to start November. But they got the
sixth win necessary for bowl eligibility Saturday, beating UNLV 31-27, then
took advantage of losses by New Mexico and Brigham Young to finish in a tie
for second place in the MWC.

The Poinsettia Bowl had been considering New Mexico (6-5, 4-4), but cited
CSU's higher finish in the standings and 35-25 win over the Lobos as primary
reasons for inviting the Rams. New Mexico settled for a conditional
invitation to the Fort Worth Bowl.

"When you leave it in someone else's hands, it's always a little risky,"
Lubick said of the bowl selection process. "But when I saw that we were in
second place, I felt we were in pretty good shape."

CSU never has met Navy in football. The Rams and Midshipmen do have a common
opponent - Air Force - and both teams beat the Falcons this season. CSU
knocked off Air Force 41-23, while the Middies beat the Falcons 27-24.

The Rams - particularly 14 seniors - are thrilled to get a chance at a bowl
after missing out last year following a 4-7 season.

"It feels good to be going back to a bowl," senior quarterback Justin
Holland said. "I definitely think we deserve to go. We are a talented team,
and when we come to play we are tough to beat. None of the seniors wanted
the UNLV game to be their last college game."

The bowl gives CSU 11 or 12 more practices and allows time for injured
players to heal. Senior offensive tackle Mike Brisiel, for example, should
be healthy in plenty of time for the game after missing all but a few plays
of the past two games with a reverse hip pointer.

"We've been pasted together with bubble gum for most of the season, so it
will be nice to go into a game pretty healthy," Lubick said. "This time off
should really allow us to strengthen ourselves at safety and on the
offensive line, where we really have been hurting."

The Rams, off this week for Thanksgiving break, will open practice Nov. 30.
Lubick hopes to have seven or eight practices here before the team departs
Dec. 18 for San Diego.

Originally published November 23, 2005
Copyright ©2005 The Fort Collins Coloradoan.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

BOT Leadership Puts Out ISSUE PAPER re Strawman Proposal

USNA At Large,

Now comes George Watt with a last minute effort to put out an "Issue Paper" re the proposed BOT restructuring, aka, the "Strawman" proposal.

One doesn't know just where to begin, but since timeliness is critical here, we'll just set forth some random comments in no particular order of importance.

(Thanks to Malcolm Schantz for passing this along to the At Large.)

1.  We'll start with an "Executive Summary" -- this effort by George and the leadership of the Alumni Association is essentially pathetic in every sense.

2.  Unfortunately, the head of the Greater Washington Chapter terms George's effort as "rumor control."  Malcolm Schantz properly nails that one.  Golly!

3.  Matter of fact, why is this missive coming from the president in the first place?  This has to do with organizing and structuring the Board of Trustees.  Seems such communications should come from the Chairman of the Board of Trustees or perhaps from the Governance Committee.  George ought to be a bystander on subjects like this, not a cheerleader trotted out to bash those of us alumni who have access to the Internet and give a damn.

4.  But, since George is the fellow that has ventured out of the compound, we'll deal with his missive.

5.  He starts off gnashing his teeth -- stating that those that question the "Strawman" proposal are doing so "violently."  How in the world does he come up with a word like that?  Have there been some sort of acts of "violence" at Alumni House?  George needs to be reminded that there are a lot of our alumni, past and present, who know what the word "violence" means.  Trivializing such a word is not becoming of a president of the Alumni Association.

6.  BTW, George never says specifically who in the Internet is utilizing "violent" tactics.  As it happens, I'm not aware of any other Internet entity who has stayed as on top of this developing situation as well as USNA At Large.  You can see much of our coverage going back just the past couple of months at our new blog --
http://USNA-At-Large.blogspot.com/  To be sure, we have covered BOT issues for years.

7.  George then goes on to charge us with using "F.U.D." tactics.  (Have to admit that's a new acronym to me.)  In any event, this charge made me doubt that it was USNA At Large he was referring to since you will see communications on this subject from several current Trustees on the blog, including the CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE.  Gee whiz!

8.  But, not to worry, George then reassures us that it will take 2/3 of the Trustees to pass the "Strawman" proposal.  I guess George is implying that we can carry on as the Strawman proposal will probably not be passed.  As a Trustee for many years in days of yesteryear, I can assure you that getting a 2/3 vote out of the BOT is not a difficult feat, UNLESS WE RABBLE OUTSIDE OF THE WASHINGTON-ANNAPOLIS-BALTIMORE axis let our Trustees know what our views are.

9.  George then complains, "
incomplete information that are being promulgated through the internet"  The fault for "incomplete information" falls 100% squarely in the laps of George, Carl Trost and Roy Snyder.  As an aside, it is always profoundly discouraging to me to find Naval Academy graduates behaving this way.

10. Whew!  This is hard work.  Now on to the second paragraph.  Gadzooks!

11. George proceeds to share, finally, 10 days out from the BOT meeting the "
the only official version" of the Issue Paper.  I suspect that the only reason that this document has been generated in the first place and shared is because we among USNA At Large pressurized the BOT leadership to do a proper job.

12. George then goes on to cite the three benefits of the "Strawman" proposal.  Note that they are not cited in "
the only official version".  Sort of tough to reconcile that logistic -- guess George's three benefits must be "unofficial."

13. George then goes on to do a really good impersonation of George ORWELL, "
We build upon the success of the regional trustee model, now expanding it to six seats of "national trustees""  Here's how to read that Benefit #1 -- The Regional Trustee Model has been very, very successful.  The four Regional Trustees have some sense of responsibility to their constituencies because they were specifically elected by them.  As a result, some of the Regional Trustees have an annoying habit of asking inconvenient questions from time to time.  What would George do?  (Orwell, that is.)  Why, he would declare the Regional Trustee Model to be a success and then toss the Regional Trustees into the memory hole.

14. I don't know about the reader, but I've about had enough of this stuff.  We'll fast forward to the end here.

15. The "Issue Paper" is a sorry excuse for a document purportedly designed to seriously support a massive change to the structure of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association.  One could almost get a sense of the low regard that the Alumni Association seems to have for the vast body of Naval Academy Alumni outside of the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore axis with a pathetic effort like this.

16. Finally, we call again for the Board of Trustees to take a wave-off on this "Strawman" proposal on December 1, go back to the drawing boards and do a SERIOUS study of governance issues, including the proposal that there be a SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REGIONAL TRUSTEES.

  For The American Experiment, John G.B. Howland '64

   So at last, a position paper and official explanation are promulgated,
fewer than two weeks before the vote. It's like pulling teeth getting
info out of our Alumni Association.
   In the absence of straightforward communication from the Association,
rumors will naturally flourish.  Real "rumor control" involves getting the
full story before the membership early in the game.
  I continue to suspect that some at Alumni House hoped to slip this major
change through by quick and dirty vote without arousing undue alumni notice.
Well, mirabile dictu, it appears a few alumni have noticed!
  At this point I suggest that the motion proposing this change be tabled
until the membership has had a chance to study and provide feedback.

Malcolm Schantz '63

Greater Washington DC Chapter President wrote:

Folks - here is a great effort in "rumor control" put together by George that is worth reading.

Dr. Steve Hudock '69
Greater Washington Chapter
US Naval Academy Alumni Association



I saw a note the other day from one of our members suggesting that the vote on the proposed change to the composition of the Board of Trustees is a "done deal". If that is so, then many of us are wasting our time. Unfortunately, there are a few who violently oppose the change as recommended by the standing governance committee. And what is most unfortunate is this group continues to employ F.U.D. tactics (fear, uncertainty & doubt) in order to stir up our alumni and the dues paying members of the Alumni Association. At the end of the day, it requires 2/3 of the voting members of the Board of Trustees to make a change to our bylaws. Thus, it is important that this issue be reviewed factually and thoughtfully. When we vote (and we will vote this up or down at the 1 December meeting), it is my hope our votes will be based on the merits of the proposed change and not on the myths and incomplete information that are being promulgated through the internet.

As you can see in the attached issue paper (and this is the only official version - presented to the members of the BOT through an agreed-to committee process), there are many benefits to the proposed change to the BOT composition model. Simply put, I see three basic and logical reasons for the BOT to accept the nominating committee's (and our Chairman's) proposal:

We build upon the success of the regional trustee model, now expanding it to six seats of "national trustees"
We balance the BOT among class, chapter and "at large" representation, thus moving toward a more effective governing/fiduciary model, and a cohesive and integrated board
We give all of our members a voice in the selection of their "national trustees" (which is the most important in my mind), thus engaging the entire membership in building an effective, representative board
Let me assure you this is not a done deal. I believe that if you, and our other 50,000 dues paying members are made aware of the facts and the benefits, and then we all in turn express our thoughts on the matter to all of the sitting members of the BOT, they will take your input into account and vote for the good of the association.

With Very Best Regards and BEAT ARMY!!!

G.P. Watt

George P. Watt, Jr., President and CEO

U.S. Naval Academy

Alumni Association & Foundation

247 King George Street

Annapolis, MD 21402



USNA Alumni Association

Issue Paper

Issue:  Composition of the Board of Trustees


The planned changes to board composition reduce the size of the board, balance chapter and class representation (which has been an issue of debate) and make the board more accountable to the entire alumni population.


The Chairman has proposed a change in the composition of the Board of Trustees that addresses four key elements: (1) Election of six National Trustees by the entire regular membership of the Association that broadens the support role of current Regional and Board Selected trustees and makes the National Trustees elected by, and accountable to, the entire alumni community; (2) Balanced chapter and class trustee representation on the board; (3) A modest reduction in the size of the Board; and (4) An easy, and highly effective transition methodology. The majority of the standing Governance Committee supports this proposal.

USNA Alumni Association Board of Trustees Composition


12 Chapter Trustees
8 Chapter Trustees 1

  7 Class Trustees
8 Class Trustees 1

  4 Regional Trustees

6 National Trustees 2

  2 Board selected Trustees

  1 Chair
1 Chair

  1 Vice Chair
1 Vice Chair

  1 President/CEO
1 President/CEO

  1 Past Chair
    Delete 3

TOTAL:  29
TOTAL:  25

1  Balances trustees between chapters and classes

2  National trustees to be elected by the total regular membership of the Association

3  The current Chair and the current Past Chair concur with this deletion

·        When implemented, six National Trustees will be created.  With staggered three-year terms for these six seats, the entire regular membership has the opportunity to vote each year to elect two National Trustees. 

·        With two National Trustees to be elected each year, the board-appointed Nominating Committee will have the opportunity to take into account the entire talent, experience and availability of all regular members across the entire geographic, generational, ethnic and gender spectrum. This assures a deep pool of mission oriented, qualified and willing to serve individuals.

·        The Chair of the Council of Class Presidents and seven Decade Representatives selected by the Council will comprise the eight class trustees. These trustees provide appropriate generational representation on the Board of Trustees.

·        An organization of Chapter Presidents will be asked to establish criteria for selecting chapter trustees not only giving consideration to chapter size but also providing the opportunity for smaller chapters to select trustees. The chapter trustees provide appropriate geographic alignment.

·        Each National Trustee will also be asked by the Chairman to be a communicator to a discrete sub-set of the national membership base. Thus, each member of the Association will have no less than four channels of communication with the board:  a class trustee, a chapter trustee, a national trustee and the officers (Chairman, Vice Chairman and President).

·        Finally, and most importantly, this new model will provide the opportunity for the entire membership to engage in the election of trustees each and every year, thus giving the members a voice.