My Tenure Biennium a Memoir

Wayne C Bell

A provincial board of regents is unable to oust a transformational president in a controversy that drew in the state government on two occasions - first the judicial branch and then the governor. In the eighteen months between those interventions, a shroud of fear and uncertainty hung over the campus as the various players scrambled to retain or gain position or legacy. In that setting there unfolded a tenure tale like no other, complete with Machiavellian maneuvers on all four administrative levels. The case was that of Wayne Bell who, since he had received an early promotion the previous year, expected that his tenure decision would be routine and positive. Instead, he found himself cast in the role of a pawn in that tangle of administrative conflicts. This is the true story of that tenure case, Bells struggle to understand what was happening, the support that he received from surprising sources, and the curious nature of the role that he was to play in the events. Prior to the Curris Conflict in 1981, Murray State University had been proceeding on a well trodden path from normal school, to college, to regional university. (See Ken Wolfs review below.) Excerpts from readers comments may be found on the covers.