Monday, February 19, 2007

Designs for prospective Center for Bowling Science unveiled

Old Dominion, NC (WZIP 2/19/07) -- Administration officials unveiled several architectural drawings offering alternative renditions of the projected new state-of-the-art Center for Bowling Sciences today at a brief press conference at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

George Riley, a university public relations spokesperson, speaking on behalf of the administration, said that no expense had been spared in finding the best possible architects to submit bids for the project.

"We're all about academic excellence here," said Riley. "We aim to recruit from the most elite ranks for our program in Bowling Science, and so we intend to do our best to provide the ultimate in academic facilities for these students."

When asked about the fate of the School of Metaphysics, whose program had earlier been described as "growing" and "quite popular," Riley replied that earlier estimates had been based on misinformation.

"We just did not have accurate data at the time of the initial Rudisill donation," said Riley.

The Rudisill family had donated $6.1 million on February 7, 2007 for programs in the LRU School of Metaphysics.

WZIP learned over the weekend that Mrs. Abigail Rudisill is continuing plans to sue LRU for its plans to redirect the funds from the Rudisill family gift for its new program in Bowling Science.

Artist's drawings for LRU's state-of-the-art Center for Bowling Science depict a variety of different plans. One Bauhaus design calls for a structure covering the equivalent of two football fields with multiple levels and a total of 50 bowling lanes.

"We expect any student in the United States -- or the world, for that matter -- to look to our graduate program in Bowling Science," said Dr. Jimmy Holman, Chair of the School of Bowling Science at LRU.

Holman is the recent recipient of the John Jay Rudisill endowed Professorship of Bowling Science at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

LRU redirects $6.1 million for new program in Bowling Science

Old Dominion, NC (WZIP 2/15/07) -- Danny "Jack" Jones, a lawyer representing Lenoir-Rhyne University, said at a press conference today that the University was redirecting the $6.1 million donation given to it last Wednesday (Feb. 7) by the Rudisill family for a new program in Bowling Science.

On February 7th, a spokesman for the Rudisill family had announced that the funds were intended for Lenoir-Rhyne University's School of Metaphysics and a new state-of-the-art Rudisill School of Metaphysics Building. (See Wednesday's press report: "Lenoir-Rhyne scores $6 million for School of Metaphysics")

WZIP subsequently learned that John Jay Rudisill, the multibillionaire donor who made his fortune in the pom-pom manufacturing industry in Old Dominion, had died suddently of a heart attack on Monday, February 12th. His widow, Mrs. Abigail Rudisill, was livid with anger when she learned of Jones' announcement of the redirection of the donated funds at LRU's press conference earlier today.

"The money was specifically donated for the School of Metaphysics," said Mrs. Rudisill. "John Jay would have been terribly upset to hear that LRU would do a thing like that. It's unconsciounable. I've made an appointment with my lawyers and plan to sue."

Jones, the school lawyer, responded by saying the Rudisill's have no legal case, invoking the doctrine of cy pres, which means, he explained, that where circumstances warrent, the "nearest equivalent" of the doner's intention may be carried out.

George Riley, a University public relations spokesperson, explained further: "We fully expect that Mrs. Rudisill will be fully satisfied once she understands the details of the [Bowling Science] program, which is going to be far more popular and meet the needs of many more North Carolinians than a building for the School of Metaphysics ever could have," he said.

Dr. Jimmy Holman, recent recipient of the John Jay Rudisill endowed Professorship of Bowling Science at Lenoir-Rhyne University, was philosophical when we asked him about the event.

"It's humbling to realize that a man of John Jay Rudisill's stature was helped to get where he got in the pom-pom manufacturing industry by studying metaphysics," he said. "But it's even more humbling, as Chair of the School of Bowling Science at Lenoir-Rhyne, to realize that the generosity of such a man will help our students achieve state-of-the-art levels of mastery in Bowling Science."

In a telephone conversation, Lenoir-Rhyne University President, John Wayne Peyton told WZIP: "We think this bodes well for the future of education here at LRU where we put academic excellence first."

Professor Roman J. Rutherford, Chair of the School of Metaphysics could not be reached for comment.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Lenoir-Rhyne scores $6 million for School of Metaphysics

Old Dominion, NC (Reuters International 2/7/07) -- In what is being billed as the largest single donation of Lenoir-Rhyne University's history, Robert and Abigail Rudisill have donated 6.1 million to their alma mater.

"I see it as an investment, since it's an investment in the students and the educational institution and in the community and future of our nature," said Robert Rudisill in a telephone interview.

A family spokesman, Donald Westmoreland, spoke on behalf of the Rudisill family at a press conference held on the LRU campus today, to which municipal, state, and national press and media were invited.

Westmoreland said that of the donated $6.1 million, $750,000 is being set aside for scholarships for metaphysics majors, which will be allocated in the amount of $75,000 per year.

"The remaining $5.35 million will be used to build the Rudisill School of Metaphysics Building," stated Westmoreland. "It will be a state-of-the-art new center for the study of metaphysics and its subsidiary disciplines," he added, "to accommodate LRU's growing number of students in this market-driven major."

When asked what what 'metaphysics' and its subsidiary disciplines are, Westmoreland deferred to the Chair of the School of Metaphysics, Professor Roman J. Rutherford, who stepped to the microphone and offered a definition.

"Metaphysics is the science of the first principles presupposed by every discipline, including the nature of reality itself. Its subsidiary disciplines include the sciences of essence, analogy, categories, substance and accidents, and perinoetic intellection ..." said Rutherford.

He appeared to be ready to discuss the matter further, but was abruptly cut off by a reporter who asked Westmoreland, "Why metaphysics? Couldn't the funds be used to improve faculty salaries?"

Westmoreland, stepping back to the microphone, responded: "The Rudisill family has specifically designated the funds for the School of Metaphysics. Mr. Rudisill himself was a metaphysics major and credits the study of perinoetic intellection with helping him get where he is today in the pom-pom manufacturing industry."

Plans for the new multi-story, state-of-the-art School of Metaphysics building have been commissioned and ground-breaking is scheduled for October of 2007.

Ad hoc committee studies 'sabbatical problem'

Old Dominion, NC -- (WZIP, 2/7/07) After yesterday's salary-cut vote by Lenoir-Rhyne University's Faculty Senate, designed to garner elegibility for Federal Food Stamp subsidies for a majority of faculty members, an ad hoc committee was appointed to study the question of how those on sabbatical would support themselves, undisclosed sources said.

"Any idea that there is a problem here is simply silly," stated George Riley, a University public relations spokesperson, when queried. "There is no problem. Faculty receive full salary and benefits during their sabbaticals. We're a caring community here. Everyone is treated like 'family'."

Two faculty representatives from the ad hoc committee countered, however, that full-pay for many is "barely above the welfare level," and that most faculty have to "supplement their income by bagging groceries at local grocers or by moonlighting at local gas stations."

Riley denied any knowledge of such cases among the faculty. However, he conceded that "some faculty may occasionally teach overload courses when there is a need." Nevertheless, he firmly denied the existence of any significant problem.

Meanwhile, an investigative reporter for WZIP, Scott Johnson, interviewed LRU Professor Philbert Edgerton, a professor of Palethnology currently on sabbatical. Johnson met Prof. Edgerton in classrooom at LRU just after one of his classes had concluded.

"If you're on sabbatical, why are you teaching," asked Johnson. "Because I have to put bread on the table during my sabbatical, and I cannot support myself and my family without supplementing my salary," Edgerton said.

"You mean, you have to work during your sabbatical?"

"Yes. However, I have to teach only four courses per semester during my sabbatical, as opposed to ten, which is considerable relief" he replied.

"Ten courses per semester?"

"Yeah, well, only four of those are part of my official load. The other six courses are overloads, to make ends meet," said Edgerton.

At least one member of the Board of Trustees is rumored to have suggested what he called "creative financing." When pressed for a definition, he is said to have offered an example instead. "He suggested, 'off the record', that faculty could resign their positions and go on the federal 'dole' during their sabbaticals, with the understanding that they could be rehired when their sabbatical was completed," an undisclosed source said.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Lenoir-Rhyne faculty senate votes unanimous salary decrease

Old Dominion, NC -- (Reuters, 2/7/07) Lenoir-Rhyne University's Faculty Senate overwhelmingly voted a salary decrease for itself today after the school's Finance Committee submitted a plan that would help the administration's alleged cash flow problems and simultaneously increase benefits for faculty by offering elegibility for Federal Food Stamp subsidies.

"Everybody seemed pretty happy with the plan all around," said a smiling Pedro Greenspan, the University Vice President of Finance and Planning. The Finance Committee reportedly discovered, after some calculating, that by lowering faculty salaries only marginally, they would enable a large majority of faculty families to take advantage of sizeable off-sets in the form of Federal Food Stamp subsidies.

"We'll actually come out way ahead by getting Food Stamps compared to those 'nickle-and-dime' half-percent annual salary increases we usually get," said a faculty member who asked not to be identified.

Undisclosed sources tell the LR Onion that 75-80 percent of LR faculty will be eligible for Federal Food Stamps with the anticipated salary cuts.

Lenoir-Rhyne University President, John Wayne Peyton, could not be reached for comment. His office manager was seen smiling broadly, however, after office hours this afternoon.

"Things are looking up for the future of the University," said Greenspan.