|Image from the installation (courtesy of the artist).|
Although President Papp's record indicates that he is an accomplished scholar of international relations and a very capable university administrator, it does not indicate why he would be particularly qualified to curate an art exhibit, even at his "own" museum. And this may in fact be the crux of the matter, that is that Papp somehow sees the Zuckerman as his own museum, and not as a public trust that he happens to oversee. The job of curating this important exhibit had been assigned to Teresa Reeves and Kirstie Tepper, who had themselves solicited Ruth's participation in the inaugural exhibit.
Ruth, as is her nature, is taking this turn of events very graciously. I imagine her good will has a lot to do with her concerns for the curators who have worked hard to assemble the exhibit and to her fellow artists whose work is included in it. Oddly, it is this kind of respect the curators that was absent in Dr. Papp's ham-handed decision.
Sadly, when all is said and done, I think that KSU will be the ultimate victim of this affair.
Kennesaw State University, though, in spite of struggling quite successfully under President Papp's leadership for the last eight years to establish itself as a first-rank center for learning and research, will now still be seen by many as a cultural backwater with a Philistine at its helm. Sometimes the hallmark of true leadership is knowing one's own limitations.
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