Greed, deception at heart of NCSU mess

Published 1:13 pm Saturday, June 13, 2009

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”

That age-old quotation accurately describes the tangled web of deception that took place at NC State University in regards to the hiring of former North Carolina First Lady Mary Easley.

Not only has Mrs. Easley lost that job, but the fiasco has led to the resignations of NCSU Chancellor James Oblinger, Provost Larry Nielsen and Board of Trustees Chairman McQueen Campbell.

In their collective wake, North Carolina’s largest public university is left with mud on its face. That is unacceptable to the millions of alumni, supporters and athletic fans of this proud university.

And who do they have to thank for this uninvited mess? That dubious distinction belongs to former Governor Mike Easley. It’s not like Mike needed another issue to deal with. A Federal Grand Jury is already looking into his alleged involvement with private aircraft transportation while on the job, driving a free vehicle and a questionable land deal along North Carolina’s coast.

It appears the former Governor wanted his wife to score a job at NC State, where no such position existed in the first place. Allegedly using his buddy, Campbell, Mr. Easley was able to secure his wife a job, complete with an annual $170,000 salary.

Along the way, Nielsen, NCSU’s highest-ranking academic officer, and then Oblinger got caught-up in what can best be described as a seedy chain of events. Whether or not they were duped along the way or were willing riders onboard Easley’s out of control bandwagon does not matter. What does matter is the reputation of NC State University, now tarnished by the hands of greed and deception.