Vol. 11, No. 2 April 21, 1998
Ever since Richard Boris, an obscure Assistant Professor of Political Science from York College (not from those well known and reputable institutions such as Brooklyn, Hunter, Baruch, or City ) joined the PSC leadership as its Vice President, the central PSC has not been the same again. His appointment as Vice President, handpicked by President Irwin Polishook upon the retirement of Prof. Howard Jones, a likable and hardworking former Vice President, sent shockwaves in the central PSC's Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee and others close to Polishook could not believe that Polishook did not consult with them prior to offering the second most important position in the union to Boris whose only fame, if one could call it fame, was to take a leading role in ousting the former President of York College. York's administration was plagued with accusations of financial irregularities and mismanagement. Aside from that, Boris had contributed zero to the central PSC. His ability of collegiality was unknown; his scholarly publications were skimpy, to say the least; and no one, including Polishook, knew how Boris will perform as a second man in charge of one of the largest unions in higher education. While some detected that Boris had a chip on the shoulder and was a little pompous, others noted his preferences and tastes for classy restaurants in the Big Apple. No one, however, could gauge Boris's temperament or leadership qualities. Everyone, except Polishook, thought they could find someone better than Boris. Why then Polishook gave this position to Boris? The only explanation we can surmise is, perhaps, Polishook thought that it was better to get someone new and inexperienced like Boris, than get someone experienced and competent who may be difficult to control. After all, Polishook is a mild-mannered man. He had to be careful whom he selected as his right-hand man.
Some members of the Executive Committee were arguing that Polishook should select a woman for this job. After all, there had been several women who had served in the PSC Executive Committee and as Chapter Chairs over the years; and that this provided a good opportunity for Polishook to recognize and honor the reality that women comprised a significant number in the union's membership. In addition, there was increasing number of issues affecting women that the Union had to deal with. More compelling, however, was the fact that the two individuals who had served as vice presidents during Polishook's long tenure of more than fifteen years had both been men. Many forward-looking members of the Executive Committee felt that the selection of a woman for this position was long overdue.
Polishook forgot that the Union was founded by Belle Zeller, a woman of incredible foresight, energy, vision, and above all, integrity. She would have been thrilled to see that Polishook gave an opportunity to a woman. What was astonishing was that, according to our sources, there were at least two, if not more, competent women who thought that one of them would be approached and selected. But, NO. Polishook was mesmerized by Boris's "charisma," and made the decision, which we believe, has now presented Polishook with a quandary, a quandary of what to do with Richard Boris. He has, we believe, come to regret his decision, and feels that he should have heeded to the advice of the members of the Executive Committee and his close friends. Is it too late to correct the situation? We do not think so.
CONTINUED: Look for our coming attractions in the forthcoming issues "Polishook Repents," followed by "Are You Off to Paris Again, Richard?"
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