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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Whitworth’s new leader ready, waiting

What a shocker in Wednesday’s paper: Bill Robinson announced that this will be his last school year as president of Whitworth University.

Anxious university board members are no doubt trying to figure out their next move.

But I’d like them to calm down. And don’t do anything rash, like starting some frantic and costly search for a Robinson replacement.

Look, I don’t want to toot my own tuba. But the heir to the Whitworth presidency can be found in downtown Spokane at Riverside and Monroe.

No, not that crazy religious guy who yells Bible verses in front of the Federal Building.

I’m talking about yours truly, up here on The Spokesman-Review’s fourth floor.

That’s right. I will happily accept the job. That’s pending agreement, of course, on a high-six-figure salary plus Clark-approved perks such as luxury cars, a resort condo and a staff of head-bowing sycophants.

Far be it from me to ever bad-mouth anyone. I’d rather just let Robinson’s dismal 17-year record speak for itself.

Under the Robinson regime:

•Whitworth never had any drunken riots with burning Dumpsters.

•Whitworth never made the Playboy Magazine Top 10 list of national collegiate party schools.

•Whitworth never experienced a flurry of tipsy students falling out of windows.

•Whitworth was never the focus of an embarrassing athletic scandal involving hallucinogenic mushrooms.

•Whitworth never established a springtime campus tradition for beer-soaked fraternity blowouts.

With all due respect to Mr. Robinson, I believe he was completely out of step with what the word “higher” really means in the American system of higher education.

But the past is past. With me at the helm, Whitworth will get a president who can lead the university back across that bridge to the 20th century.

True, my collegiate experience is based mostly on going to Eastern to avoid the draft.

But I think my colleagues here at the paper will agree that I have a doctoral degree when it comes to not letting work get in the way of a good time.

True, there are some stylistic differences between Robinson and myself.

For example:

•President Robinson knows students by name. Students will be calling President Clark names.

•President Robinson oversaw significant upgrades to the campus. President Clark will oversee significant upgrades to his lifestyle.

•As president, Robinson guided Whitworth to record enrollment and an endowment of nearly $75 million. As president, Clark will definitely try to grab a piece of that endowment action.

•President Robinson is a man of unquestionable faith and moral character. President Clark has a ministerial license that he got free off the Internet.

All right, Whitworth. I’ll be waiting by the phone. Let me know when I can take over so I can tell my editors to stuff it.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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