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Town to gown: You will respect our authority

The City Council today ordered the president of Boston University to appear before one of its committees on 4 p.m. on Dec. 2 to discuss the university's workforce diversity.

The council unanimously approved the formal summons after Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury), who is studying diversity in post-secondary education in Boston, said Brown stood him up for a hearing on the issue after having agreed to appear.

Jackson acknowledged Brown did send a letter begging off the 10 a.m. hearing - to which his office had earlier agreed. But, he added, "it is unacceptable to send a letter at 4:45 the day before."

In recent months, councilors have increasingly turned to their subpoena power to compel people to appear before them, although up until this point, the mere threat of a summons was enough, for example, back in June, when Police Commissioner William Evans showed up for a hearing on police horses that he had initially sent a couple of subordinates.

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Comments

It's shakedown time.

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It starts with "oh, we're just interested in the breakdown of where your employees live, submit this little form!" and then turns in to getting subpoenaed when politicians with nothing better to do pretend to be important and try to justify their jobs and increase their salaries. They are leechs on society. They produce nothing and take more and more while claiming the government needs additional revenue to help "those in need" which they instead take to build personal fiefdoms in the system.

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What is with all this, "You dissed me" attitude? Since when is it necessary for city Councillors to "get up in people's faces." I've seen 8th grade girls with more composure than these guys. The BU President had to change plans and suddenly it's this big personal insult. Please!

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I've seen 8th grade girls with more composure than these guys.

That's gold.

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can the City Council have on BU's hiring practices? I think they need to stick to what they can actually have a direct effect on, which is not this.

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Seeing as the Federal Government already has WILDLY strict guidelines as a prerequisite for the huge amounts of money they send to BU and the other schools around town, not much. Seriously, this is at best a duplication of effort.

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Maybe in City Hall, where you bang out at after a paid lunch hour. In the real world, most people either (a) are still in the office at 4:45 or (b) have access to email well after 4:45.

Pathetic.

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So members of the city council have never had to cancel or reschedule a meeting last minute because something unexpected and important came up?

I didn't think so. Maybe they're just jealous.

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Earlier:

City Councilor Stephen Murphy threatens to shackle Anwar Faisal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHbDqvHNZNs

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And as a reminder to why Commissioner Evans did not attend, he was trying to organize a youth summit concerning gun violence. Quoted in the Boston Globe, “I’m trying to prevent kids from getting shot on the streets,’’ Evans said, composing himself. “That was where my priorities were.”

City council continues to shine...

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Because the president of BU has nothing better to do than meet with Tito Jackson to chat about hiring diversity at a private university.

I am a BU grad. I have no great love for my alma mater. However, I think our City Councilors think a little too highly of themselves and have a very inflated sense of self-importance.

I guess now that Tito has managed to elevate himself from "poverty" by voting himself a nice pay increase, he thinks that he and the rest of the council have become demigods. Why do our city councilors even have subpoena power?

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puh leez....being stood up is left waiting without any communication. Not only did President Brown advise Councilor Jackson the time was no longer mutually convenient; he did so the day before. In the real world of corporate America; high level meetings get rescheduled at the last minute all the time.

I would like for President Brown to be otherwise occupied on December 4th. A summons is absolutely ridiculous. A meeting to research diversity in post-secondary education in Boston should not warrant a University President's time or energy.....Mr Jackson sure does have a high opinion of himself.

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I think the thing that makes me the most angry about this is that the City Council has so much potential to be an actual force for change in the community. They don't have much legislative power, but they do have the unique opportunity to call attention to real issues in their districts and long-term problems requiring real, nuanced, long-term solutions.

Instead of issuing subpoenas for busy university presidents who personally "offended" them and looking into forcing private businesses and institutions to hire X-number of Boston residents and Y-number of minorities, they could be looking into our school system. Why is it that so many BPS graduates have fallen behind, aren't graduating, or are underachieving? What can we do at an educational level to see that all students are fully equipped upon graduation to actually obtain jobs in the city or continue on to college?

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/11/15/black-and-lati...

I wish the Council would buckle down and worry about actually FIXING what's broken in the system, rather than just yelling some trigger words at hearings.

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Yes, City Council. Please tell us how BU should do better at diversity. Let's start with Councillors Wu and Pressley...and...well, there are 13 of you so there must be more women than that, right?

But that's the electorate's fault, right? Well, I didn't exactly see any of you stepping down to let a capable woman take your place.

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It's bad enough that Tito is trying to turn this into something that it isn't, but the council approved this UNANIMOUSLY? Really??

Maybe they think that this somehow makes them look like they're earning that big pay raise they want so much. How's that working out?

Earth to city council: the BU president has a real job.

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I wonder how John Silber would have responded.

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I'd buy a ticket to see that.

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As someone who was a freshman at BU when Silber started I was about to post the same thing! When he ran for gov it was the only time in my life I voted republican.

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>it was the only time in my life I voted republican.

It's funny how many times I have heard that in the past month! It's true for me and pretty much everyone I know who was a resident at the time.

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I hope strong candidates run for city council next go round because I am so tired of this bunch. They are embarassing.

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BU has historically paid the most to the city in terms of PILOT programs.

They provide an insane amount of full tuition academic scholarships to BPS grads every year- disclosure: I got one- that make succeeding in college for a kid whose parents have limited means much more likely. And they have several programs targeted to deal with the embarrassing fact that even many of the top performers at BPS are not college ready.

How about this city council not screw future scholarship recipients by demanding "respect" from anyone that declines to move heaven and earth, or perhaps has to deal with something pressing that came up, instead of attending the next joke of a hearing for whatever special project each city councilor decides will get them the most press in their district next election?

If giving all those scholarships and the highest pilot payments doesn't protect BU and it's leadership from this juvenile badgering, why not ditch the programs and get the same treatment?

Shame on Tito, but also on the others who voted unanimously to subpoena.

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Having worked for and attended several, and knowing people who work for them now, here's a pattern I have noticed:

1. person who lives in Boston finds a job at a university
2. the job is a good paying job, and the person starts saving
3. person decides to buy a house; discovers that they can get more of what they want outside the city
4. when people start families, they often move closer to their extended family, and they aren't always still in Boston

Now, plenty of people also move to places like JP, Hyde Park, etc. to buy the more traditional suburban lifestyle because the axis of Big Universities is lined up well with travel to these places. However, I now have two sets of neighbors who work for the universities and a relative who moved out of Boston for housing/schools/family/spouses job proximity reasons as they continued to work at universities in Boston.

The bottom line here is that universities tend to provide solid middle class wages to all the support people that they hire for laboratories and the like. People making good money have options, and those options often lead them to leave the city itself.

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