August 04, 2020

Hutchinson: Media should emulate university’s candor

CARRABASSETT VALLEY — University of Maine President Frederick Hutchinson said Friday the news media should emulate the candor with which the university responded to NCAA compliance errors.

Hutchinson told the Maine Press Association’s fall conference that the university’s willingness to publicly discuss its own problems is rarely seen among other public and private institutions.

“We’re as accountable to the public as any entity you’ll find,” Hutchinson said. “That speaks well for us but not so well for others. It’s sad to say, but the willingness to be held accountable is not as widely held as it should be.”

The university president asked reporters and editors to compare his handling of controversy with that of their own organizations.

“In today’s society, how often does a major institution publicly — and proactively — admit its mistakes?

“Furthermore, let me ask you this: How many of you work for a company that publicly reveals its inner workings, its personality clashes, its mistakes and its weaknesses?”

Hutchinson said he hopes history judges the university on the manner in which it responded to the athletics compliance problems rather than on the violations themselves.

“Because the university understands its responsibility to be accountable, we go to extraordinary lengths to talk publicly about our accomplishments and our setbacks,” he said.

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