Quote of the Day

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hit a Nerve?

Lo and behold, since my post yesterday Shanon Brooks has been removed from the list of Board Members on the GWU website. Clearly, the GWU leadership is reading this blog. Mr. Groft, I invite you to comment here using your real name.

Granted, I do remember reading the newest The Statesman newsletter, in which Mr. Groft--besides telling about the first time Oliver DeMille made him cry--mentioned that Shanon Brooks had resigned from the board for family reasons.

To be clear, I'm not saying he's off the board because of that blog post; I'm saying GWU modified the website because of the posting.

(Now that I look again, there is no mention of Brooks citing family reasons for leaving--Groft must have made some edits to the newsletter.)

Groft does make crystal clear for us that Brooks founded his for-profit seminar business while he was on the board of the George Wythe Foundation (which does business as GWU):

"Shanon recently resigned from the George Wythe Foundation Board of Trustees after nearly two decades of tireless work and unbelievable personal sacrifice by him...and his family. ...Shanon will now be able to devote his attention to growing another institution that has promoted leadership education for so many years. Face to Face with Greatness, which Shanon founded while at GWU, has presented literally hundreds of seminars throughout North America, spreading the message of education and liberty to thousands (www.facetofacewithgreatness.com)." (emphasis added)


Anonymous said...

I am really getting tired of GWU constantly misrepresenting themselves until someone calls them on it. Is that a Statesman skill?

J.L.L said...

I must say that I have been impressed with the effect that this blog has had on that school. Several times has GWC done something in response to the things you post. Kudos.

But regarding this topic...

It's like they're all playing make believe. Oh I'm a great orator...I'm a great statesman! I am such a leader!

And then someone calls them on it and the scurry to cover things up. It's like catching your kid eating ice cream out of the container.

Talk about a quick way to lose trust. Oh well. Trust isn't important. Just read a few other "classics" to compensate!

J.L.L said...

google cache shows brooks...

J.L.L said...

...and his profile page that use to be link to on that page is still at:


James F. said...

Oh yes, it always has to be the most sinister possibility. Any chance they just forgot to update their site? How do they benefit from lying about Brooks still being on the board?

On the one hand you say that it a conflict of interest for him to be on the board and be running his own for-profit. And then you find out he isn't on the board any more and all of the sudden its some big cover-up.

I am sincerely interested in the truth, but hey folks, I have yet to see evidence of foul-play.

R.C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Real George Wythe said...

James -

I don't think GWU was hiding the conflict. Honestly, I think they're unsophisticated enough to not have even RECOGNIZED there was a conflict to hide or not to hide. They seem to have been very open about Brooks having this business.

As far as the second issue--whether the conflict resulted in a fiduciary breach--like I said before I do not know. But the whole thing doesn't LOOK good. Because I don't have the minutes of the board meetings, I just can't comment any more on it beyond saying it has the appearance of impropriety.

James F. said...

RGW, I give you that. You have pointed out how it looks bad. Until the facts are in that prove otherwise I still give them the benefit of the doubt. Oh...and the facts that aren't in are some pretty big important ones.

R.C. How are you so sure of the identity of Publius? From GWU is a safe bet. 90% sure of their identity? Do tell. The irony of their criticism does not pass beyond me.

R.C. said...

Sorry James F. I can't tell. If I was 100% sure, I would

Anonymous said...

I don't seem to see the same connection you're imagining. The school newsletter came out mentioning a resignation and they updated their website to reflect it. Comparing the current list of trustees with the link that J.L.L posted, two board members have been removed and a new one was added. I don't see how those are connected with your blog. You are really stretching it to assume that the school leadership jumps when you post. If that was the case, they would have cleaned up a lot more junk :)

R.C. said...

Um, Anonymous, why was it within a day of TRGW's post that the change was made to the boards when Brooks resigned a few months ago? Why was it within a day or two that the Justice Goodloe quote changed?

James F. said...

Sorry R.C., but the Goodloe quote is a moot point. The quote was changed after I emailed GWU about it asking for an explanation. Though you can still make the case that because I read about it on the blog and then contacted them that it was "the blog" that changed the quote, it still shows that GWU didn't respond directly to the blog.

This is still all under the assumption that continuing to list Brooks on the board was some sort of cover-up. How about the more likely explanation that they just hadn't gotten around to updating the website?

Perhaps this blog is what offered the reminder that it needed to be updated. But I think you're exaggerating if you think you've corrected some great cover-up at GWU.

"Clearly, the GWU leadership is reading this blog. Mr. Groft, I invite you to comment here using your real name." <-- I think this comes across as a little desperate. Like a blogger in search of validation. But maybe if you give him the proper respect of "Dr. Groft" he'll do as you requested and comment. Okay, still not very likely, but I'd think it would up your chances. :)

Anonymous said...

R.C. this is what James F. posted about the Justice Goodloe quote...

"Wow, quick response. So I sent an email to GWU and within a half hour they sent this response:

"Thank you for pointing out this discrepancy. When we changed from college to university our webmaster globally changed the word "college" to "university" using an automated search and replace mechanism. The quote was inadvertently changed as a result.
I will have it corrected today.
Best regards,
Gary L. Arnell
Vice-President, Administration
George Wythe University"

The discrepancy was pointed out by this blog, but James F. actually e-mailed them about it. I don't think that you could say in that case that they "jumped to it" as soon as it was brought up here.

This time however, it certainly does look like they "jumped to it" when it was posted here.

R.C. said...

James F. - fair enough, it appears you get credit for the Goodloe quote.

I never thought there was any conspiracy or cover up with the Brooks change. I thought that the anonymous poster who criticized TRGW was being unfair because it was GWU's site that hadn't updated Brooks' status.

In reality, I think we are trying to figure out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin on this one.