If you Google "the right way to fire someone," chances are the University of Utah won't pop up. "Of course, firing should be the final step in a fair and transparent process that began long before the actual termination talk—and there should be a trail of paperwork to prove it." That's what the Harvard Business Review says. It's all about face-to-face contact, showing compassion, keeping it short and having discussed just about everything with human resources. The U chose another course. It sent an email—on the day Mary Beckerle, CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, was to be terminated. A spokeswoman from the U said in a statement that thoughtful consideration and careful deliberation went into the decision. That sparked an immediate petition, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, and a vow from Jon Huntsman Sr. that Dr. Vivian Lee, CEO of the U of U Health Care would be gone. University President David Pershing just looks weak and uninformed. And Beckerle? Her reputation is saddled with questions of what conduct could possibly merit such swift termination.
What would you do without the "liberal media?" This past week puts it in perspective. Huntsman Cancer Institute aside, you wouldn't know about Mayor Jackie Biskupski's nominee for the Redevelopment Agency, if it weren't for The Salt Lake Tribune. She pulled his name amid news of lawsuits and controversies. Then there's a state audit that forced the resignation of the head of Utah League of Cities and Towns, and showed that tax money was being used personally. UTA also had its day in the media light, as investigations highlighted big bonuses for almost nothing and questionable real estate deals by a former board member. Also, the state finally disclosed its confidential Amazon deal. These are just a few stories that would be hidden from public view were it not for those "enemies of the people."
Take the Toll
Ski season's over, but the canyons still bustle with traffic. The University of Utah has been looking at the congestion along Big Cottonwood Canyon. Yeah, automobiles are a problem everywhere. But a U of U engineering study now suggests a toll, accompanied by free public transit for year-round access, the Deseret News reports. The toll system seems to work for Millcreek Canyon, and the number of cars—13,000 during Labor Day—seems to cry for a solution. No one likes tolls. The first toll idea came about in 1995, and access is still free. It might be time to pay to play up the canyons.