John Diamond, the former chief media relations officer for the University of Arkan
sas, fired in the midst of what become an enormous controversy over a budget deficit in the UA fund-raising division and an investigation of whether then-Chancellor David Gearhartt had acted to cover things up, has a book out about the episode, “Please Delete.” The title refers to instructions on an e-mail sent during the UA mess.
I haven’t read the book. But I was alerted to it by a new Twitter account. That took me to the promotional video above. There’s also a website. It’s available through Amazon on Kindle at $7.99 or paperback $16.25. From the promotional blurb:
…. Gearhart and other university officials quietly engaged in a disturbing series of panic-fueled leadership decisions. The result was a slow-burning scandal, one that involved attempts to deceive investigators, hide and destroy records, and silence witnesses. Those actions soon proved more costly to the university’s reputation and credibility than the unchecked spending that created the deficit. PLEASE DELETE provides a case study of how a large institution, its powerful and overconfident leaders, and their well-placed allies responded to a crisis, and in the process, inflamed it. PLEASE DELETE is a cautionary tale, one that reveals the damage, distrust, and victimization that often result when public officials try to conceal their transgressions.
Diamond now lives in Maine where he has a higher education consulting business and has been interim president of the University of Maine Alumni Association.