“Listen, I’m Not Drunk. I’ll Show You Drunk”

PresidentSchool

Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin (right) apparently got drunk, in public. This is getting a little, well, awkward for the school.

According to an article by Kellie Woodhouse at AnnArbor.com:

The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents has formally reprimanded President Susan Martin for behavior at a recent event in Washington D.C. when she allegedly got into an argument with an alumnus after consuming alcohol.

In a May 17 letter, the board’s executive committee threatened to fire Martin if she did not control her drinking.”We have become aware of a recent incident in Washington, D.C. in which you conducted yourself in a way that was inappropriate for your position and reflected poorly on the university,” a letter from the Board of Regents states. “The incident involved the consumption of alcohol.”

One wonders how much alcohol was involved here. The board also indicated that it was “concerned about you as a person” and recommended that Martin go to counseling. Martin apparently also has a DWI conviction from 2005. The board worried about the university’s reputation (and liability issues) if these types of incidents continued to occur.

Martin subsequently apologized, sort of, writing in an email to campus that, “I had a disagreement with an alumni member following an alumni reception in Washington, D.C. about Eastern’s past. I lost my temper and made inappropriate remarks for which I apologized.”

The disagreement, however, was not about finances or governance, academic reputation, or any of the other things about which university administrators are generally concerned.

The disagreement was about the school’s former mascot, the Huron Indians. EMU has had a different mascot, the Eagles, since 1991.

According to the article:

In another communication, Martin said she leads a “very intense and highly visible life” and “could not perform these duties and handle the rigors of this position if I had a serious health issue of any type as suggested” by the board in its letter.

Right, because no alcoholic has ever been able to successfully manage a public position of significant responsibility.

Martin later said that, while she doesn’t think she has a problem with alcohol, she will, as the board recommended, go to counseling. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer