By Ray Stern
Blogs are buzzing about the Bush Administration's faux pax in hiring scandal-plagued former NAU president Owen Cargol as the first chancellor of the American University in Iraq.
According to this article on www.insidehighered.com, nobody appears to have performed a Google search on Cargol when he was hired last year as chancellor for the Iraqi university.
Cargol's past is seriously stained. He resigned from his job in 2001 after the married father of two was accused of sexually harassing a fellow employee.
A June 5 Web posting on the blog site www.progressivehistorians.com was apparently the first to link the university's news chancellor to his sordid past.
Besides the accusation that Cargol had grabbed the employee's genitals, even more damning was an e-mail later made public that had been sent by Cargol to the employee. It read, in part: "For sure, I am a rub-your-belly, grab-your-balls, give-you-a-hug, slap-your-back, pull-your-dick, squeeze-your-hand, cheek-your-face, and pat-your-thigh kind of guy."
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Cargol was hired in September to lead the American University of Iraq, which opened the same month in Sulaimaniya, a city in the relatively safer Kurdish zone. The school's mission is to teach computer and business skills in English to Iraqis while trying to remain politically neutral, according to one of the university's Web pages.
Some news outlets wrote articles that mentioned Cargol after he was hired, such as this one in the New York Times. But apparently no one figured out he was the same Cargol whose career went down in flames at NAU seven years earlier.
The Inside Higher Ed article quotes an interim chancellor for the Iraqi university saying that Cargol resigned as chancellor in April. That must have been just after he gave a lecture on April 11 to students at the University of Mississippi, as reported by that school's news bureau.
With those kind of hiring standards, no doubt we can expect the Bush Administration to replace Cargol with either Eliot Spitzer or Dog the Bounty Hunter.