Maritime TV runs a regular “Ask the Administrator” feature and now that RADM Mark H. Buzby has taken command as Maritime Administrator, it has posted its first “Ask the Administrator” with him. The video can be accessed here. It’s a wide-ranging interview covering a host of important topics, from restoration of sea year at Kings Point, to establishing a National Maritime Center of Excellence at the Academy, to new training ships for state schools, to the future of the Jones Act.
Of particular interest to me is RADM Buzby’s comments (staring at 15:35) on governance at the Academy. He was asked about Tom McCaffery’s (’76) recent Op-Ed in Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute regarding the need for a new model for governance of the Academy. It seems to me that RADM Buzby acknowledges that there is room for improvement and is open to hearing new ideas as to how the Academy could be governed.
I think now is the time to get a good governance solution in place — while we have a Maritime Administrator and Secretary of Transportation who wholeheartedly support KP and, I believe, have the foresight to want to put KP on a secure mooring that will last long after they are out of office.
Establishing a good structure for the governance of the Academy would solve many of the problems that have recurred at Kings Point over the last 40 or so years. RADM Buzby mentions in the interview that KP presently has three different oversight boards. I suspect that the three boards were created at various times to try to plug one gap or another in the governance structure; while well-intentioned, they strike me as Band-Aids. I’d love to see momentum build to arrive at a comprehensive solution for governance/oversight.
Feel free to put your (constructive) ideas as to how the ideal oversight board would function in the comments. Who would be on it? How would the members be chosen? What powers would the board have? Etc. I hope to put up a full post in the not-too-distant-future about the governance structure that I believe would work best for the Academy and will incorporate ideas from the comments in that post.