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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hounded to death?

This is just awful. UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Denise Dee Denton has apparently taken her own life, jumping from a 44 story high rise in San Francisco.

Sources said Denton had retreated from the campus in the weeks before her death, canceling appointments and clearing her calendar. She began a short medical leave on June 15, a campus spokesman said.[...]

Denton was noticeably absent from university commencement exercises earlier this month, and backed out at the last minute of a dinner she was supposed to host for graduation speaker astronaut Steven Hawley, a UC-Santa Cruz alum.

Sources said she recently had seemed depressed and disengaged.

When Denton began her medical leave, "she said she would be away and on medical leave for a short period of time," said Jim Burns, a UC-Santa Cruz spokesman. "She was expected back early this coming week."

My sincerest condolances to those who survive the Chancellor. I've struggled with depression myself. It's never easy, but in some ways, it's even harder on loved ones. This is a tragic death.

Regular readers might remember my criticism of Chancellor Denton in April, when I suggested that she either "cannot or will not" control student protesters? According to Mercury News, it appears Santa Cruz's problems with violent protests (more like self-righteous-hissy-fits) is much worse than I imagined.

Some of those who knew her said all the controversy had taken a toll.

She had been recently ridiculed by area cartoonists. And on campus, she had been the target of many protests, students said, with protesters rallying against everything from employee wages on campus to workplace conditions in foreign countries where UC apparel is made.

Denton had called campus police a few times after protesters camped out on the grounds around her house, said Santa Cruz City Councilman Mike Rotkin, a lecturer at the school. She asked for increased security after someone threw a parking barricade through a picture window at her university home.


After one recent event in which students surrounded her car and performed a five-minute play in support of workers and students of color, she seemed to grow increasingly fearful, said Josh Sonnenfeld, a student organizer.

Good God! Is the UC Santa Cruz campus really such a Hobbesian Leviathan with mobs of angry young punks roaming the landscape? I had no idea.

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