Here's a fascinating story that happened in my own backhard. According to Insider Higher Education, SUNY College of Technology at Alfred President Uma Gupta was forced out, partly due to an anonymous blogger:
For the first time in history, a public college presidency ended not simply because of the president's failure to meet expectations, but also as a direct result of her administration's inability to adequately respond to a private blog. Although the situation unfolded on one campus, it has implications for administrators and professors at public colleges everywhere.
Apparently, the blogger (or bloggers) acted as a rallying point for widespread dissatisfaction with Gupta's performance, quickly generating high traffic. The college did not respond well:
The president and her cabinet appeared completely befuddled by the new technology. Ignoring the blog seemed out of the question; once the blogmaster installed a counter on the main page, it was evident that the blog had a substantial readership. Although Alfred State has only a few hundred employees, the original blog recorded over 12,000 hits in just a couple of months, and the newer version recorded almost 100,000 page views in less than a year. Using legal means to shut down the blog were considered; Alfred State administrators consulted with the central SUNY administration in Albany and got the bad news that it would be legally difficult if not impossible to shut down the blog.
The administration then turned to threats: Vice presidents told their staff members that any non-tenured employee who was caught posting to the blog would be fired. These efforts produced only howls of derision on the blog itself. The president also pressured the Faculty Senate to officially condemn the blog, but the senate refused. The cabinet then tried to squelch the blog by blaming it for low enrollment and poor fund raising, and hinted at job cuts. But use of the blog only grew.
With the blogmaster's and the bloggers' identities unknown, the president and her cabinet decided that the best policy was to trust no one, and their new isolation alienated veteran faculty leaders. Finally, numerous posts appeared on the blog that appeared to be from the president herself, even though the president claimed that she neither read nor posted to the blog. These posts grew in frequency, irrationality, and malice, and further undercut support for the president on campus.
Gupta eventually resigned last June. End of story, David beats Goliath. Right?
Not quite. Gupta was hired into a university-wide position and is apparently responsible for helping to increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics across SUNY. According to SUNY's new Chancellor John Ryan, "The challenge of making science and mathematics more accessible to under-represented groups is an important issue for SUNY and the state of New York. Gupta is well-qualified to take on that challenge."