In 2002, after 6 years in office, the Trustees forced Westling to resign (presumably at the behest of Silber, who had "soured" on him). Dr. Silber stepped in to take over presidential duties until a suitable candidate could be found.
This led to sloppiness in the interviews and contract negotiations. After only one interview Goldin was catapulted to the top of the committee’s list, due mostly to the personal backing of Silber. Mr. Goldin remained the favorite even after he made demands during contract negotiations that would have likely disqualified him from consideration in more ideal circumstances. Among these was his desire to spend much of his time in Malibu, California where his wife would be living; according to a source Mr. Goldin "...didn't think he had to be on campus every weekend to be effective." The Trustees agreed to this, and even offered to subsidize this travel with First Class airfare.
Tolerance of such requests was reinforced by the hope that Goldin would use his former association with NASA to draw in more research funding and grants.
Despite some Trustees’ uneasiness over offering Goldin the position, enough votes existed to do so. As a sign of support, the Chairman of the Board requested that the vote be unanimous. The Trustees capitulated, unanimously deciding in favor of extending Goldin the job offer.
Initial reports as to the reason for this vote were numerous, but mostly implicated Dr. Silber’s reputation as a man reluctant to relinquish authority. Mr. Goldin reportedly had upset Silber loyalists on the Board by "slighting" Silber with his insistence that he would have no hand in university affairs after his departure. One report even alleged that Goldin had retained a psychiatrist to evaluate Silber in hopes of minimizing his influence.
The Boston Globe has since reported that Goldin had been planning a purge of BU's upper administration, and had already determined in detail who he thought should remain, and who should not. Mr. Goldin apparently had intentions to clean house; his plans included the sacking of most of the University’s top administrators. The most notable of these were Provost Dennis Berkey and Treasurer Kenneth Condon, both of whom were also finalists for the presidency. This spooked the Trustees, and to a large degree precipitated the no confidence vote.
A settlement was eventually reached between the University and Goldin, the details of which were never released but which sources have indicated included a $1.8 million payment to Goldin, in exchange for his abandoning any claims he may have had against BU. Dr. Aram Chobanian, Dean of Boston University School of Medicine, was named President Ad Interim until a new president could be found.
In a mostly symbolic but still very important gesture, the Board requested that Dr. Silber vacate his offices in the university’s administrative suites at Sherborn Street. It was hoped this would eliminate any concern on the part of candidates that their authority would be undermined.
The Board also accepted the resignations of its Chairman and Vice Chairman, Christopher Barreca and Dexter Dodge. This, along with proposed checks on Trustee actions such as term limits and plans for an independent oversight body, has signaled an improvement in the management of BU.
Goldin says space station situation is improving. (Dan Goldin on commitments to build the International Space Station)
Jul 25, 1997; Russia is sticking to its promise to deliver important hardware to the International Space Station, NASA Administrator Dan Goldin...
Goldin and Koptiev agree on text of Russian MOU.(NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and Russian Space Agency Director Yuri Koptiev agree on text of Memorandum of Understanding for Russia's participation in International Space Station program)
Jul 17, 1996; NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and Russian Space Agency Director Yuri Koptiev yesterday agreed on the text of the Memorandum of...