GENE NICHOL UPDATE: William & Mary’s student paper says that firing him was the right decision: “Painful as it is, the Board of Visitors was right not to renew College President Gene Nichol’s contract. Months of discussion, independent research and outside input have proved one thing: Nichol’s executive failures and a pattern of mismanagement clearly indicate that he is no longer qualified for the job. Now comes the time for reconciliation — for moving on.”

Plus, criticism for his resignation e-mail: “Nichol only plays into the hands of his political detractors by insisting that he is their victim. The board that fired him had backed him up publicly, from the controversy over the cross in the Wren Chapel, to the expansion of opportunity for lower-income applicants, to the support for free speech and student prerogatives. Privately the board expressed concerns over the past several years, but it didn’t hang Nichol out to dry.”

More here. I know Nichol slightly, and I’ve always thought of him as a nice, smart guy. But his manner of departure seemed . . . odd.