publication date: May. 6, 2016

 

Slamming the Door

Part XI: Gilman’s Teachable Moment 

 

During our first conversation in the spring of 2012, Gilman said that he would go public unless he received assurances that CPRIT would retain its integrity after his departure.

He wanted guarantees that the structure he built would not be turned into a political pigsty. With guarantees being hard to come by, it was obvious that he would end up slamming the door hard. Publicly.

Gilman was the exact opposite of a narcissistic scientist in search of the next tantrum opportunity. Rather, he had considered the politics and the principles involved, and examined all the options with the inner circle of his scientific advisors. To Gilman, seeking advice of scientific colleagues was a formal process honed over a lifetime in the academia. Being well plugged into the Texas political circles, he brought the stories of Texas backroom shenanigans to the attention of his scientific peers and weighed their advice.

It was clear that he would turn his departure into a teachable moment. There was also a chance—albeit a small one—that he would prevail. Let’s define “prevail.”

No, Gilman didn’t want to stay in the job beyond the deadline. He wanted to get rid of the oversight committee appointed largely by then-Texas governor Rick Perry. His other goal was to oust Bill Gimson, the CPRIT executive director.

Continue reading 42-18 Slamming the Door Part XI: Gilman’s Teachable Moment

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