When a 68-year-old man, who is five weeks into his recovery from quintuple coronary artery bypass surgery, says he has decided to cut back on his work load, I don't see any need to look for what else may have weighed on his decision. So, don't count me as one of those who wants to speculate about how much VCU's recent spate of bad publicity may have come to bear on Trani's thinking about when to retire.
Given the way some of his critics have savaged him this summer, it would have been understandable if Trani had announced that he was stepping down immediately. There are some who are complaining that he didn't do just that, as if such a move would immediately fix whatever problems they have with VCU's agenda and way of doing business.
The angry calls for the impeachment and recall of elected officials we hear so much, these days, don't do much to fix problems. California recalled its governor five years ago on a whim. Elections were not meant to be overturned except in extreme circumstances.
No matter how much I don't like President George Bush, at this point in his second term, impeaching him would be silly. We, the people, had our best chance to throw him out of office in 2004.
Closer to home, I doubt the College of William & Mary is all that much better off for having ousted its president, Gene R. Nichol, in February of this year.
VCU will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of it becoming a university this fall. And, I'm happy that Dr. Trani will be the VCU president presiding over the events meant to commemorate the occasion.
That hardly means I have agreed with everything Trani has done or said. What it does mean is that Trani has done so much that has been good for VCU, and will continue to pay dividends for the City of Richmond, too, he surely deserves to finish his stay as the university's president on his own terms.
Therefore, even though it may bother some of his most bitter critics, on the day after his announcement I'd simply like to wish Dr. Trani well with his recovery, and wish the university well with its anniversary festivities.
Updated for clarity on Aug. 16.