FLEMING INTERVIEW: PART TWO

In Part One of my story, I put forth a lot of information about the cost of a Naval Academy education versus a ROTC one. On paper at least, it appears that Bruce Fleming has a good case that officers educated in Annapolis cost taxpayers significantly more money. But when it comes to what they get for their investment, Fleming's ship-shape argument starts to take on water.

Several readers wanted to know why professor Bruce Fleming continues to teach at the Naval Academy if he thinks the institution is a waste of taxpayer's money. So I asked him.
Watch "WHY STAY?"

Sure, Fleming says that he wants to stay at the Naval Academy to help taxpayers get a return on their investment, but I sensed that it was more than just that. You don't stay someplace for 23 years for that reason alone, and you surely can't stay someplace that you don't like. Can you?
Watch "DO YOU LIKE USNA?"

So, you've got a happy professor who likes to think that he is doing important work. At one point, Fleming offered exactly what his job was all about.
Watch "MY JOB IS TO PRODUCE THINKING OFFICERS"

Earlier in our conversations, I pointed out to Fleming that the faculty to student ratio at the Naval Academy is 8 to 1; whereas at the typical ROTC school it is 13 to 1. In fact some ROTC schools actually have faculty to student ratios that are twice that of the Naval Academy. This led the professor to acknowledge that there are certain advantages to an Annapolis education. However, before we got to that part of the conversation, we needed to navigate through what the professor meant in his opinion piece when he said that the Naval Academy should be "fixed or abolished."
Watch "FIXED OR ABOLISHED"
Watch "MAYBE YOU ARE DOING YOUR JOB"

I tried to not go down a personal road too many times with Fleming, but I thought it was necessary to relate my own Naval Academy story when discussing the term ‘mediocre'. To explain, the title of Fleming's opinion piece was "The Academies' March Toward Mediocrity" and having graduated from the Naval Academy, I knew that if my parents read just that title days before seeing me graduate that they would have picked up the phone and had it out with Fleming. A lot of parents emailed me and asked me to ask Fleming about the timing of his opinion piece as well as his word choice. So I did.
Watch "MEDIOCRITY"

Finally, at least for this part, I asked Fleming about his end-state. He has offered up on numerous occasions what he thinks the problems are in regards to the Naval Academy, but fans wanted to know what his specific solutions were.
Watch "PRESIDENT FLEMING"

In Part 3 I wrap up the series with Fleming's thoughts on: sports; the real reason why changes came to the Herndon Monument ceremony; the chances of the new Superintendent inviting him to lunch; and his reaction to John Feinstein's critical comments of him.

GoMids.com Top Stories