Defending Simcha

First of all let me say, with real sincerity, that I admire loyalty.  A lot.  I admire people who stick by their friends (and employers).  I really do.  So, in many respects, I admire Nicole, who has been sticking up for Simcha like no one’s business.  But I disagree with her.

Earlier she sent along this comment:

Dear Nicolae,

If you resign or not that’s your business but please check your facts. As of April 11, 2012, Huntington University is a co-sponsor of the Bethsaida project. The same day they nominated their adjunct Professor, Simcha Jacobovici, as their representative to the dig, at which point he became an official co-director of the dig. This was confirmed in writing by Professor Rami Arav the very same day. This summer, Simcha welcomed the first students from Huntington who participated in the dig. We expect an even bigger group next year.

As for the picture, I think it’s clear to one and all that the backhoe is used to remove garbage. In Professor Goren’s picture it is clear – that’s why he’s using it in a slide in a lecture – that it’s part of the excavation, penetrating into the 5×5 square.

Which sounds sensible.  And seems to contradict the even earlier comment-become-post of Nicolae (I know, similar names but trust me, totally different people).  Except something about it just doesn’t ring authentic.

Indeed, Nicole’s language is very, very intriguing. She writes, I think quite carefully:

As of April 11, 2012, Huntington University is a co-sponsor of the Bethsaida project. The same day they nominated their adjunct Professor, Simcha Jacobovici, as their representative to the dig, at which point he became an official co-director of the dig. This was confirmed in writing by Professor Rami Arav the very same day. This summer, Simcha welcomed the first students from Huntington who participated in the dig.

None of which says that Simcha is co-director in the sense in which we all normally understand that word.  It says the University he is affiliated with is a co-sponsor. It says Simcha is an adjunct professor and ‘representative to the dig’ (whatever that means). That does not mean – does it- that we should imagine for an instant that Simcha is or has been at Bethsaida digging a square or supervising the activities there. Indeed, what it does imply is that Simcha is only associated with the dig because the school he is affiliated with donated money to it (as co- sponsor).  Indeed, if you wish to donate $2000 your institution can be associated with the dig as well (which is cool) though I’m not too sure that entitles someone to be called a ‘co-director’ but maybe it does.

It seems to me that if Simcha were a co-director in any meaningful sense of the word it would mean that he was at the site, dirty, digging, or supervising. Nicole, did any of this happen? If not, then calling him a co-director is a bit misleading, isn’t it?