The Ballad of Jim Byford

By Larry Holder, September 12, 2005. Lest we forget.


September of 2000
The month, we now recall,
Jim Byford called for changes,
His back against the wall.
The days of Chris Chalokwu
And the wrath of Philip Conn
Were more than UTM could bear,
And soon they would be gone.

Morale at UT Martin
Was perilously low
With faculty leaving left and right,
The tyrants had to go.
As other deans departed,
Jim Byford stood alone,
To call for resignations
And let the truth be known.

Yes, Conn and Chris Chalokwu,
They swore that they would stay,
But Byford’s resolution
Was standing in their way.
We rallied in the quad that week
With TV cameras on
And less than two weeks later,
The chancellor was gone.

The dust has long since settled,
And many may not know
How close we came to losing
Our campus’ heart and soul.
But grassroots efforts saved the day
And justice called their hand.
With thanks, we pause, remembering
When Jim Byford took a stand.

New! "There's No One Like Jim B!", written to the tune of "There's Nothing Like the Bean!", in honor of Jim Byford's retirement in December 2009.

Click here for the MP3

Click here for the lyrics (Word doc)

Related Links

Open letter of thanks sent to local newspaper