With our backs to the wall and overcome by the sense that our university was imperiled, we faculty members made arguments that were not in the first instance financial, technological, or political. We made normative claims about what a university ought to be.
Raising the self to a higher power is grounded not in the liberating promises of technology but in the more mundane pursuit of excellent habits. Sometimes data can help. But only with coaches and teachers skilled enough to help us make sense of it, and help us learn how to practice.
Sullivan's statement was a missive from the bureaucratic bowels of an accounting machine. It was surely manufactured by public relations specialists and lawyers whose interests are simply fiduciary, concerned only with legal liability and potential fundraising.