It seems as if this professor has a sense for a scandal. Seeing the dawn of a scandal that could affect the image of a university/company/non-profit/government etc. is a sense vital for public relations agents. He "smelled" that it was bad, and it indeed was. Next step, stop the crisis before it becomes wild fire!
I love this quote. I definitely believe it is fitting of a scandal; however, more importantly I believe the quote is fitting to life. In my eyes the meaning of the quote is simple: perception is reality. As a student with an interest in public relations, I believe that the truth is often relative. If there is a myth told to the world that the sky is pink, as crazy as it seems, it will not be long before one looks up and realizes his/her perception of blue is now pink. It is important to keep the integrity of a person, academic institution, etc. upheld. The more negative news associates with a brand of a company or a person the more likely that negative perception will become reality. It reminds me of a saying that my father uses, “It looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, therefore, it is a duck.”
This quote is significant in regard to the scandal at UNC. The scandal was something we all knew about, but tried not to speak about until stuff hit the fan. As the scandal proved to progress, the student body and faculty didn't need the public to tell them that things were getting bad because it was obvious. Perfect quote from Professor Frank Baumgartner in describing the environment at UNC during such a situation.
Frank Baumgartners quote sums up the UNC academic scandal perfectly. I think as students and professors we all have questioned some things that have happened on this campus and would rather ignore the issue if it doesn't directly affect us. This quotes is important though because instead of not doing anything we should've done more about the issue as a university before it spread into the public eye. Things like this our detrimental to our reputation and the future of the university.
This quote is important because it can be applied, not only to the university, but to the world as a whole, and to the world of PR. It doesn't always matter if something is really as bad as it seems, or if it is bad at all. What matter is how people perceive the situation. Perception is everything.
This quote is significant because it reminds us to always be on our toes and aware of how the things we do will be perceived. It is possible that the UNC academic scandal was not inherently bad, but the fall out that followed, whether deserved or not, made the situation bad. This reminds us not to do anything that "smells bad" if we do not want it to be perceived as bad. This could help to prevent compromising positions in the future.
I think that the professor, if they weren't affiliated with UNC, would think that this scandal generally looks poorly on the university and the UNC community. Though he doesn't know the inner workings of the case and what is going on with it ("I don't know if it was bad, but it smells bad."), just hearing about the reflection on the university isn't a great look either. Whether the scandal was as bad as everyone around is making it out to be, it still leaves a bad taste in your mouth associating the incident with UNC, whether UNC is guilty of the academic scandal or not.