How leaders behave in difficult situations are an important part of controlling their narrative. This public-sourced case provides students an opportunity to examine how one leader behaves while under scrutiny. The material presents the history of the former president of Stanford University, Donald Kennedy, who was accused of overbilling the government for indirect costs on research contracts. He testified before Congress, and an analysis of his testimony provides an opportunity to view how he conducted himself under pressure.
This case is meant to be paired with another case presenting the story of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver "Ollie" North, a US national security adviser under former US President Ronald Reagan: "Acting and Speaking with Power: Oliver North and the Iran-Contra Deal—the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (UVA-OB-1337). Used together, the cases present an opportunity to compare two very different approaches to acting and speaking with power.