The last session was "I Need a Favor" - explaining conflicts of interest to the governing board. There are over 50,000 "great and the good" on American University governing boards, and they have a - ahem - range of attitudes towards using their University position for business. One University board wanted to pre-approve and shortlist companies owned by members of the governing board for any University procurement, which doesn't quite work as a disinterested board member. There are smaller ethical issues - for example is it ok for Board members to do new business with each other, and to use University meetings to talk shop?
Then, like the last day of school, the Uni lawyers were set free upon the world. We went into Washington for food and art, and found both. I met Lynda back at the Smithsonian, and she reported on the sculpture garden nearby.
I've mentioned before that I have found Mexican food less than inspiring, so with faith and hope we went to a highly-rated Mexican restaurant Oyamel. The decor is artistic, and the food is served tapas-style in small plates. We started with Hawaiian Sunfish ceviche, which was excellent with very fresh guacamole. Next some duck on little meze cakes and then chopped grasshoppers from Mexico in a crisp taco. Finally a duck confit leg, which was not very Mexican but very tasty,
Then a stroll back to the subway, checking out the pretentious Imperial confidence of the national buildings and a lost commitment to build monuments for the millennium.
One last treat - with SOUL colleagues Jo and Jennifer and two others we went to the Kennedy Center to see The Book of Mormon, a funny and rude musical. I'd had a recommendation from my Dean of Arts, who'd seen the show with a bunch of UWA execs on a UWA Alumi visit. Our party laughed like drains and it was a good night out.