Readers will be all too familiar with my interactions with Laura Frerichs, head of the UIUC Research Park. If you’re not, the summary statement would be that she systematically tried to destroy my ability to start companies at UIUC, and by and large was very successful at that mission of destruction by threatening more than a few people who I was working with, including in emails.
Last week Ms. Frerichs was stopped and arrested for a DUI, at 2 am backing up into a police car following her out of the Research Park, driving a number of blocks without pulling over and, even an hour and a half later, a blood alcohol of 0.22 — 0.08 is the limit. See http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2016-08-04/update-research-park-director-arrested-dui-hit-squad-car.html
She made the front page of the News-Gazette, and certainly not in a way she’d have wanted. More to the point the comments about her hideous attraction to destroying people whenever she could were plentiful, and I think leave open a real question about how that behavior was ever tolerated by UIUC.
I could go on about that, I could go on about what horrible damage she’s done to me and to the lives of many many others. But I won’t, because I think the most appropriate sentiment is compassion, something I don’t believe Ms. Frerichs has ever shown to anyone else.
Compassion. This woman has a small child, and would appear to have a serious substance abuse problem, if the facts of the DUI are any indication. I hope that she’ll seek and get help, I hope she’ll seek and get support, and I hope she’ll come through the experience healed and, perhaps, a little bit aware of the existence of others and of the benefits of being decent to people rather than of trying to destroy them.
I don’t pray, but I wish Ms. Frerichs the best for her recovery from this incident, and from all that probably lies behind it.