He has retold the same cemetery joke many times:
from 2001, when at the U of Minnesota.
from April 2008, as recorded by the UC Santa Barbara Daily Nexus
from December 2008
from May 2009
But there was also at least one telling of the joke in which Yudof altered the context, and that is worth presenting here. From "UT's Yudof: Success Flows From Planning and Leadership," Austin American-Statesman, November 24, 2002, page 2:
Leaders of service-oriented companies and institutions tend to encourage flatter organizational structures rather than rigid hierarchies. A highly authoritarian leader is a lot like a cemetery manager: You have lots of people under you, but no one is listening.Yudof's authoritarian bent clearly has precedents from long before his declaration of emergency powers at UC. Worse still, his interview in the NY Times Magazine demonstrates that he is an abject failure at representing the value of the University to the public. We cannot afford such an abysmal failure of leadership.
We need to promote a spirit of collaboration and to emphasize accomplishing tasks through cooperative teams, as opposed to fiefdoms. Too often, various parts of an organization compete against each other.
The key to a nonhierarchical structure is to decentralize power but centralize accountability.