"It was a tough decision," says Brinkley, who first came to the school's attention last year when he delivered a speech about civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. "Most of all, it was an opportunity to bring some innovative curriculum approaches. But in the endgame, I had to say no."
Among the factors cited by Brinkley were his overall satisfaction at UNO and his current freedom to pursue a number of writing projects. He noted financial considerations, as well. The Post and Courier in Charleston reported that the president's salary at the College of Charleston is relatively low, compared to the national average; the state-mandated pay range there is between $110,000 and $170,000.
Brinkley is currently under contract with Viking Press to complete Wheels for the Road: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress: 19032003, scheduled to be published in 2003. In addition, Brinkley is collaborating with fellow UNO prof Stephen Ambrose on a book about the Mississippi River, and with NAACP chairman Julian Bond for a book about race in America. Also, he reports that he is currently is in discussion with "California Governor Pete Wilson and some other Reagan people" for exclusive access to Ronald Reagan's White House diaries.