Thursday, July 20, 2006

Presidential Transitions

I was thumbing through (figuratively) Inside Higher Education and came across a short question and answer article on Presidential Transitions. My school is going through a presidential transition right now too. I think most of the faculty were pretty happy about who the board selected to take over the presidency. There's been a growing belief on campus over the last few years that something was going wrong with the college. So when our former president announced his retirement, many faculty members believed that this might provide the shake up or the fresh eyes needed to get the school back on track. It is probably too early to judge whether or not the new president will meet these expectations (he only started at the beginning of July), however, I do already have a concern. It isn't a major concern, but still it is starting to really bug me. My concern: Why haven't I seen the new guy walking the halls yet?

Now this is a pretty small campus. If I was at the University of Missouri or something I wouldn't really expect to see the new president wandering around the campus buildings. But this isn't the University of Missouri. This is a small, liberal arts school and I want the new president to at least walk around the academic buildings, seeing what is what, who is who, etc. The longer he stays holed up in the administration building, the more nervous I get. Does he think the only things important on campus are in that building? Doesn't he want to meet the faculty who around during the summer? Doesn't he want to know what the facilities are in the various buildings? Is he some sort of stand-offish Yankee who doesn't want to consort with the enemy/the faculty?

I am not sure what he is thinking. However, I do know that every day that passes, without a sighting of him outside the halls of the administration building, he is losing a little of the goodwill and support that at least this member of faculty initially felt for him. Today is day number 13 of my presidential watch. I'll let you know when the vigil is over.

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