A note from the editor

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With the four semi-finalists in the search for JSC’s next president having completed the interview process, presentations with students, staff, and faculty, and with the online opinion forms, submitted by the JSC community, the presidential search committee decided on Monday, Feb. 2, that Dr. Elaine Collins and Dr. T. Mills Kelly would be the two finalists to be voted on by the VSC board of trustees.

Pages 2 through 5 of this issue outline who the choices for the presidency were, and what each candidate would ultimately bring to the table as the next president, painting a picture of the information the search committee used in their voting.
On Monday, Feb. 9, the the board of trustees will meet to interview the finalists and the announcement of the outcome will be communicated to the college as soon as it is certain. Now that finalists have been sent to the board, the search committee has completed its work and will disband.

At an institution where there hasn’t been a formal search for a new president in over 20 years, with Presidents Robert Hahn and Barbara Murphy installed by the board of trustees in 1991 and 2001, respectively, this search is a big deal. Unfortunately, I don’t think that many of the students see it as such, or were instilled with the great sense of responsibility that helping decide how this institution would run entailed. The majority of students don’t quite seem to understand how a change in administration could affect the college, and therefore, their education and future careers.

Over the week of Jan. 26, students had ample opportunities to meet with each one of the semi-final candidates to pose questions,raise concerns, and help the search committee make its decision on who the final two candidates would be.

I was disappointed to see that out of 920 campus-based undergraduates, 498 EDP undergraduates, 176 graduate students and 67 non-degree students currently attending Johnson State College, only 7-12 students showed up to each of the student sessions, and for the most part, there were the same people attending every one. While I understand that seniors really are unaffected by a change, as they will not be at Johnson State to deal with the outcome unless they enroll in a graduate program here, I can’t understand why freshmen, sophomores, and juniors didn’t feel that these sessions were important enough to attend.

Certainly there could have been scheduling conflicts with classes, but there was also the option to call in to the session with any questions, which was never utilized. This prompts the question of whether students ever use the JSC portal, which housed all of the information regarding these visits and how to provide feedback, or whether the JSC administration failed to provide the information on these sessions in a location that was easy to find. Even if professors didn’t feel  that it was kosher to miss their entire class, I imagine it would have been okay to miss five minutes in order to call in a question.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” and I believe that students should be taking the initiative to be leaders to their peers, and to assist in the way the college is led as a whole, and what better way to do that than by participating actively in the discussions that will determine the next president of the institution? I am anxious to see what the board of trustees decides, and what its decision will mean for the future Johnson State College.

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