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The Search For a President

January 15, 2008

My first Dakota Student opinion article of the semester was put to press today and I’ve already received some critical reaction from it. That’s rather amazing considering I haven’t left my apartment all day.

The article (which can be found here) discussed my opinions of the search process for UND’s new President. Over the next few weeks, each of the final five candidates will be visiting the campus and conducting interviews/meetings with various levels of UND administration. This is a very valuable part of the process. It will ensure that various members of the school’s administration and staff will be able to interact with the candidates and that the candidates themselves will be able to see their potential future working environment.

The issues I addressed in this week’s column revolved around the fact that there was very little time allotted during these four day interviews (approximately two-and-a-half hours) for non-University leadership (we normal people) to really interact with the candidates. In my time here at school I have noticed that beyond a few administrators, most of the school’s leadership is not very accessible or approachable to normal students. I personally feel that these interviews and their lack of time with students and faculty are an extension of this lack of transparency and approachability.

I’ve had many mentors since I first started developing my own leadership skills and style in high school. Almost every one stressed the importance of transparency and accessibility in my actions as a leader. If I’m in a position of leadership and one of the people doesn’t feel comfortable addressing an issue or problem with me, there would be no way for me to work with them to help solve it. If I was an actual candidate for UND’s presidency, this schedule would actually bother me quite a bit due to its lack of time with students. As it is, I’m not, and quite frankly, I doubt I would ever achieve that level of university leadership. My passions lie elsewhere.

For those interested, the schedules for Robert Kelly (featuring a rather hilarious incorrect picture) and Phyllis Johnson can be found online. The candidates’ resumes are also a fun read.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Hi Martin permalink
    January 17, 2008 8:26 am

    It’d be great if you addressed the criticism, shared a bit of what your critics said. Just found your blog through the Honors one, and I’m excited since I enjoy reading your articles. Is your other blog going to go quiet for a while, though?

  2. katiejoyi permalink
    January 17, 2008 12:31 pm

    I just read your article and it was very well written. I especially enjoyed your humor interlaced with the facts about how we students are not provided much of a chance to meet the candidates. Keep up the great articles!

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