RIT is on the verge of naming its ninth president and information about the two finalists will be featured in the Feb. 22 issue of News & Events. Over the weekend, I received an e-mail from an RIT professor emeritus strongly encouraging me to include in this issue a Viewpoints titled, “The Qualifications of a College President.” The editorial staff, however, decided against running his piece.
Two things prevented it from running. First, his submission consisted primarily of an excerpt from an article that appeared in the April 2, 2002, issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. The original article was written by a university department head who was turned down for a position as president of a liberal arts college. Even had we wanted to run the excerpt, University News would’ve needed permission from The Chronicle by our Tuesday deadline (unlikely).
Secondly, finalists have already been chosen. It’s almost certain that one of these two men—William Destler or James Watters—will be RIT’s next president. Faculty, staff and students are represented on the Presidential Search Committee and have been charged with selecting the “best of the best.” The ideal time to have examined the “Qualifications of a College President” in News & Events would’ve been six months ago.
At this point, we shouldn’t be back peddling; it’s too late for that. We need to be anxiously looking forward to RIT’s future.
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