Monday, March 28, 2011

Random Thoughts About the Next President

UK's, that is, not America's.

While the UK selection committee is meeting in secret (which they can legally do but don't have to), spending taxpayers' money on a search firm (which they can legally do but don't have to), may I suggest some questions for their be asked of the candidates (which they don't have to, but could legally.)

If UK truly believes in the "student-athlete", what can be done to raise the graduation rates for UK athletes, now one of the lowest in our conference and in the current NCAA tourney?

How do you plan to make the athletics program more responsible to you, as head of all the university?

How do you plan to convince the legislature that its failure to fund higher education properly actually means shifting the tuition burden to students and their families?

How many more good teachers must leave before the UK faculty gets a long overdue raise?

Will you truly promote a town-gown program of cooperation among equals, and not thumb your nose at Lexington, and especially neighborhoods surrounding UK, when it suits your convenience?

Do you plan to continue the drive to make UK "a top twenty public research university" (or whatever the current phrase is)--and if so will you tell Kentuckians just what strings come with research grants, whether from the government or private businesses?

Will you end the practice of the buying "naming rights", whether on small buildings or large ones--even when it is called a "donation?"

What is your vision, and how difficult will it be for a small, relatively poor state to achieve it, in compeititon with other states around us?

Perhaps, if the selection committee won't ask these questions, students and faculty will when one, or hopefully more, of the finalists reach campus. By the way, how about a session with the finalists and the Urban County Council --or even the general public--before the next President is selected?

I'm just sayin'...

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