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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Q&A: What do you want in a University President?

The university has recently opened up a feedback survey for students, staff and other Western members to express their opinions about what they would like to see in Western’s next president.

Besides the survey, students, staff and faculty are invited to any of the public listening forums that will take place starting Monday, Nov. 2 through Wednesday, Nov. 4, according to Western Today.

Western is in the midst of a national search for our 14th president. President Bruce Shepard announced he will be retiring at the end of the 2015-16 academic year this past June.

According to a Western update, a 15-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee will be selected on Nov. 2 by Western’s Board of Trustees to help with the search and screening process.

In light of this, The Western Front asked a few students and a faculty member about what they hope to see in our next president:

Q: Keeping Western’s culture in mind, what particular qualities do you think are important for Western’s next president to possess?

A: Western senior, Erik Hasstedt: I think the new president should recognize the value of diversity in both interests and identity.

A: Western senior, Ian Krause: I’ve had troubles throughout my academic career with financial aid. I feel like I have wasted time in the past. There is a lack of communication between departments. [If the new president could] figure out a way to make financial aid easier for students.

Q: Appointing a new president may not affect students who are graduating soon. Is there anything you would like the next president to change or address that will affect future generations at Western?

A:  Western senior Erik Hasstedt: “I do think the next president will affect me, even though I will be graduating. I do take pride in my school, so I think it’s important to have president who is able to carry on a legacy of inclusivity,” Hasstedt said.

Q: What qualities did you like in President Bruce Shepard that you would like to see move forward in our next president?

A: Assessment, Training and Special Project Manager for the Dean of Students, Christina Van Wingerden: I hope that it is a president that is committed to diversity and inclusivity. What I have really liked about Bruce Shepard’s time on campus is how personable he is. I like that he has courage and is not afraid to make a stand. I think that is important.

You can share your opinion in what you want Western’s next president to accomplish. The feedback survey can be accessed here. You can learn about the listening sessions and forums dates and locations here.

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