EDITORIAL: Replacing Walker with Knight a logical, needed move
Few can argue the past year has been an ugly one for Central Michigan University.
From kicking off the first day of the academic year with a faculty strike, to fact-finding fights, a no-confidence resolution against President George Ross and Provost Gary Shapiro coming from an Academic Senate that unconstitutionally kept student senators in the dark, the $10 million lie about the Events Center, exaggerated football attendance statistics, and finally, topping the year off with the ridiculously costly and overwhelmingly unpopular new website, it was quite the perfect storm.
The crashing waves of this gale were braved by third-party, outsider John Moore, president of Penson Associates, Inc., who came to campus in February to serve as a facilitator to assess the “dysfunctions in campus constituent relationships.” In his strategic report, Moore writes that although many sides played a guilty role in the conflict, the main problem stemmed from an unhealthy system of university communication.
In short, the grown-ups squabble at the communication maturity level of five-year-olds.
If one were to lay university communication breakdown at the foot of the person leading university communications, one would find themselves facing an empty office. The associate vice president of communications just so happened to conveniently and swiftly resign with a fat severance pay almost exactly two months after the report was published.
Renee Walker has vanished with a letter of recommendation that makes positive but dry remarks and mysteriously mentions not one nice thing about her as a co-worker or person.
Sherry Knight, founder of Saline-based communications firm Knight Writers, has stepped into Walker’s shoes as interim. The contrast between them as communicators is striking. On Walker’s first day, she refused to talk to CM Life. On Knight’s first day, she came straight to the CM Life office as a friend.
Ahead of Knight is the rescue mission to pick up the shattered pieces left in Walker’s wake, and heal the wounds between administration and faculty. So far, Knight, fittingly true to her name, has done nothing but admirably dive headfirst into that journey.
Replacing Renee Walker with Sherry Knight is one of the best moves of leadership Ross has ever given CMU.
Although his decision is to be applauded, this is not over. Knight is not a magic pill that can be swallowed and make all CMU’s problems, pains and past disappear. What lies ahead is an intense, brick-by-brick, rebuilding process.
And for the first time in a long time, it seems that the academic leadership of CMU is ready to begin that journey with practical applications that can make a difference. For the sake of the university, we hope it continues.
Leave a Comment
Like us on Facebook
- Kellie: We miss miss you Carolyn. You still are remember on the socc…
- anonymous: I know this girl was in the wrong, but, put yourself in her …
- : What is the standing cement block structure going to be for?…
- 5k: Solved the case!! …
- : SOLVED THE CASE …
• Is your baby graduating CMU? Place a personal greeting and photo in CM Life's Baby Graduates special pages. Download the form here
• Contact local movers in Mount Pleasant to help with all of your moving needs.
• Download Campus Cash Coupons!
• Search for local apartments
• Add your link here