A student-less presence

An open forum to discuss what type of president would suit CMU was held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, the last day of classes.

By then, most students were out of class, probably worrying about finals. Most people in Mount Pleasant were still at work.

As a result, about 40 people attended the forum, including less than a dozen students. That is because the university picked a time and day that did not yield the most students possible.

The presidential forum was held to discuss with students and the public what would attract potential presidents to Central Michigan University. The panel was relying on student input regarding what qualities would be most beneficial to CMU in the next university president.

But because of the timing, the panel received virtually no student input, making little headway as to what students want out of a new president.

Rick Kurtz, chairman of the political science department, asked what would draw potential students to CMU. While it is important to take into account the future student body of the university, the current student body should be at the forefront of the university's concerns

Current President Michael Rao's departure was reported at the beginning of the year, leaving ample time for the university to schedule the panel at a time where as many people as possible could have attended the meeting and voiced their opinion. It is not clear why the panel was held so late in the semester.

The search for next year's university president still is fresh in everyone's mind. While it would be difficult and perhaps too late, CMU should take advantage of this and hold another presidential panel before the end of finals. Despite students being worn down from studying and focused on summer plans, the panel would be more successful a second time around, attracting more students before they leave campus

Multiple summer panels should also be held. With the absence of students, the university could get a more comprehensive view as to what the faculty wants from the next president.

At the very least, the university should post the recording of the panel on the Internet so students can see what was discussed and what the panel wanted from students. It would help to formulate ideas as to who the next university president should be.

It is not too late for students to voice their opinion on who the next president should be. Students can click on the presidential search button at the CMU Web site and let the university know what they think.

If you are a student, make sure your voice heard and let the school know what you want in the next university president.