EDITORIAL: George Ross makes complete change from a year ago
A year ago, University President George Ross insinuated that students weren't "grown-ups" and couldn't fully understand the Faculty Association/administration battle.
On Tuesday, Ross sat down with Central Michigan Life's Editorial Board and one would be hard-pressed to find the same man that offended some students a year earlier. Ross spoke about the problems of a year ago, acknowledging that administration communication was a major problem and led to many additional campus problems.
He even went as far as to say he'd be enjoying a couple of beers during the Michigan State weekend tailgate.
This display was a more laid-back, prepared-to-lead Ross. He talked with excitement about committees and shared governance. Most of all, he acknowledged things aren't perfect at CMU, saying there are things this university needs to work on.
And, to put it bluntly, it's about time.
Of course, while Ross' media savvy seems to have changed, it means nothing unless he stays true to his words and brings CMU back together.
The fall semester opened fresh wounds in CMU students, and now the "CMU family" still aches from the salt the administration doused us with during the spring semester.
But now after acknowledging these stumbles, Ross is finally starting to take the leadership role he should have when he accepted the position as president of this university.
This feels like a step in the right direction and it's exciting to think about the potential of this university if shared governance comes to fruition and works well. Knowing that Ross sought outside counsel to assess the mood of campus, and eventually took steps correcting the glowing mistakes confirmed in the report, was a crucial first step in healing the wounds.
However, actions speak louder than words. The CMU community was so damaged by the events of last year that he has some work to do to regain trust.
But here's what we know: this isn't the same Ross we saw last fall, in the heat of an administration-faculty scuffle. It's not even the same Ross we saw in the early summer trying to defend the plagued cmich.edu redesign.
This is a man who appears to have had a change of approach, precipitated by a change in those around them. And he deserves a second chance, for the better of this university.