Now more than ever, transparency is key

The University of Illinois’ presidential search committee has already held two public forums: one on the Chicago campus and one on ours. Today will be the third public forum on the Springfield campus. The purpose is to facilitate open discussion and to give faculty, students, staff and the general public an opportunity to discuss qualities needed for our new University president. With this being the last day for a public forum of the sort, we ask that the presidential search committee remains committed to the students’ best interests, keeping us informed throughout their search process.

The members on the search committee were charged to use their judgment for the best interests of our University as a whole, and we expect for that to coincide with a certain level of transparency throughout the lengthy process of looking for candidates. While we understand and respect that the candidates will deserve a certain amount of discrepancy and privacy, the student body also deserves to know who may be in consideration, particularly whenever a short list is derived. Too often we are kept in the dark. Many students on campus, especially freshmen and sophomores, will spend more time under the new leadership and are entitled to be updated. We would like for the student body to remain in the know as much as we possibly can. Of course that is to an extent, but any information is better than none. If candidates’ names cannot be released, we would like to see what particular candidates’ visions may be for our University, what their goals and promises are. If we cannot know their previous positions, we’d like to know their ideas and character.

Particularly, the students would like to be as involved and educated about this process as possible, especially because we will be under the new — albeit temporary — leadership of Stanley Ikenberry when we return to campus in January. Too many changes usually happen while we’re away from campus, and this time, if they do, we’d like to know about them.

University Board of Trustee member Pamela B. Strobel said the forums are intended to be “listening sessions.” We hope the comments presented at this and the previous two meetings actually are.

The Daily Illini

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