Transparency essential for new administration

The announcement of Phyllis Wise’s appointment to the role of vice president and chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus marks a significant turning point in our University post-admissions scandal: the shape of the upper administration is beginning to solidify.

When the Chicago Tribune released its clout report in mid-2009, the face of Illinois politics and higher education shattered. Former Chancellor Richard Herman announced his resignation from his post in October 2009, following former President B. Joseph White’s announcement of his resignation in September. Board of Trustees members were picked off one by one; five were called to step down, two willingly resigned.

The past two years brought an onslaught of criticism to the University’s administration, and rightly so. Through this criticism, we’ve seen a necessary, gradual renewal of blood in our leaders.

With these two years, we have established our tabula rasa; but recent history will put a tremendous pressure on our new representatives to keep our blank slate clean.

When Wise takes up her position this October, we ask her, President Michael Hogan, the board and all of our University’s leaders to learn from the people who held their positions a few short years ago.

We hope they can lead the University to a new era of fiscal- and moral- responsibility.

We may disagree with some of the decisions made by these figures during the interim period, such as the closure of the Institute of Aviation. But as long as they make such decisions with serious consideration, contemplation and understanding of the richness of our University, we can rest assured it is a decision well made.

Transparency and earnestness is critical for Wise and the entire administration at this junction we have come to, and it is our hope that the new administration can restore our reputation in the eyes of the state of Illinois.