As the new year begins, we at the Record congratulate Barclay Jermain Professor of Natural Philosophy and Director of the Science Center Protik Majumder on commencing his role as interim president of the College. Moreover, the College has also recently hired two deans, and numerous offices and departments are in the process of hiring new faculty and staff. These additions to the administration will aid the College in carefully balancing continuity and adaptability. In this critical moment of transition, however, the decisions and actions made now will impact how the College will operate and appear in the future.
We at the Record hope that both our future president and administration work together in solidifying the next era of the College. While we commend the College for its work on several issues, such as expanding mental health services for students and incorporating students into hiring processes and search committees, we also hope that it can improve the relationship between students, faculty and the administration.
We recommend a reconsideration of priorities, which include, but are not limited to, stronger advocacy for and connection to student life, increased and improved mental health services and sexual assault policies that will better support survivors. In addition, we recommend greater transparency on the part of both the president’s and dean’s offices, as well as the administration as a whole. Clearer communication between the students and administration is one way to improve the current relationship and can take the form of transparency in College policies, more opportunities for students to interact with administrative decisions and a continuation of open forums.
Furthermore, considering the fact that the College is a small institution with a tradition of faculty governance, it is important that our president respects faculty governance and is adept at working with and empowering the faculty.
Furthermore, while we hope that the new president is confident in the faculty of the College and their decisions, we also hope that they increase student involvement in the College’s decision-making processes.
Finally, our president should be a good steward of the College’s financial resources, acting as a point of inspiration for moral, ethical and prudent decision-making. The president should also be an effective advocate for the College, higher education and liberal arts education as a whole on the national stage, especially given that these institutions are increasingly under attack. Moving forward, it is vital that these concerns are equally valued by the president and administration in order for the College to fully embody the values of a liberals arts educational system.