Saturday, October 01, 2005

Reflections on a Turbulent Week – and, on the whole, a Good Week for AU.

Some say that any publicity is good publicity, but I’m not sure it would have been my choice to have AU’s current circumstances displayed on the front page of the Washington Post, this week.

Yet the controversy over Dr. Ladner’s status has produced some good things for our institution and community. Most important, many who may view the maturity and sensitivity of AU students dismissively (I am not one of them) got an opportunity to see what they are made of. I was particularly proud of the three young women, all student friends of mine, who played such key roles in organizing Wednesday’s demonstration. The showed passion, energy, nuance, organizational skills and unflagging energy. They put themselves on the line for an institution they care about. And they played a pivotal role in shaping the board’s deliberations.

We also saw the faculty Senate at its best. The atmosphere was somber and there was little of the flatulent rhetoric that often characterizes faculty deliberations. The SIS Council meeting, comprising students as well as faculty among its members was attended by more than 60 and also exhibited both civility (one articulate, thoughtful Ladner loyalist participated) and nuance in its deliberations

And our week concluded with Board Chair Leslie Bain’s magnificent statement to the community, acknowledging our strengths and proposing fundamental reforms to broaden participation and increase the transparency of Board deliberations. How fortunate that we have been blessed with such a courageous woman of integrity, as our Board Chair, at this critical juncture.

In some ways this was a sad week for AU, but a good one on the whole.


Anonymous Megan said...

Hi John

Thank you once again for your kind words. And hey, I was glad to see you quoted for once as well! In the Chronicle of Higher Education in their most recent article. Glad to have a fellow celebrity ;)

I'm planning on coming to dinner during fall break, so if you and Maeve need any help in the kitchen, let me know. She's very experienced in ordering me around with a large knife!

Thanks again

10:35 PM  

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