By Melanie J. Knox, Opinion Editor
This semester’s President’s Forum kicked off after Chapel Tuesday with 12 present-only two of those faculty members.
The forums are designed to provide communication between Dr. Royce Money, university president, and the faculty and staff, said Jim Holmans, executive assistant to the president. Students are invited to attend, he added.
“This gives faculty and staff the opportunity to address questions to the president in a non-threatening environment,” Holmans said.
Money said that the low attendance in this forum were probably due to other forums conducted recently.
“We’ve had about 60 present at some of the other forums, especially dealing with financial issues,” he said. “Most of the faculty might feel that all their questions have been answered.”
Money began the forum and said he has been excited about Chapel and the Thursday spiritual forums this year.
“Especially the past two days of Chapel [Monday and Tuesday] have been wonderful,” he said. “Today, I don’t know what it was; it seems intangible, but the students were really in sync. They sounded like angels.”
Money said that student response to the Thursday forums has been pretty positive and said he’d be even more excited if he could be in town for more of them.
“This is experimental, and the format will probably continue to change,” he said. “We want to preserve the informality and that has been the biggest challenge.”
Money along with Jack Rich, executive vice president, then tackled issues regarding recruiting.
He said that the turnover in the recruiting staff is less that it used to be, and that they were trying to create a merit-based career ladder to keep recruiters in a field where they could advance.
“Recruiting is a fine-tuned, complex thing,” Money said. “It’s a very sensitive system that can have far reaching implications. One bad year could mean a four year mistake.”
Rich added that recruiting is a high burnout type of job, but that we have less turnover than most schools.
“If I had my druthers, we’d have tenured recruiters working on the programs for 10 or 15 years,” Rich said. “But it’s a good system and I’m generally pleased.”
Money said that for sure a recruiter is headed to Rhode Island, and Michelle Morris, director of marketing and public relations, said that alumni are increasingly interested in being involved in recruiting.
Money also responded to concerns of Dr. Mike Sadler, professor of physics, regarding promotion and tenure and the possibility that faculty are overworked.
Morris brought up gifts to the university, which Money said depend on key funding areas and are affected by variables they don’t always have the luxury of knowing.
The next president’s forum will be in February.