Should the university move Lectureship?
Some on campus would say yes. They want to move Lectureship to a time in the fall-a time when the weather is better and when potential attendees won’t have to choose between ACU and Pepperdine’s lecture events.
Others would say no-these include people in the alumni and marketing offices, who work long hours and add many gray hairs for both Lectureship and Homecoming and certainly don’t want to work on both events in one semester.
Most students have not heard about these changes-because no one will talk about them on the record, despite the Optimist’s attempts to report on this potentially fundamental change in university tradition.
This doesn’t change the necessity of an honest and open debate on the question. “Lectureship weather”-including this year’s freak thunderstorm just before the first round of classes-hampers the event, but to what extent should the university overtax its staff in one semester?
The weather issue is important-an event that is continually hampered by snow, ice or rain is not productive, indeed, and would be a waste of planning, time and money. However, evidence of continually poor weather is anecdotal, at best.
February in Texas is extreme as winter shifts into spring-100 degrees separates Abilene’s record high and low for the month. But spring weather is no more extreme than the thunderstorms and tornado watches the region endures during the fall.
February actually is the second-driest month on average, next to January. The three wettest months are June, September and October. Lectureship then would move to a consistently wetter time of year to avoid sporadic accidents of nature.
ACU’s Lectureship has been extraordinarily successful, despite indirect competition from Pepperdine for 61 years. Pepperdine’s Bible Lectures this year will be conducted in May, a separation of three months. Some preachers or churches may choose one school over the other, but location likely would play a greater role than weather or time constraints.
Moving Lectureship to the fall, however, would present a new dilemma for ACU’s alumni-attend Homecoming or attend Lectureship. It is unlikely the university’s vast web of graduates could afford taking two weeks off in a two-month period.
Meanwhile, the university’s staff in alumni relations, marketing, university events and public relations deserve a break between planning the alumni events surrounding Homecoming and the alumni events surrounding Lectureship. As a publication that also puts forth hundreds of extra man-hours to cover the university’s two biggest events, we understand the devastation that would result from planning and promoting both events in one semester.
Moving Lectureship to the fall would have uncertain benefits, at best, but clearly negative consequences for a large portion of ACU’s community.
Regardless of whether either side of this question wish to discuss it publicly, we urge the President’s Cabinet to reject a Lectureship move, especially one that puts it in the same semester as Homecoming.