Archive for Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Alumni choice

September 28, 2004

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Final responsibility for selecting a new president for the Kansas University Alumni Association lies with the association's board.

An important search currently is under way for a new president for the Kansas University Alumni Association. Earlier this year, association officers and directors asked Fred Williams to resign from the alumni post. He reportedly refused to resign, and eventually his employment was terminated.

Historically, the KU Alumni Association has been recognized as one of the nation's best with tremendously loyal members, eager to help the school however they can.

Unfortunately, dissension about the association's leadership developed among some of the association's board members, between the association leadership and others in campus leadership positions and among many off-campus alumni.

Now, the search to fill Williams' position is in progress, and it is hoped those charged with this responsibility will be successful in attracting a truly top-flight individual. The job opening should attract a large number of applicants because of the past excellence of the association and the affection alumni have for their school. KU is a top-flight university with an excellent reputation, and it should be easy for the alumni association president to be a positive, enthusiastic and effective spokesperson for the association and the university.

Those on the selection and screening committee should be able to do their jobs without undue influence or interference from others on the campus. It is understandable that university officials should want a good relationship of mutual respect with the association's president, but administrators should not be choosing the new president. That is the responsibility of the association's board of directors.

It is understood that one of the first questions asked of possible applicants is how they get along with the school's athletic department or possibly the chancellor's office. These are important questions because the alumni association president works closely with athletic and administration officials in a number of ways. However, the next association president should be the enthusiastic choice of alumni association officers and directors, not a selection made by Allen Fieldhouse or Strong Hall officials.

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