Imagine a college president resigning suddenly.
Some are surprised, but many are glad. “It’s about time,” they say. An internal interim president is named and the governing board says a search committee for a permanent replacement will be in place soon.
Upon accepting the interim position, that person says something incredibly germane to Missouri Southern.
Read this after the jump.
The interim president was found looking out a window at the campus they needed to now lead for the time being. They smoked a cigarette and talked to a reporter. And they said this:
We are a strong undergraduate school. We have the basis for becoming an even better one. The backbone of any institution is its faculty. All I can do now is pledge that the faculty will have the resources, support, and encouragement to do the best possible job.
When the interim president took on the reins of their college, they knew they would have a rough time. At least initially. They said this:
I really believe that the faculty of this college is sincere about its concern for the college. Whoever was named president would be disagreeable to some people. It’s a fact of life.
The president the interim replaced had been criticized for budgeting issues. Appropriations from the state were down. And among the outgoing president’s austerity measures were adjuncts not being replaced, smaller athletics teams be eliminated, and a moratorium on sabbatical leaves and promotions. And yet, cost of living raises for college employees was realized.
In this environment, the person who said the highlighted words above was Dr. Julio Leon. He smoked that cigarette in a top-floor faculty office of the Mission Hills Mansion and looked at what he said was the “most beautiful view on campus.” That building is now the Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center. Which, once again, as we understand it, was conceived under Leon.
Joni Mitchell was right.
Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone