So far, two of the candidates for the position of president of Knox College have visited our campus. Included in these visits was a hour and fifteen minute-long session in which students were able to talk to the candidates and ask them questions. The third candidate will be making the trip to campus on Monday and will also be available for a Q & A session.
Of the 19 people who make up the Presidential Search Committee, two are students. After the Q & A session with each candidate, those who attended had 24 hours to complete a survey on their thoughts about the candidate.
The Knox Student hopes that these measures to include the student body in the decision about the next Knox president is not simply to pacify students. We urge the Board of Trustees to take the suggestions of the students seriously, since while we students only have four years here, we are the essential part of this institution.
While we do appreciate the fact that these forums with students exist, the real hiring power does come from the Presidential Search Committee, on which there are only two students. These students are also two female members of Greek organizations, which might possibly not be the best sampling of the student body.
Maybe what the students think is not the most important perspective that the Board of Trustees takes into account when choosing a president. And in a way, that’s somewhat understandable. We have four years here, while everyone else (faculty, staff and community members) will have to suffer or rejoice with this president for much, much longer. A lot of students also don’t see the entire scope of a president’s responsibilities, some of which might be more important to the Board than how a president plans to handle issues like student safety or making Knox more sustainable.
There are some doubts about whether the school thinks our voice is as important as we think it is. If it was that important to them to hear us, wouldn’t they give us more than two spots on a committee and a little over an hour with each candidate?
Knox exists because of its students, and our voices must be considered in this decision. We can only hope that after we give our opinions, they will be.