Tech received sobering news during Spring Break when President Wayne Clough announced his resignation. Clough has been one of the Institute’s greatest assets, overseeing a huge expansion in campus curriculum, monitoring successful capital campaigns and consistently improving Tech’s national rankings for the past 14 years. During his tenure satellite campuses were established across the world, research expenditures more than doubled and Tech students from low-income families are assured a debt-free education through the new “Tech Promise” program.
As unfortunate as this loss is for campus, we should all be proud that the man who led us to such great heights for over a decade has been chosen to lead the nation’s premier scientific institution. Clough will no doubt continue his path of excellence as Secretary of the Smithsonian.
The Smithsonian has faced a recent history of financial mismanagement and the institution is in dire need of someone with Clough’s abilities to both balance a budget and form successful personal relationships. The Smithsonian represents the state of American sciences and research, and it is an honor to the entire Tech community that not only our President, but also one of our alums has been chosen as its leader.
The next few months will be an exercise in patience on campus. Clough has set a high standard for whomever is chosen to follow him, a standard that it is crucial to be met by the next President. Students should be aware that the selection process could take quite some time, but if the results of this search turn out to be as illustrious as the last, it will be well worth the wait.
Clough’s special status on campus as an alumnus made him stand out as a campus leader. Students must be able to identify with the administration, and knowing that even the President suffered through the same rigors during their academic career makes the administration’s platitudes about the value of your degree seem much more genuine. In making their decisions, we at the Technique hope that the Board of Regents takes under consideration input from Tech students. The next President should be someone who will connect just as well with students, while still working actively to better Tech financially and as a research institution.
Tech will most likely never see identical leadership again, but the Institute will continue to grow. The construction projects and curriculum expansions begun by Clough will be lasting contributions that future leaders should build upon. We look forward to working with the new President, whomever he or she may be, in hopes of continuing Tech’s tradition of excellence and wish Clough the best in his new endeavors.