Wayne Clough’s 14-year tenure at Tech surpassed the expectations then held for what a new president should embody and accomplish. Following Tech’s ascent during that period, the Institute is at a crucial point. The direction established by the new president will define Tech’s future.
Many of the initiatives and traits of Clough should be maintained. It is important that our new president share the same kind of charm that allowed Clough to connect to students, faculty, and donors alike. The drive toward a more environmentally responsible and globalized campus should also be extended, as should the push for continued academic excellence. Yet while Tech’s new president has big shoes to fill and should be careful not forget the Institute’s past, he or she should also be sure to develop a distinct identity and test new boundaries.
Tech is no longer just a technical institute, but it is also not a typical university. In fact, it is precisely this blend that makes Tech unique and attracts top talent from students and faculty. Enrollment has consistently increased in the Ivan Allen College, for instance, and we now find ourselves on a campus with great potential for interdisciplinary opportunities connecting the various departments under the umbrella of technology. By doing so the Institute can train more well-rounded engineers in addition to highly skilled scientists in both the hard and soft sciences. We can achieve excellence not just in engineering, but also in all of our academic programs.
Tech’s new president should also prioritize his or her connection with students. We hope that our future president will be both visible and approachable to students and attempt to maintain open links of communication with various parts of campus. As we get to know our new leader, we hope he or she will make an effort to be much more than a figure on a podium.
We continue to encourage any opportunities for student input and participation in administrative decisions. We are pleased that the student perspective will be represented in the presidential search committee by Darryl Richard, and wish him luck in juggling school and football with the demands of being on the committee. We also applaud the Board of Regents’ efforts in holding an open forum for students to provide their input to the committee next month.
We are confident that everyone involved in this search will work hard to assure that Tech’s future rests in the hands of an individual who is both proven and promising.