ASUOP Fights for Student Representation in University President Search
The announcement of President Eibeck’s planned retirement has prompted University Administration to begin the search for Pacific’s new president. However, last semester’s protests and continued unrest within the student population has caused many to rethink the way that leadership within the university should be selected. ASUOP, in particular, is planning to submit a series of resolutions to the Board of Regents requesting that student voices be considered during the process.
According to one of the authors of these resolutions, John Gutierrez Political Science ‘20, “The students want transparency and shared governance, so it is up to us to work for that. While we appreciate the Regents intent to have open and candid conversations with students, we believe those intentions must be proven by coming to campus and listening to what students have to say. Not in a boardroom after 5:00pm on a Wednesday night clad in suit and tie; but in informal social settings on campus that are equally accessible to all students.”
The main ideas pushed forth by these resolutions are: shared governance and student centeredness. ASUOP believes that, in order for the university to be truly student centered, it is necessary to implement shared governance with the students in certain aspects of administration.
“I would like to see a president who is student centered, has a fresh and up to date perspective with the new generation of students attending UOP, willing to work hand in hand with students, make themself available to all bodies at UOP, able to make challenging decisions with confidence and one who upholds the core values of Pacific”, says ASUOP Graduate School Senator Angela Moss-Burns MA Psychology ‘19.
For this reason, ASUOP plans on requesting that students outside of student government volunteer to meet with members of the Board of Regents to share their thoughts on what qualities and priorities the next University President should have. Such meetings would take place in settings that students feel comfortable in, as to promote candor and mutual respect for ideas shared. By doing this, ASUOP hopes that trust between students and administration can be rebuilt, while also gaining a new President who will fit the expectations of both students and administrators alike.
When asked what he thinks Pacific’s next president should be like, Manny Valencia Mechanical Engineering ‘20, says, “They should be someone who really cares about the community outside of Pacific and of course UOP itself and the students. They should also be able to publicly speak well, I feel like a lot of University Presidents aren’t able to do that very well but it’s an important thing.”
ASUOP plans on asking for student leaders who are willing to present their ideas in a respectful way to step up and participate in meetings throughout the search process. These meetings will not be conducted in the style of forums, but rather discussions during which the regents will only take questions and comments related to the search for a new University President.
If you have any ideas on what qualities and initiatives you would like to see from our next University President, do not hesitate to reach out to your ASUOP representatives. Together, we can ensure that Pacific’s environment is and always will be student centered.
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