|Campus still coping with news of retirement|
|Written by Logan Zimmerman, Daily Vidette News Editor & Tim Rosenberger, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 04 December 2012 22:16|
With recent news of ISU President Al Bowman’s retirement sending a shock wave around campus, the reality of replacing the nine-year president continues to sink in days after making his announcement.
After sending out a campus-wide email on Monday morning explaining his health-related reasons for retirement, both students and staff are still trying to cope with the news.
Student Body President Andy Manno said he experienced mixed reactions when he first heard about Bowman’s retirement.
“I first felt a bit of sadness, but stepping away emotionally from it, I really felt a sense of gratefulness that we had the ability to have a leader like him, which really is a testament to how he acted in his nine years as president of ISU,” Manno said.
However, while some had mixed feelings of the news like Manno, others like Stacy Ramsey, director of admissions, were surprised by Bowman’s announcement.
Ramsey said she was taken back by his decision, especially after Bowman extended his contract with ISU in October for an additional four years but believes his choice is reasonable.
“Honestly, I really don’t know how him and Linda keep up with the schedule that they do, so it’s certainly understandable,” Ramsey said.
Despite his decision, both Manno and Ramsey offered advice for the next person with the task of filling Bowman’s position.
Manno said the next ISU president should have a caring and hardworking attitude about the position and “an overall passion for the students.”
Connection with students, faculty and staff should also be one of the primary focuses of a new president, Manno said. He should go to campus events and organizations and make sure students know him, he added.
“[Bowman] was always involved in anything that he could have time for,” Manno said. “I don’t think there’s an event that was on the Quad where a student couldn’t go and end up seeing President Bowman there.”
“Even if it was for the few minutes that he had, he always was at an event where students were present that his time allowed him to be [at],” Manno added.
Ramsey believes regular accessibility and interaction with students is necessary for the university’s next president.
“I think it will be important to have somebody who is very approachable … I know that’s one thing that student and staff all love about him,” she said.
Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos also offered a few words of simple advice for the next ISU president in order to make ISU a contributing part of Normal, advising Bowman’s successor to continue the work Bowman has done to further integrate the ISU community as a whole.
Regardless of who is selected as the next president of the university, Ramsey believes the person will have “big shoes to fill.”
“It takes a great leader and a great person and a great relationship builder with not just perspective of family and students, but with alumni, community members, other state-wide colleagues and government to make it all happen,” Ramsey explained.
“Obviously, we have great faculty and staff that work here at the university who have helped, but it starts at the top,” she added.