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Editorial

Staff ‘Voices’ opinion on Betz

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April 11, 2008

We at the Student Voice would like to stop and take a moment to congratulate Chancellor Don Betz on his new position and to wish him luck in Oklahoma.

We appreciate the effort and enthusiasm he put into his time here, and, despite the increasing number of negative comments, we want to thank him for making a positive impact on our campus.

Yet the student body, faculty and administration need to start considering who it is that we need to replace him. Here are a few ideas we came up with.

We need someone who will be able to pick up where Betz left off. A lot of initiatives were taken in the last few years, such as the sustainable campus, international relations, brand development and more. Our campus is finally starting to stand behind these motions; our new chancellor needs to be able to put his or her hand in for these initiatives and not ignore them as the visions of a vanished predecessor.

We want someone who can positively represent this university to this and surrounding communities, the state, nation and world-someone who can be genuinely proud of what we have and are working to accomplish.

Our new figurehead needs to be more than a portrait hanging in the first-floor hallway of North Hall. We don’t want to undermine the importance of finding someone who is capable of handling the multitude of responsibilities a chancellor takes on. From a practical standpoint, that ability is critical for anyone who has a desire to lead this campus.

But a chancellor cannot represent the University if he or she maintains a distance from students and staff. Our new chief must be accessible and approachable. He or she needs to be comfortable interacting with students and staff for any number of reasons. This campus also needs someone who realizes the importance of maintaining a consistent flow of communication from the administrative side to all those who really make this institution one of higher education.

Betz’s successor should also be able to live up to Betz’s standard and bring new vision to UWRF. In the last three years Betz showed us that this little University could be so much more. We still have a lot of growing to do, and our new chancellor needs to be able to prune and shape this small-town school in the direction that will produce the best fruit.

In his relatively short time in River Falls, Chancellor Betz accomplished a lot. We need to make sure we find someone who can build on his accomplishments.