Know the man before you judge

The ad hoc committee to determine the need for a vote of no confidence against University President, Bruce Speck, is expected to present its executive report today to the Board of Governors.

For two weeks now, students and even some staff and faculty members have wondered what all the fuss is about, and the speculation on the subject has really run wild.

Rumors have been flying around about the potential reasons for the formation of such a committee and the action they could potentially take. These include anger over budget cuts, hiring issues and disputes over the proposed medical school.

One theory even suggests Speck was never intended to be a long-term president in the first place, purely a sacrificial lamb to do the dirty work needed to help turn the University around.

All of these ideas seem to have one foot stuck firmly in absurdity and the other entrenched in some kind of truth.

Unfortunately for most of us, though, students have been completely in the dark since this whole controversy began. We’ve heard everything but can confirm nothing in relation to this state of affairs.

I can’t offer any answers. In fact if I were a betting man, I’d say that even the ad hoc committee won’t really be able to provide any answers, even though they’re asking the questions.

What I can tell you is this: don’t jump to a single conclusion about any of this until you’ve actually met the man himself.

I first met Speck his first official week as University president. We’ve spoken several times since, and I find it amazing that he always makes a point to say “hello” to me and shake my hand any time we’re in the same place.

Through these interactions and various conversations, I know that Speck is a good man and is doing everything he can to change some of the disappointing aspects of this University.

While doing this, he’s bound to make some enemies and piss off a few people. That’s the nature of the job. It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s just how it is.

However, as I know him, he cares about this institution and all of us affiliated with it: students, staff and faculty alike.

I encourage you to meet the man and find out the same for yourself. Introduce yourself, shake his hand, and if you’re concerned about the way something is being run on campus, ask him about why it’s being done that way. I can guarantee if he’s got the time, he’ll explain anything he can.

That, to me, is a sign of a good president, not a sign of someone in whom we should have no confidence.

You’re upset with a policy he’s pushed for? That’s fine. Be upset. That’s one of those things that make this country and this University a great place to be. But don’t judge his overall performance or his character until you’ve met the man and know of his good intentions.