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Editorial Board

Whether you’re a freshman or a returning senior, you’re adjusting to new situations this fall and so is Iowa State. Dean of Students Kathleen McKay has left and there is a new honors building going up near central campus. Tuition is on the minds of students and administrators. The biggest change is the departure of President Martin Jischke from Iowa State to Purdue University and the appointment of Richard Seagrave as interim president. Jischke saw his share of controversy while at Iowa State. To help Interim President Seagrave avoid the pitfalls of Jischke’s administration, we offer a few pointers. Be accessible to students. Whether it’s a planned discussion or just talking to students on campus, direct contact is key. Students are the reason you’re here. Treat all students with respect, not just athletes or National Merit scholars. Students with 2.0 GPAs are paying tuition too, and their voices should be heard. Don’t offer ultimatums. Students rebelled against the Veishea pledge because they were given no choice and saw it as a violation of their freedom to choose. Don’t dictate to students and faculty. Even if you’re right, nobody likes a heavy hand. Compromise and debate are essential to a well-run university, and they pay off in the long run. From what we can tell, Seagrave is already off to a good start. He was a chemical engineering professor last semester, and he is going to continue advising several of his students. While this may seem like a simple idea, Seagrave walks across campus instead of always driving his car – this is instant interaction with students. We encourage the adminstration to keep its contact with students – it could turn out to be one of the best changes we’ve seen in years.