As a group of about 40 people sat around in Stewart Theater, a panel of 16 administrators including Student Body President Jim Ceresnak was eager to hear input from the students, faculty, and alumni about what they wanted in their next chancellor. Last Wednesday, the Chancellor Search Committee hosted the open forum event.

Various topics were discussed at the forum including wanting a chancellor who is focused on the students as well as the image of the university.  “The next chancellor should be focused on the well-being of the students and understand their prospective as well,” said Beth Miller, a graduate student in Statistics.  Adam Compton, a senior in Agriculture Business, commented that too often students are “shoved” aside and that we (the university) need someone who will look at the students for who they are. Echoing the others before him, one student wants a chancellor to have open communications with the students and not afraid to listen to them either.  One student expressed a need for an individual who is proactive and visible to all, an issue that many felt plagued the previous chancellor.

Others were concerned about the current financial situation here at State and want someone who will be fiscally responsible and figure out how to deal with the cutbacks among classes and professors as well as the cost of  books, tuition and fees, and the financial aid crisis that the university is experiencing.  Another issue that was raised is the need to improve Talley Student Center. As a second  generation alumni from the university elaborated, our student center is the “worst” amongst other universities and unacceptable considering our rival, UNC-Chapel Hill, has  a far better student center than we do.

However, the need for a chancellor who will help State move on from one of the most controversial events in its history, the Mary Easley saga, was echoed throughout the meeting. “Our new chancellor should not dwell on what happened in the past (referring to what happened with Mary Easley and the former Provost and Chancellor) and should focus on how to bring this university together and move forward,” said Kylee Phillips, the President of the InterResidence Council and a senior in Accounting.

After the forum concluded, some of the members of the panel stayed around to talk and listen to the students even further including Ceresnak. “The comments made here today were very valuable and will help me make a good and able decision as a representative of the student body on the panel,” he said. To answer the question that many students have, he went on to explain the selection will take a few months or longer but that it is  in order to make sure that the committee is making the right decision for the university as a whole.