Upon the announcement that there would be a search for Northern Kentucky University’s new president, there was the reiteration that the search would be timely, thorough, but ultimately, representative of the NKU population. The search committee was meant to include staff, students, Board of Regents members and influential members of the outside community.
However, it has been made clear that this promise has not been followed as stated. The 16 members of this committee do follow the outlined make-up if viewed from a distance. At close range, it is easy to see that the committee is flawed.
There is a singular student voice on the committee. Two individuals have been added to the original expectation of 14 and, according to Terry Mann, there was no intent to include another student voice.
Aside from the obvious lack of representation for students, the one student on the committee has ties to the university that make their appointment to the role look less than objective.
Joseph Fons, SGA senator and Sigma Epsilon member is the student who was chosen. He has close ties to SGA President Dustin Robinson, who is Fons’ mentor in the fraternity. Robinson oversaw SGA’s evaluation of the candidates.
While the method for appointing the student was meant to keep the identity of the student hidden until the decision was complete, it seems that two members of the same fraternity would be cognizant of the others’ involvement and history — even while looking at a blacked-out name on a resume.
Just because there is one student on a committee of 16 doesn’t mean that the student voice is properly represented. When looking at who was selected, it is doubly unfair.
The majority of NKU students are not closely involved with SGA or other on-campus activities. Adding another, lesser-involved student would balance an authority-heavy committee that is not in touch with what the everyday student needs and wants.