Column: After last semester, MU students can handle whatever comes our way

Columnist Elane Edwards explains why this semester is already testing our “tiger pride.”

MU faced one of the most soul-searching semesters it has ever seen this past fall, and with the 2016 Spring semester starting, we continue to be faced with trials challenging the MU students, administration and our integrity as a school of higher education.

On Jan. 13, 2016, the Mizzou athletics department announced in a news release that the “men’s basketball program had admitted to violations under former coach Frank Haith,” according to previous Maneater reporting.

The investigation has resulted in a self-imposed postseason ban for the 2015-16 season. On top of the ban, the men’s basketball team will have to vacate all 23 wins from the 2013-14 season, will lose a scholarship and will be charged with a fine for the 2016-17 season.

Not only are we facing challenges in our athletics department, but also the Board of Curators is discovering potential issues with deciding on the most efficient way to find the next UM System president.

The Board of Curators discussed the many ways they are able to go about the search at a meeting Jan. 13. They needed to decide between an open, closed or hybrid way of managing the long and in-depth search for the best person to accept the position.

However, as we previously reported, Curator John Phillips said there was a consensus toward a closed search, “as it would allow them to reach out to candidates who were already employed.”

I understand the Board of Curators’ hesitation toward having an open or hybrid model of search because of their need for confidentiality during the process, however, after public demand lead to the fall of our last UM System president, not allowing more of a public voice in the decision could backfire.

The Board should strongly consider pursuing the hybrid search model, as it would allow for transparency and oversight from all of the stakeholders involved in the search while also preserving candidate confidentiality throughout the process, which is essential to attracting the best possible candidates. In a hybrid search, open forums would be held once the Board decides upon a list of finalist. At the forums, students, faculty, and administrators will be able to comment and critique the candidates, which is extremely important.

It wouldn't be fair for the Board of Curators to make such an important decision regarding the UM System’s future without any public comment whatsoever.

This Spring semester is already testing our “tiger pride,” but this campus is strong. After enduring the last semester, we can handle whatever is coming our way these next 16 weeks.

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