Letter to the editor: Selection of Schulz about more than just athletics

BY JANSEN M. VANDERMEULEN | Student Regent

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Tuesday’s column “Match made in heaven” was speculative and lacking in accuracy. Author Braden Johnson declared that he “couldn’t shake the feeling” that newly-announced WSU President Kirk Schulz “was elected to make WSU’s growing deficiencies in fundraising vanish.”

He is not correct. As the Regents stated in the meeting during which they selected Schulz, he was selected for his impressive experience as a land-grant president, his bold vision for Washington State University and his strong record as a leader.

Moreover, Johnson stated, “Nobody else had a say in the matter, so I suppose we will just have to trust the Board.” Putting aside the fact that state law entrusts the sole responsibility to hire the university president to the Board of Regents, this statement is simply not correct.

Schulz and the two other finalists were referred to the Board by a 24-member Search Advisory Committee made up of stakeholders from across the university. The committee included regents, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, administrators, and members of the community.

Regent Michael C. Worthy, the Chair of the Search Advisory Committee, conducted more than two-dozen meetings around the state, hearing from university constituent groups about what they wanted in a new president. Schulz met those criteria, and it is for those reasons that he was selected.