Monday, July 02, 2007

The door swings closed 

Our president retired Saturday (sort of, he will still work for MnSCU helping other schools set up international programs.) You wouldn't have to search much here to find my criticisms of his seven years on the campus. His exit has been somewhat more gracious than most of time, though, and there's a quote in the story that struck me as dead on.
"He had a more casual attitude and was more comfortable as the average guy than as president," Prout [Sue, Saigo's executive assistant] said. "He feels more comfortable being one of the guys than being the suited president standing up addressing a crowd in a formal address."
I recall him in academic regalia and thinking "he doesn't seem to like wearing that stuff," yet he seemed to want the display of pomp (for example, he was formally installed as president via a ceremony.) I found him at his most comfortable wandering into lunch alone and sitting with whomever he thought might want to chat. Formal speaking, I'd argue, was not his long suit.

I'm glad the article focused on his work on international programs; it really has been the one good thing he's done here that I hope lasts past his term.

Get to meet the new guy this morning. Let's see what his first impression is like...

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