I greatly respect the editorial board of The Flat Hat, but I want to respond to your recent editorial portraying the Board of Visitors’ consultation with students as nothing more than a “two-day free for all.”
As I explained to The Flat Hat editors previously, we began meeting with students formally several weeks before our decision. The students we met held campus leadership positions and were encouraged to reach out and solicit student input. Over the course of the following weeks, they regularly communicated to us their views of student opinion, including concerns that were raised.
Additionally, in the weeks-long period, many BOV members talked with and called many students whom we had come to know or who had contacted us. The e-mail to all members of the community was to convey the current thinking, make clear the options before the BOV and let people know that it was meeting to discuss these issues and make decisions Sept. 5.
The community e-mail was a supplement to our outreach to keep people informed and not the exclusive vehicle for input. At our meeting last Friday, Student Assembly President Valerie Hopkins ’09, who serves as the student representative to the BOV, presented her view of student opinions and concerns, and did so quite ably. She was also included in the final discussions that led to a decision — as were faculty and staff representatives.
Michael Powell ’85 is the Rector of the Board of Visitors.