This can be new day for AU

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 22, 2004

On Friday, December 17th, Dr. William Walker stepped down as President of Auburn University.

In his resignation letter, he wrote “I am hopeful that my decision to step down as President will mark the beginning of a new day at Auburn and that all members of the Auburn Family will put aside their differences and work together to refocus Auburn on its true land grant mission of instruction, outreach and research.”

I urge each member of the Auburn family, whether students, professors, parents, alumni, friends, or supporters to accept the challenge set forth by Dr. Walker in his statement.

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It is time to set aside differences and work to make Auburn better.

Auburn made some great advances under Dr. Walker’s leadership.

The Board of Trustees over the next year will have five new members.

By 2008, five more trustees will have been appointed to the Board.

This constitutes significant change in the dynamics of the board of trustees, bringing new leadership and ideas to the direction of the University.

Over the next few years, we will face many critical decisions at Auburn University.

I believe it is time for each member of the Auburn family to step back and take the time to consider what is best for our University.

I realize that we may not agree on what is best for Auburn, but I challenge each and every person to quit complaining and take action.

If you have a problem with the new presidential search candidates, don’t write an open letter to the governor.

Rather, meet with your representative on the search committee and discuss your options.

I feel that we have too long gone about attacking each other in the papers instead of talking personally.

Much of what has happened in the past has been at the expense of the students, alumni, and everyone who has a part of themselves invested in the University.

Now is a time for the members of Auburn University to stand behind Interim President Richardson as we press forward toward removal of the scar of probation from our record.

Everyone who comes in contact with Auburn University soon realizes what an incredible place it is.

And, we must do all that we can to protect this great institution for the benefit of future generations.

President Walker’s resignation was a turning point.

If we act now, we can turn Auburn in a new direction and maintain the legacy of greatness of this wonderful place.

Jonathan McConnell

President, Student Government Association

Auburn University