UWA needs to move forward

Published 8:58 pm Friday, May 16, 2014

The last couple of months have been difficult ones for the University of West Alabama family.

There has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the school’s future after president Richard Holland was placed on administrative leave in March.

Three months of “responses” and internal investigations, one by Holland’s supporters and one released Thursday by the board, came to a conclusion when trustees accepted the president’s wishes to retire.

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As board member Thed Spree said, the vote doesn’t make anyone happy. The whole situation should leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone whose heart lies in Livingston.

“For the best of the university, let’s move on,” Spree said. “I’m unhappy, but I’ll get over it. We need to move forward.”

Truer words were never spoken. Holland has retired, and UWA will have a new president.

Now is the time to come together and support the presidential search committee as they work to find the university’s next leader.

With Holland’s tenure now in the past, the university needs to focus on the future and continuing to provide quality education to the people of West Alabama, as it has since it was established in 1835.

We hope the search committee looks far and wide and takes plenty of time to make sure their decision is the right one.

Given everything that has transpired in recent months, we believe an outside candidate, someone with no allegiances or current ties, should be strongly considered as the right person to lead UWA in the future.

As board president Terry Bunn said, this storm will pass: “This is the first day in the next chapter of this great institution.”

Everyone will be watching closely to see how these next few pages play out.