By Madison Thompson —

U of L has been without a permanent president for more than a year. Trustees held listening tours for faculty, staff and students regarding qualities in the university’s next leader Jan. 17 and 18.

While the listening tours were held with good intentions and transparency in mind, was anything new actually discussed?

The listening tours being open to everyone was considerate, but not worth the time and effort.

Nearly every quality discussed during the listening tours fall into one broad category or the other.

The overwhelming consensus is someone who cares about what we care about. Who doesn’t want a president with integrity, honesty and an interest in academics?

The majority will say these are the qualities they would want in a leader. These qualities are good to have, but not unique. A true leader needs to possess all of these qualities and many others.

The new president needs qualities like creative insight into situations and experience besides being behind a desk. Experience away from the desk environment promotes innovative thinking. We need someone in the academic field, not corporate. The next president must be able to balance more than just a budget.

The next president needs to possess a moral and ethical code preventing further corruption. The university has been in too many scandals as it stands.

In the past, under the reign of James Ramsey, U of L experienced multiple accounts of fraud and lack of integrity. Some of the largest scandals included the sports teams and embezzling.

When applying for the position, it’s almost certain Ramsey didn’t add embezzler and master of cover up to qualifications and experience on his resume.

From the millions of dollars gone to cover-ups and questionable paymwnts, the university needs to start with a clean slate with this new president.

Overall, the listening tours voiced the already-known opinions of the vast majority. It was just news to the trustees.