Letter To The Editor

Jake Tapley

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As a citizen of Vanderburgh County and a diligent supporter of all things USI, … I have to express my extreme dissapointment in current USI president Linda Bennett.

Since its founding, this university has had to fight for its very existence. And with an Indiana legislature that, with the exception of a few visionary lawmakers, makes USI practically beg for funding, we need someone in control that will fight for this university.

After observing President Bennett these first two years of her term, I come to this conclusion:

Either President Bennett is content to build her personal resume at the expense of real progress for USI, or she just doesn’t qualify to lead this great university into the future.

Since her inception as President, construction of major classroom facilities has been halted. President Bennett, unlike her predecessor Dr. Hoops, apparently refuses to make USI’s case for more classroom space. What’s more, the Technology Center – that glorified bomb shelter that barely hovers above the ground – needs to be replaced with a legitimate classroom structure.

The USI master plan calls for a 300,000 square foot building to replace the current Tech Center. Yet, there is no indication that President Bennett plans to seek funding anytime soon for a new Tech Center … or any other major facilities, for that matter.

President Bennett, … I ask you to fight for this University by securing proper funding for USI beyond the basic operating budget.

Yes, a University is more than bricks and mortar projects, but the growing of USI also depends upon the building of new facilties to service the needs of students, faculty and support staff.

Now, we find that the student enrollment at USI is actually falling instead of increasing. Again, this is a sign that President Bennett is failing in her obligation to lead this university. Leading means fighting for funding. It means promoting a progressive environment that puts state legislators on notice that USI intends to fight for its fair share of higher education funding.

As things now stand, USI is once again being treated like the poor step-child of state universities, something that our local citizenry was subjected to for too long. Madame President, if you don’t intend to fight for this University, … I respectfully ask you to resign your post.

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