Letter to the Editor

Jimmy Pyles

There was a letter to the editor published on Sept. 6, 2012 that criticized USI President Linda Bennett for being, “… content to build her personal resume at the expense of real progress for USI, or she doesn’t qualify to lead this great university into the future.” As two active, involved students, and one of us former student body president, we must say this view is completely inaccurate, untrue and lacks credibility.

This university has started a major transformation under the leadership of President Bennett. She is improving the quality of our programs, fighting for funding from our state legislators and working to increase graduation rates. USI witnessed a slight decrease in enrollment this fall because, under President Bennett, the university is increasing the quality of students. The average GPA and SAT scores increased with this freshman class. These students are more likely to graduate in four years, which will help USI receive increased funding from the state.

As seniors, we have enjoyed only one semester without any construction work whatsoever. There is a brand new theatre being built, and several departments on campus are being renovated. USI is also working on an Applied manufacturing facility, even if many are unaware of it. USI is continuing to grow and expand at a stable pace.

We are two of a few students that have seen firsthand how President Bennett has been fighting for USI at the statehouse. She assumed her role at a very difficult time in higher education – the state was cutting funding for public universities. President Bennett saw USI through this difficult period and even worked to get the theater and manufacturing center approved when many other universities were denied funds.

President Bennett is fight for USI and our students every single day. She truly cares about our students and is providing opportunities for them to succeed. … She deserves sincere appreciation from the students and community for her work thus far. We are pleased she is one that is leading our great university.

Sincerely,

Jordan M. Whitledge

Dylan J. Melling