Dear President Benson,
You should have seen the University Journal Editorial Board meeting Wednesday night. We talked about how you might be leaving SUU and realized how lucky SUU is to have you. For once, people were interrupting each other with positive comments instead of heated arguments.
You have a way of making every student feel valued and important, which is the way a university should be run. An effective learning community cannot exist if its leaders are domineering and condescending.
When Juniper Hall’s residents had to move out mid-semester, you were there helping them move. You go to nearly every SUU athletic competition, cheering in the stands along with the rest of us. You've even been known to go to athletic events which are hosted at other universities. You played the piano at the Pancake Study Break in December 2012. Every year, you welcome the entire freshman class to your home and greet each student who walks through your door. Thank you for being a T-Bird and being involved on campus.
Your charisma is something we wish we could use to help recruit new students. If we used that Harlem Shake video and a few other evidences of your involvement and charisma (not to mention that letter you sent out to everyone, asking for ideas for the budget!), the student population of SUU might just double. That is, if we could convince everyone seeing them that it’s for real, because they might think it’s all staged and too good to be true.
From a newspaper staff’s standpoint, we know we aren’t likely to find any other university president whose caliber approaches yours. You always get back to us when we are looking for information or an interview. You have an open-door policy — and people take you up on it, because you are so approachable. We’ve had to send you emails in the wee hours of the morning and are always amazed when we get a prompt response.
We want to wish you luck with your candidacy at Eastern Kentucky University. Becoming the university president there would be a great step in your career. At the same time, we think SUU is blessed to have you here, and we know it isn’t likely that we will find someone of your caliber again anytime soon.
No matter what happens, Pres. Benson, we are behind you 100 percent. Thank you for being so great at what you do for us.
The University Journal Editorial Board
The opinions expressed above are the collective perspective of the University Journal Editorial Board. The editorial board meets Mondays at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in room 176C of the Sharwan Smith Center.