Changes may take time: New president will make administration decisions

By Nicole Schladt

As the final days of Todd’s presidency draw near, speculation over possible changes in administration as a result of an incoming president is stirring on campus.

“It is premature to answer any of these questions prior to the selection of a president,” Jay Blanton, UK spokesman, said in an email to the Kernel. “The new president will make decisions regarding his or her administrative team, as was the case with President Todd, and is the case at every major university.”

Bernie Vonderheide, the former director of public relations at UK, also warned that changes in administration may not happen overnight.

“Even after we know who (the new president) is, only time will tell how his or her personality and method of operation will fit the University of Kentucky and what his or her goals will be,” Vonderheide said.

Vonderheide, who has served beneath three different UK presidents, said that administrative changes will probably only occur after the new president’s method and goals are clear. He pointed toward former president David Roselle as an example of a chief executive making necessary administrative changes within the university.

Roselle, UK’s ninth president, is well known for responding to NCAA allegations of misconduct within the university’s basketball program.

“All of a sudden this mathematician, who everyone was calling weak or flimsy, rolls up and says we’re going to clean up this program,” Vonderheide said.

Roselle’s willingness to make changes in administration after this scandal demonstrated how strong he was as a president, Vonderheide said. He suggested that UK’s new president should look at Roselle’s actions as a guide for responding to crises in the future.

“You really don’t know how he or she will adjust to the crises that plague universities of this size,” Vonderheide said. “Eventually, if he or she is a good president, the staff will be rearranged if need be.”