Potential hire too big to ignore

Kernel Editorial Board

Just like most governing bodies, UK has a hierarchy of power — President Lee Todd, Provost Kumble Subbaswamy, followed by the soon-to-be-appointed vice president for Student Affairs.

Over the past few weeks, students, faculty and staff have had the opportunity to attend open forums with each of the four candidates: David Parrott of Texas A&M University, Theresa Powell of Temple University, Cornel Morton of California Polytechnic State University and Robert Mock Jr. of the University of Arkansas.

Hopefully everyone on campus recognizes the importance of this position and took the opportunity to attend the forums and listen to the candidates’ ideas. Just as a reminder, here are a few of the things the vice president for Student Affairs is in charge of:

  • Director of Residence Life, which includes 22 residence halls, seven Greek/specialty houses and   13 living-learning communitiesThe Study tutoring program
  • Sustainability program
  • The Violence, Intervention and Prevention Center
  • Student Conduct Office
  • Disability Resource Center
  • Alcohol Education Office

With just this list alone, which does not even include all of the position’s responsibilities, nearly everyone on campus could be impacted by the future vice president. Because of this, it is vital for campus to be informed of the candidates’ positions and goals for the university.

Parrott, a Kentucky native, wants to focus on the university’s diversity. He desires to protect students’ rights, regardless of their background or lifestyle — something he focused on at Texas A&M by creating the Racial and Ethnic Harassment Rule in 2008.

Powell believes she is the right person for the job because she is dedicated to the university’s goal of attaining top-20 status. She is also interested in making UK a more residential university, which is something she achieved in her position at Temple.

Morton said his experiences in previous student affairs departments at Kent State University, the University of Maryland and Virginia Tech would be beneficial if he were hired at UK. Sustaining diversity and improving the relationship between academic and student affairs are his main goals for the university.

Mock, the only candidate from a fellow Southeastern Conference school, believes his familiarity with public land-grant universities and university-wide smoking bans make him the best candidate. He also stressed the importance of alcohol awareness and maintaining a relationship with the local police department.

The eventual vice president for Student Affairs will be making decisions on students’ behalf, therefore students should inform themselves on the issues important to each candidate and let their opinions be heard.

We encourage students, faculty and staff to read the candidate profiles and the forum coverage stories online at After you’ve made an informed decision, let us know where you stand by submitting letters to the editor or posting comments on our Web site.

This isn’t a situation to be apathetic.