I was recently alerted by a fellow Gallaudet alumni that pointed out that the NEW Gallaudet Board of Trustees did something to shock the alumni. I was saying.. *HUH*? This can't be about *OUR Gallaudet Board of Trustees!?!?!*. None the less, my fellow Gallaudet Alumni showed me an e-mail that came out some time ago.
I was outraged to hear the GU Board of Trustees latest action. This little action is what upsets me:
"During the meeting, it was also announced that the University has reached its $31 million goal in The Campaign for Gallaudet's Future to build the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communication Center and to fund the new I. King Jordan Chair in Leadership. This is the University’s second capital campaign, and both times we have been successful, thanks to the support of our alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of Gallaudet. This achievement is surely something we can all share great pride in. " (quote from the web page)
I was aghast! I asked myself a serious question: "Hasn't Gallaudet University's Board of Trustees honored I. King Jordan enough?" Why naming this chair in honor of I.King Jordan in Leadership when the protest broke out in 2006 over the selection of the next president in which Jordan might well have his hand in the cookie jar of that mess? Everyone suspects that pretty much. For Jordan to named a chair in Leadership is a laughing stock of a joke gone so bad, it's stupid!
One person, Jim Byrne (another alumni), has told me the following : "GU BOTs are so stupid to have SAC renamed after IKJ when he isn't even dead yet!".
I have to concur with him on that.
But the greater fact is: Jordan's legacy on the Gallaudet Campus (and in history) is now secured more than ever before. I am really wondering if we should go for the record and have the Gallaudet BoTs to do the ultimate thing: vote to rename Gallaudet University to Jordan University! This seems the very road we are traveling down now.
What a horrible path.
Jordan: The Gallaudet President who's time began with a controversial College Presidential selection /Protest (DPN) and ended with another controversial College Presidential selection/protest (UFG).
Jordan's name and legacy ought to fade away from Gallaudet University so that our campus can be healed. But keeping his name in front of the current and prospective students will make people believe that it is his university more than Edward Miner Gallaudet's dream.
Has the dream been shattered? Yes. Along with all the future recognition that comes with this dream.
Perhaps Gallaudet University BOTs would have been in a better position if they had chosen a president like President Destler who is doing fantastic work at reinventing RIT. The RIT BOTs took every careful step to avoid a controversy like Gallaudet University had and took extreme patience. They involved everyone to make the proper selection of Destler to lead RIT to become a much better university.
What does the future hold for Gallaudet? The dustbin or more protests to come? Will NTID/RIT beat Gallaudet out for more students? What's the next real chapter of Gallaudet University beyond the days of Davila?
As long as Former President Jordan name keeps in front of students and others, it will continue to make an impact. The fate of Gallaudet's future is in the hands of those who run the GU BOTs and their ever present decisions.
As it is Easter 2008, I ask you to pray for them as well as the future of Gallaudet University.