Students were not the first to know about Hart’s resignation and some are still unaware.
Students were not the first to hear about President Ann Weaver Hart’s resignation. Other news outlets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, were the first to report the breaking news of Hart’s departure set for June 30, 2012. In fact, as of yesterday, besides a university statement on Temple’s homepage and interviews with media outlets, Hart has not personally addressed her official resignation to the student body. While I understand her reason for resigning, I do not understand why she chose to go about it in such an impersonal way.
If anything, Hart usually addresses the student body via video, but one regarding her resignation has yet to surface since her announcement on Friday, Sept. 9.
Typically, people resign from organizations with a formal letter, but a little more should be expected from a leader of her magnitude. Temple is home to a student body of more than 30,000 students, and the university community should have been addressed from Hart regarding her resignation.
When can the student body expect a more personal and formal resignation? Students should have been the first to know.
Chantal Ingram, a senior international business and marketing major, said she wasn’t even aware of Hart’s resignation.
“I think there should have been some type of formal announcement, and the students should have been one of the first to be informed,” Ingram said. “As students of the school, I think at least a mass e-mail should have been sent out.”
We have no choice but to accept Hart’s decision, however, the delivery wasn’t very respectable. Students should have had an open forum to address any concerns they may want to voice about Hart’s resignation, such as how this will affect them or how the rest of the year will resume. Will her presence and leadership still be felt throughout Temple’s campus? So many questions will remain unanswered until there is an open dialogue about Hart’s decision. Until then, students will continue to wonder about Hart’s intentions and formulate their own answers.
Instead of speculation surrounding her resignation, Hart should come out from behind the camera she has relied on previously, and be open with her students. Her resignation does affect students, and they need to educate themselves about the process in selecting a new president, as well as policy changes that may occur. She needs to offer assurance to students that the transition will run smoothly, and all changes will be communicated to students effectively. Hart still has a chance to redeem herself and reach out to students. We are patiently waiting.
Kierra Bussey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.