O captain, our captain?

For nearly a century, Murray State has grown and thrived with the help of talented administrators, faculty, staff and students. The University went from Murray State College to Murray State University thanks to their efforts and enrollment continues to grow because of efforts involved with making Murray State the “Public Ivy” university we used to hear so much about in recruitment literature.

Murray State, however, is not immune to the damage that has been inflicted upon the country by the Great Recession. State funding is drying up as Frankfort moves to cut back on things like building roads and trimming the number of state employees.

The administration thus has the greatest role in seeing Murray State through this crisis while maintaining an environment that will allow for further growth and development. In spite of this, however, we have seen the administration shirk at the responsibilities this entails for much of the semester.

We have done our best to publicize the lack of transparency students have had to deal with coming from the administration. We have tried our best to offer criticism insofar as it is constructive towards the administration establishing a more productive relationship with the student body.

Students are frustrated. Students are tired of being told one thing and then witnessing something else entirely come out of the administration.

Nowhere is that more evident in the announcement that President Randy Dunn has been named a semifinalist in Missouri State University’s search for a new president.

The announcement came as a surprise to just about everyone on campus, and we are left feeling like we are being abandoned by President Dunn “getting out while the getting is good.”

We aren’t criticizing President Dunn for trying to improve his position by making the jump to a larger university. What we are criticizing him for is trying to leave when Murray State faces incredible financial challenges in the coming years.

With vice president of academic affairs Bonnie Higginson also resigning, the University will already be engaged in a search for a provost, often considered the vice president of universities everywhere. Do we really want to add a search for a new president to the “to-do” list for 2013?

Murray State needs a steady hand behind the wheel to make the tough decisions that are going to have to be made in the next few years on everything from the budget to enrollment to the tedius reaccreditation. We want Dr. Dunn to be a captain leading the way – a loyal captain would never abandon his ship, nor his crew.

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Murray State News.