The UTA community should take advantage of the town hall meeting and influence the presidential search

Over a year after former President Vistasp Karbhari stepped down, the UT System announced it was doing a national search for a new UTA president in July.

The UT System will host a town hall meeting Monday to hear what the university community expects to see in the new president. Students, faculty and staff can attend either in-person in the Science and Engineering Innovation and Research Building auditorium, Room 298, or virtually at 4 p.m.

The Shorthorn Editorial Board encourages the UTA community to join the meeting to voice their opinions and take part in finding the best president for the university. Since the beginning of the fall semester, the administration has proven they care about students’ opinions through policies such as refunding distance learning fees and implementing weekly, randomized COVID-19 testing for 20% of the student, faculty and staff population starting Monday.

The opportunity to influence the search for a new university president does not come often, and students should realize they have the power to decide how they want the campus to operate in the years to come.

Faculty and staff should also use this opportunity to attend the meeting and voice their opinions and concerns. Multiple faculty members have expressed their views regarding class modalities and safety protocols this fall semester. The town hall will give them a chance to express their opinions on how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, which is far from over.

After Karbhari stepped down, Teik Lim became the interim president. In April, students and faculty members said he had done a good job navigating the campus through the pandemic. He tackled the COVID-19 pandemic, nationwide social justice issues and the severe winter storm in Texas in February.

However, Lim is still only an interim president. A permanent president will have the ability to establish a vision for the university, tackle more approaches to help the university improve rankings in the university system, add more programs and recruit faculty more aggressively, according to previous Shorthorn reporting.

Input from students, faculty and staff would benefit all of these things, provided the university has a good leader who listens and understands peoples’ concerns. But the administration and the future president will not be able to address these things without feedback.

The UTA community should speak up to help the UT System find the most suitable candidates who can lead the university past the pandemic and beyond.

The Shorthorn Editorial Board encourages students, faculty and staff to take advantage of the rare opportunity to share their opinions and find the best candidate for the university. It is not an easy job, and the community deserves a president who understands and is ready to address all of its concerns.

That can only happen if the future president knows what the concerns are from this town hall Monday.

The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of opinion editor Dang Le; Editor-in-Chief Angelica Perez; associate news editor Cole Kembel; Katecey Harrell, life and entertainment editor; design editor Vivian Santillan; news reporter Taylor Coit; and copy editor Jill Bold.

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