By Mary Chan
University of Calgary President Terry White is seeking a second term as the head of the U of C, although not everybody is happy to hear it.
Despite criticism, however, White is confident.
"This is a very exciting place to be, and I’m highly committed to the U of C," he said. "I think it’s an outstanding university that has a terrific future."
One general criticism White faces is a lack of a connection with students.
"I’ve never seen him," said third-year General Studies student Karamjit Sandhar. "I have no idea what he’s done."
"I couldn’t point him out in a crowd," said second-year General Studies student Amy Korchinsky. "If I saw him giving a speech, I’d remember it was Terry White."
White claims he contacts students through, among other things, working with U of C 101, Scholar’s Advantage, meeting with the Students’ Union, and attending Colour Night and Dinos games.
"As far as talking to students, I don’t have a sense that I’m out of touch because I have lots of contact with students, and all kinds of students," he said.
White believes the size of the campus makes it hard for him to know every student.
"If you’ve got a small city of 35,000 plus people, how many of those 35,000 people get to meet the mayor on a daily basis?" he said.
White says a number of people encouraged him to go for another term to retain continuity in dealing with funding issues and increased demands for a university education.
"What people said to me is, ‘We really accomplished a great deal over the last several years, and it hasn’t been easy, but we think we need to continue the momentum because things are not going to be easier for the university. In order to do that, we think it’s wise to have stability in the leadership,’" said White. "That was sort of the general message I was getting back."
Now that White has declared his intention to seek reappointment, a review committee will be set up. The committee consists of nine people, eight administrators or faculty members and one student representative jointly appointed by the SU and Graduate Students’ Association.
"Whoever the SU appoints would be responsible for expressing the opinions of the SU as a group," said SU President Rob South.
The committee will conduct interviews and decision whether to recommend a reappointment. White’s five-year term officially ends June 30, 2001.