Monday, January 14, 2008

Fresh Start with New WWU President?

The following appeared in the 13 January edition of the Bellingham Herald.

“Members of the public will gather at the Bellingham Public Library Tuesday [15 Jan] to discuss what qualities they’d like to see in the next president of Western Washington University.

President Karen W. Morse has announced she’ll retire from WWU on Sept. 1, after 15 years. Among the questions to consider are the challenges and opportunities facing the next president, what must he or she accomplish and what personal characteristics and professional qualifications are desirable.

The meeting, led by former WWU President Kenneth Mortimer, will be at 7 p.m. in the library’s lecture room, 210 Central Ave.

For more information on the presidential search or to submit feedback, go to

Those concerned with WWU’s inaction with regard to addressing the housing issues for present or future students may wish to attend this meeting. The next WWU president should understand and speak to the manner in which the university will finally step up to the plate. Although the presence of over 12,000 students is not the only cause of the existence of illegal rooming houses in Bellingham, it remains the largest contributor to the population which inhabits these illegal, uncontrolled, unlicensed and, otherwise unrestricted rentals. The new president should be aware of the dangers posed to university students who live in single family homes, in contravention of city code, where safety checks are never made and overcrowding is not regulated. I have addressed these issues in various ways over the past 6 months. Click here, here, here and here to read my previous comments.

If you cannot attend the meeting, I urge you to voice your concerns to the search committee by sending an email to You can read more at the presidential search web page at:

No comments: