Cartwright chats over coffee

Sara Macho

Justin Jeffery, president of Kent Interhall Council and candidate for city council Ward 4, talks with President Carol Cartwright about the changing environment of the city of Kent at last night’s coffee hour. About 100 students had the opportunity to ch

Credit: Jason Hall

Ashlei Trimm doesn’t like coffee, but the sophomore secondary education major jumped at the chance to meet President Carol Cartwright last night at the eighth annual Coffee with Cartwright.

About 100 students listened from couches and armchairs in the Eastway Lower Lounge as Cartwright answered nearly 30 questions. The event was hosted by Undergraduate Student Senate.

“Some people feel her presence on campus isn’t as strong, but after tonight, it shows Cartwright still cares about current students,” Trimm said.

Students posed a wide variety of questions, but the main concern seemed to be Cartwright’s retirement, which she announced Oct. 5.

Cartwright told listeners about the nationwide search for her successor and the qualities the trustees will look for in the next president.

“The board very much believes in the strategic plan for the university,” Cartwright said. “They are looking for a president who is excited about the university’s new plans and who will continue working in the direction of the strategic plan.”

The board will set up a Web site where students can voice their ideas on a new president to trustees anonymously, Cartwright said.

A presidential search committee will be announced within the next two weeks. Cartwright said the decision for a new president will be made during the end of spring semester.

“It’s very hard to predict where the new president will come from,” Cartwright said. “Typically, a person who is already the president at a university or the university provost is selected.”

Although many of the students’ questions were geared toward Cartwright’s retirement, other concerns included the relationship between the city of Kent and university students and class size.

Cartwright said that Dave Ruller, Kent’s city manager, is trying to promote feelings of a traditional “college town” among its residents.

“Kent residents are very opinionated about noise and traffic issues,” she said. “There hasn’t been time to explore the extras and benefits of living in a college town.”

Cartwright said Kent residents do not feel welcome in their city. Residents feel that we are an intimidating community, she added.

“The new city manager has a goal of making the city of Kent more comfortable living in a college town,” Cartwright said.

Regarding class size, she said a course can be taught effectively even on a large scale. The administration is currently looking for ways to involve students in the teaching and learning process.

At the end of the hour-long discussion, Cartwright said she was extremely satisfied with the turnout of the event and the diversity of questions asked. According to Student Relations Sen. Sunny Brick, attendance had been poor in the past due to the location of the event.

Contact student politics reporter Sara Macho at [email protected].