Step up to the mic with Bob

Thursday’s forum will be an excellent venue for student involvement.

When University President Bob Bruininks canceled his State of the University address with no plans to reschedule, it sent signals that he might be looking to withdraw somewhat from the public sphere, muting discussion and criticism of administrative decisions. However, he has recently been working hard to atone for the lack of a rescheduled speech: Since his State of the University address was canceled, he has had long, frank discussions both with this editorial board and with a reporter for this paper. He has also announced a public forum in which he will answer the University communityâÄôs questions at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22 in the Coffman Union Theater. With specific attention to the latter, these discussions with the University community may turn out to be better and more informative than the usual presidential address might have been. There isnâÄôt much room for surprise in a one-way transmission with a carefully controlled message, but answering the University communityâÄôs questions in a live forum will keep the president on his toes and expose him to the real concerns of stakeholders. Students would do well to take advantage of this opportunity and attend the forum âÄî even if they donâÄôt plan to ask questions. Showing up is a way for students to demonstrate that they care about how the University is run and are invested members of its community. The fact also remains that, despite the presidentâÄôs recent openness, there are plenty of tough questions that still need to be asked; they will mean more and get better answers coming from well-prepared, well-informed students.