December 3, 2020

Editorial: The End of an Era

This is The Journal’s last issue of the semester. As Webster University gets ready to take a break for the summer, seniors are getting ready to head on to bigger and better things. The Journal’s staff is cognizant of one significant difference on this campus since our seniors joined the staff in the fall 2007 — the Webster president.
Richard Meyers was aloof and borderline unfriendly towards students and spent more time at Webster’s campuses abroad than he did here at home. Even The Journal, which prides itself on sniffing out the good, the bad and the ugly of Webster, found itself in the dark on its president.
Then, like in any good scandal, Meyers unexpectedly stepped down from his post as president and his V.P., Neil George, stepped in until a proper search could be done. A year later, President Elizabeth Stroble assumed the position and caused a shift in priorities at Webster. We finally knew our president, we could identify her on the street and she would greet us by name.
But The Journal didn’t forget Stroble’s predecessor. In the fall 2009 semester, Amir Kurtovic, news editor at the time, uncovered funds that had been given to Meyers by the university in deferred compensation, and unveiled that Meyers had claimed personal funds as business funds. Meyers’ presidency was not always as bleak as this.
Almost all presidencies start out strong, and that was no different than with President Meyers’ time at Webster. But Stroble seemed to be the Suzie Homemaker to Meyers’ Richard Nixon. She had united a community that had been without a visible leader for more than a decade and allowed Webster to take a much needed exhale after such a controversial president.
The Journal is always watching. This isn’t a warning as much as a definition of what we do. We tell stories, we watch, we listen and then we write.
As the paper on campus, we pride ourselves on sharing the success or triumph of Webster, but we also don’t shy away from the grimmer truths that we have uncovered.
We’d like to point out one trend in Stroble’s presidency so far that is cause for raised eyebrows, if not accusatory pointed fingers. For every president there is a certain amount of reorganizing of staff. Look at the changes in faculty and staff that have taken place — almost a dozen people have resigned or been let go in the two years Stroble has reigned. At her convocation, Stroble gave an analogy to the show “Chopped” for her view on her new position and reorganizing of the university staff.
It begs The Journal to wonder how much of Stroble’s plan is reorganizing and how much is purging.

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