Personal attacks on Marlboro president disparage us all

The issue of Marlboro College's future has elicited considerable discussion, which is all to the good. Indeed, this has been the College's hope as it seeks the best possible future for its students, its faculty and staff, its property, and the continued support of its alumni.

Such discussion and the acknowledgment of the loss and grief that many of us, understandably, feel are both necessary and totally understandable. And our hearts go out to all of our neighbors who are experiencing this sense of loss as we are.

What is far less good - and, indeed, disparages us all -is when that grief is channeled into anger, leading to personal attacks on individuals, and particularly on College President Kevin Quigley.

These incidents are particularly unfortunate given that the actions of Quigley and his administration have been such a far cry from those of so many other colleges in similar straits that, by contrast, failed to engage with their students and faculty, failed to treat them with dignity, and left no enduring legacy when they closed their doors.

Instead, Kevin put together an impressive strategic task force of board members, senior staff, and faculty which painstakingly examined potential linkages with more than 80 different higher education institutions in search of the right match. And, happily, it appears that a solid majority of faculty are planning to continue their teaching with the Emerson connection.

Instead of expressions of bitterness, attention should be given to President Quigley's accomplishments, which have been remarkable - among them, the Renaissance scholarships (which increased diversity among the student body and reversed a more- than-10-year decline in enrollment); the fundraising, which exceeded both expectations and past performance, and the College's active partnership with the community, including its participation in asylum initiatives.

We're sure faculty members and students can add lots to the list. There's no question that the College and our community have been greatly enriched by Kevin's presence.

So perhaps it's time for us all to take a deep breath, debate the issues with respect while acknowledging our sadness, and leave the finger-pointing to our national politics.

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