The Resignation of Lisa Rossbacher
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Behind every great university, there is great leadership. This leadership affects the students, staff, alumni, community, and the future. This special type of leadership leaves a heartbeat of legacy in everyone that has the opportunity to be around it. Leaders should be a symbol of hope, determination, integrity, courage and above all else, selflessness.
Humboldt State University's President, Lisa Rossbacher is not the leader Humboldt State needs or wants. This unquestionable need for change is in direct response to the termination of the Humboldt State football program after the 2018 season. This is a program has been around since 1924 and has been an integral part of not only the school, but the supportive community as well. The saturday night life at the Redwood Bowl makes the atmosphere in Humboldt County so special.
After months of stressed dedication, the boosters, alumni and community raised over $500,000 confirmed on December 5th,2017 by Rossbacher while boosters said over $2,000,000 was raised. Claiming recently that the community fell short of the goal, only collecting $329,000 when the time came around, Rossbacher made the decision to axe down the program. Her reasoning behind this stems from the two-year budget cut plan that she publicly announced this past April. Rossbacher plans on cutting $9 million out of the University's budget thinking it will help the ever increasing deficit that the University is currently in.
Humboldt State is failing. Failing its student-athletes, community members, supports, and so many more. The graduation rate of HSU is one of the lowest in the CSU system, along with the freshman retention rate. Numbers are only expected to get worse with the termination of the football program, budget cuts, and the tuition increase.
For a school that claims diversity as a key part of it's so called success, fewer students of color are enrolling and attending Humboldt State. This problem will only increase as a direct result of the football program being discontinued. Last year it was reported that there were only 281 (3.41%) African American students at the University, most of whom were involved with the University’s athletics. Dozens have transferred as a result of the fiasco that took place last fall and that number is only increasing after the announcement of the soon to be death of a long standing program.
What does this reflect to the community? It shows that everything a leader should portray has been thrown out the window. To the kids who need hope and role models, they'll no longer receive that from a place they have already become familiar with. To the alumni and boosters that have poured money into the futures of student-athletes and the University- they will be less motivated to, knowing there is a cloud of doubt on whether the leadership at Humboldt State will put it to good use. What does it say to high school graduates trying to make a huge decision on where to spend the next four most important years of their life? It screams "run away from Humboldt State University.”
That is how important leadership is. It can make or break an institution, community, and future. Are we still willing to put so much in the hands of someone who has shown so little of what it takes to be that needed leader Humboldt State deserves? Let's take action and demand change before the next program is taken away and dreams and opportunities are damaged. Humboldt State deserves a new leader; and a leader that cares not only for their own well being but for the people both within and in support of the University.
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