As Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy steps into her new role as Illinois State University’s first female president on July 1, there is no doubt that several challenges await her arrival and action.
From diversity and inclusion to negotiations with the Graduate Workers Union and COVID-19 still affecting life as we know it, the first few years under Kinzy’s presidency present an uphill battle with much adversity and many conversations along the way.
She will be the one leading the ISU community through the rest of the pandemic and the university’s recovery process in the post-pandemic world. She will be involved in an endless number of conversations within GWU’s negotiation process and conversations about improving diversity and inclusion around campus.
In addition to these current issues, some improvements can be made across campus and there will be other issues that pop up along the way.
As any other president has, she will arrive at different crossroads that present a variety of actions she could take — some that may benefit certain groups and some that may hinder other groups.
Among these challenges lie members of the ISU community who remain cautious about a new president coming in. At the end of the day, there is always much to be done across the board regardless of who is in this role.
Growth is a slow and unsteady process that requires us to pause and take deep breaths along the way. In a time like this, it is important to look to the days ahead of us instead of to the days that are behind us and to remain optimistic during this time.
The challenges do not change the fact that Kinzy holds the title of being the university’s first female president in its 164 years at the end of the day. Kinzy is starting a historical legacy the second she officially walks into the door Thursday.
While having our first female president in 2021 may seem a little late for a 164-year-old university, this historical moment in Kinzy’s legacy at ISU could not come at a better time.
When the announcement came out, many students expressed their excitement to The Vidette and other members of the ISU community took their excitement to social media. That excitement focused on seeing her represent ISU and serving as a face for women in STEM and high positions of power.
A little over five months ago, America watched as Madam Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn into office on Inauguration Day as the first woman to hold this position.
To see these two historical moments happen at different levels of life — and within months of each other — brings this excitement to life on a national and a local level.
It gives young girls the confidence to pursue their dreams no matter how big or small they are. It provides them role models and people they can look up to, allowing them to see that they can accomplish anything they put their mind to.
Regardless of what happens under Kinzy’s leadership here on campus, it is meaningful and exciting to know that every future generation will be living in a society and world where females have held and can hold high positions of power.
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June 29, 2021 at 07:05AM