Final three presidential candidates visit Wayne

Pembrook, Rames, Williams state their cases

Justise Brundage, Staff Writer

Wayne State College’s three presidential candidates drew capacity crowds earlier this week at open meetings in Gardner Auditorium.

The three finalists, who are competing to replace the retiring Curt Frye, presented their views and answered questions on Monday and Tuesday. Today, the Nebraska State College System’s Board of Trustees are meeting candidates Marysz Palczewski Rames, Randy Pembrook and James E. Williams.

One topic that was brought up at each session was the finalist’s perspective on the role of diversity at WSC.

“It is important for students to learn diversity and appreciate difference,” Rames, interim president of Dakota State University and the first presenter on Monday morning, said. “Difference doesn’t mean changing who I am. Difference is respecting and appreciating others that are different from themselves.”

Pembrook, vice president for academic affairs at Washburn University, appeared Monday afternoon.

“There are two things we need to talk about when it comes to diversity. The first is how you bring diversity elements to campus, and the other is that I think diversity is very important to me,” Pembrook said.

Williams made the final presentation on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s a campus that celebrates what is in the environment and takes pride in learning about each other’s culture and each other’s backgrounds,” Williams said about diversity.

NSCS Chancellor Stan Carpenter has said he will select the new president by late April or early May. Earlier this year, Carpenter hired Charles Bunting of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates as lead consultant in the presidential search.

On Monday and Tuesday, the candidates were asked how they would deal with the current tension between the college faculty and NSCS.

“We need to draw a line in the sand. This is the new president’s administration, so let’s just sit down and figure out what is the concern,” Williams said.

“I think that one of the duties of president is to be the liaison and be the link between the board and the campus,” Rames said. “So there is a clear understanding of what the roles and responsibilities of each area are, and when changes occur, there is open communication.”

“I would try to get a better understanding of what it is that creates the tension,” Pembrook said. “There’s usually a reason for tension. There’s something not right about my world and the other side is causing it.”

There was a survey available on Survey Monkey, but all surveys needed to be submitted by Tuesday night, when all the open sessions were over.

To view Randall Pembrook’s meet and greet, click here.

To view Marysz Palczewski Rames’s meet and greet, click here.

To view James E. Williams’s meet and greet, click here.