Karen Schilling, College of Arts and Science dean, will resign at the end of the semester following what has become a public dispute between Schilling and Miami University President David Hodge. According to Schilling, Hodge made comments concerning Schilling that included words like “unprofessional” and “unethical.” In response, Schilling contacted Hodge by e-mail. He then apparently requested her resignation. Following their conversation, all graduate students in the College of Arts and Science received an e-mail from Schilling notifying them of the circumstances of her departure and her regret that the entire situation had become so public.
Based on the information currently available, the editorial board of The Miami Student is disappointed by the seeming lack of professionalism from all of the involved parties. The handling of the dispute was irresponsible and unprofessional by those who are expected to be authority figures. This situation reflects very negatively on Miami and the objective of excellence the school strives to achieve.
The alleged comments made by Hodge about Schilling were inappropriate and if he requested her resignation simply because she questioned him, Hodge acted tactlessly. As president of Miami, Hodge must serve as an example of professional behavior and encourage open dialogue not only with students, but also with members of the faculty. By corresponding solely through e-mail and having a public squabble, students and members of the Oxford community are made even more aware of dysfunction within the administration.
Schilling also acted rashly in her e-mail to all College of Arts and Science graduate students. While she said she regrets the situation had to become public, it did so due to many of her own actions. Although the board commends Schilling for her stand against any inappropriate conduct of Hodge, she could have handled the situation more respectfully as well. The manner in which the entire university and community was dragged into the affair was ridiculous.
Overall, with the current financial state of the university and the tension present in all departments, the administration and faculty should be focused on matters a bit more deserving. No one benefits from this public argument. Both sides handled the matter poorly. Miami University should be a school where the common goal is to work together to provide a first-rate education to students. It should not represent a place of division and dissent.