As you now know, the “countdown” on my interim presidency is now official, and I’m running out of time to spend with students (Sad face). You may see me drop in on a class (I’ve already learned about investing, journalism, respiration, “use it or lose it” fitness and closed loop circuits (well, maybe I didn’t quite understand the circuits). Or, you may have a chance at a bro/sis hangout with Jay and me in the Great Room. Or coffee at the Bean. Or even an impromptu gathering over a meal at the Stu or DC.
I wish I could personally connect with each of you. This Q&A column is another connection point. So, here’s my question for you: As you think about finishing up this year, what is one good thing precipitated by the pandemic?
-Paige Comstock Cunningham, interim president
Q: "Why was there so little transparency with regard to the Spiegel situation?" — Kyle Mongoven, junior
A: This is one of the questions I’ve been asked about the most, and about which I can say the least.
Best practices (and also employer/employee expectations) maintain confidentiality around personnel matters. What I can share is a joint statement drafted by Dr. Jim Spiegel and Taylor administration:
“Dr. Spiegel served as an exemplary professor and scholar at Taylor for many years. While no longer affiliated with one another, we agree that social and traditional media initiatives that seek to cast aspersions or seek recourse are not beneficial to Taylor University or Dr. Spiegel. With this statement we hope to make clear that Dr. Spiegel and Taylor University hold no ill will toward each other. We agree on our best wishes for Taylor’s future and the continued success of Dr. Spiegel.”
Q: “How do you anticipate passing the torch to Dr. Lindsay? Is there advice you would give him and how will that transition happen?" —Ellie Tiemens, junior
A: With the announcement about President-elect Dr. D. Michael Lindsay on March 16, the anticipation of “passing the torch” began. However, he will not be in office until August 16, so there is plenty of time to work out the details. We desire a seamless transition. In the meantime, I am committed to finishing strong for a good handoff.
My advice? Love God. Love the Bible. Love the students. Love the employees. And love the communities: the campus community, and the larger Taylor community that stretches across time and around the world.
Q: "What was the moment when you/the search committee knew that Dr. Lindsay was the right person to be the next President of Taylor?" — Elisabeth Nieshalla, freshman
A: Presidential Search Committee (PSC) co-chair Manuel Rosado answered this question in the all-employee forum last Tuesday. Both he and Dr. Lindsay shared their “moment of knowing” with students in chapel last Wednesday. As they described, it was a Spirit-led process of mutual discernment and confirmation. (And please reach out to Mr. Rosado with any questions about the search). As you may know, I was not a member of the PSC, so cannot speak for them.