Letter to the Editor | University Presidential Candidate outlines 15 point plan

Dear Editor,

On Friday, March 24th, I submitted my application for the open President position at Southeastern Louisiana University, my alma mater.

Numerous colleagues, alumni, and community members have asked me to apply for the position. Prior to the “technology meltdown” and the subsequent questionable leadership in the handling of the “hack,” I had no intention of applying for this prominent position. But now I am persuaded to apply. The University—OUR UNIVERSITY—needs strong grassroots leadership. I am answering the call to service.

I came to Southeastern as a high school dropout. As an 18-year-old, I took the GED on campus in the Summer of 1988 and enrolled as a freshman student a few weeks later. Southeastern gave me an emergency student loan and a Federal Pell Grant. I was very involved on campus as a leader, thrusting me into a variety of leadership roles ever since. Truly, nothing good has happened to me apart from Southeastern.

For over 30 years I have served Southeastern in one capacity or another, from student worker to full professor. Indeed, I was President of the Faculty Senate and won the University’s highest award twice, once for artistic activity and again for service. I love Sims Memorial Library and Southeastern. I would like nothing more than to continue to lead in this setting. I have a distinct leadership style and vision. My approach is LOUISIANA STRONG, LOUISIANA BOLD.

On day one, as President of Southeastern Louisiana University, I will begin the process of implementing a clear strategic agenda with my 15-Point Plan:

1. I will have 4 priorities: Enrollment, Funding, Student Mental Wellness, and Campus Free Speech. Aggressive recruitment of students 24/7/365. Fight for funding from the Louisiana Legislature for raises and deferred maintenance. All hands on deck for a campus culture promoting kindness, empathy, and awareness of mental health. Make the University a Free Speech Zone.

2. I will schedule an open press conference on the Southeastern Internet shutdown. I will answer all questions within my legal right to do so.

3. I will move into the President’s Home and will actually live there with my family. I will only serve as President for 5 years.

4. I will have regularly scheduled open-door events for any student, staff, faculty, or community member to drop by and talk about a campus issue.

5. I will eat weekly meals in the cafeteria and host an open table for anyone to join me.

6. I will host a monthly call-in show on radio and online: “The State of Southeastern.”

7. I will appoint a committee to remove Southeastern from the AAUP Censure List.

8. I will appoint a task force to put KSLU 90.9 FM back on the airwaves. We will have the station broadcasting by September 1, 2023.

9. I will appoint a committee to plan the “CB Forgotston Free Speech Forum,” and I will fund the speakers’ fees personally.

10. I will sign an executive order for all campus employees (including student workers) to make $11 an hour as a minimum campus wage. Effective August 15, 2023.

11. I will propose renaming the Department of Communication the Robin Roberts School of Communication.

12. I will propose renaming the Department of Music to the Bill Evans School of Musical Arts.

13. I will reestablish the Southeastern Social Science Research Center and will propose to rename it the Professor C. Howard Nichols Louisiana Research Center.

14. I will propose naming the Athletic Training Program the Robert “Doc” Goodwin Athletic Training Program.

15. I will launch a contest campaign to find a second family dog and have students name him or her. This will be a fundraiser for student athletic scholarships.

In closing, I would be grateful for your support and welcome your feedback. There is no place more important to me than Southeastern Louisiana University.

Dayne Sherman

Faculty or Staff
Professor of Library Science, Sims Library