Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Tuesday, December 12, 1961.
Where is Washburn going? What are the goals, ideals, philosophies that inspire the continuing service from administration and faculty? Why do students enroll here?
Sometimes we wonder…
Washburn has been without helmsmanship now for an extended period. Dr. Stoffer’s illness and death left the presidential position vacant and Vice-President McKeefery’s resignation subsequently left the University void of policy-making administration. Dean Engelbert was pressed into service as acting president, in addition to his many normal duties which demanded full-time attention, and although the competent staff has been able to adequately cope with the details of administration. Washburn has been without the vital, directive force which shapes productive education.
A deserted office in Morgan 202, dust gathering on an empty desk, one lonely clerical worker left to represent authority – these symbols told much about the character of our University.
Dr. Harold Sponberg slipped quietly into this framework a few weeks ago. A magnetic personality prepared to create a streamlined diploma mill? A man satisfied simply with inauspicious respectability? An inspired proponent of stiffened academics? Moses in search of the promised land? There are infinite possibilities.
We can not avoid wondering what this man wants to make of himself and of Washburn because it will affect us all – faculty administrators, and students alike. It will place a value on the diploma we receive, on the reputation of the institution with which we have been associated. Potential students will assess the University by the achievements of our president. Distinguished faculty will be determined through his policies.
The potential of Washburn are vast. We are situated in a rapidly expanding metropolitan area which should be able to afford high quality education. Academically qualified persona serve on the faculty; sincere administrators handle the hierarchy. The growing community provides an increasing number of students. These significant factors can be combined in different ways, producing various results – and Sponberg has accepted the challenge of developing these potentials. -d.g.