Panama City, 31 July 2003
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks you probably know that FSU-Panama will soon be left without a Rector. Dr. Jeremy Brown recently called it quits. The recent investigation into alleged misconduct can hardly have been comfortable for him, although he was cleared of any wrong-doing, and administrators from Tallahassee have stated that they are very pleased with the work he has done. In any case, Dr. Brown has decided that it is time to move on to a new position. This raises plenty of questions, but one in particular seems to have been left unasked by the student body. Who will be the new Rector?
With the ongoing campus buzz about administration hostility, I assumed that the subject of the replacement of the Rector wouldn’t be well received. Directing questions to administration officials here on campus, I crossed my fingers and waited for answers.
Answers were exactly what I got. Dr. Carlos Langoni, the Vice-Rector, agreed to an interview on the subject, and invited me to his office. He seemed ready to provide answers, so I started bombarding him with all sorts of questions regarding the future placement of the new Rector. First, he pointed out that because of the time it takes to choose a new Rector (about a semester), he will stand in as Rector, until the new appointment takes place. At the same time Prof. Alexandra Anyfanti has been invited to take his place for the time being within the administration.
A Committee that will be formed by the Board of Directors in Tallahassee will do the actual choosing of the new rector. Because FSU-Panama is held to the standards of FSU-Tallahassee, the choice of the future rector must have their approval.
In order to find candidates for the job, the opening (as well as the requisites) will be publicly announced. That means virtually anybody can apply for the job provided they comply with the requisites. So what exactly are these? Dr. Langoni suggested that they are probably those of any top administrative position. Additionally, he pointed out, that they will probably look for someone with a strong academic background, experience in university administration and some knowledge of Panamanian idiosyncrasies.
Applications could come from any place in the world, and the new Rector could be anyone, including someone in-house, such as Dr. Langoni. When asked if he would be applying for the position, he stated that he is considering it, but hasn’t made a decision because of all the politics that the post implies. If he were to apply, however, he seems a very likely candidate and more than qualified for the job.
The months that will transpire from now until the appointment are apt for intense speculation. Not that that would be a bad thing. The more students get involved in the process, the likelier that the head honchos in Tallahassee will take care in choosing a new Rector. Even if we, as students, have no direct influence, as tuition payers we are the biggest pressure group.
Students have to stay alert and informed.
So stay awake. We’ll keep you posted.
Vicky Colorado Riera, on assignment for The Pananole News.
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