An early wish list for Jane Fernandes’s presidency

Dear Jane,


Congratulations on your inauguration. We appreciate the work you have already done in balancing our budget and getting involved in student life here on campus. We look forward to seeing you continue to do that.

We also appreciate your efforts to be open with the students. We hope that this will continue, and that you will be open to criticism as well as consistent. In the past, students have been troubled by a lack of transparency in the administration. We look forward to working with someone who will keep the students updated on what is going on on campus.

At Guilford, our Quaker values are very important to us. We are proud to say that you have been consistently embodying these values. We ask that you share our Quaker values with our incoming first-years. A portion of our student body arrives at Guilford every year unaware of what Quakerism really means. We hope that you continue to show first-years and other students that the core values matter to the administration.

Scholarships, for us, are another priority. Although Guilford is having trouble right now financially, many students are able to come to Guilford largely because of the financial aid they receive. We hope this can be made a priority, as it would help to retain students. Although we have some great opportunities here at Guilford, such as the Bonner Program and the Multicultural Leadership Scholars Program, not everyone receives these forms of aid.

We are also impressed by your assurances that you will develop a fair salary plan. In the past, we have called for the implementation of this. We understand that you will likely face opposition, but we will stand in support of you. We hope that you will be courageous and strong as you preside over coming discussions.

As Guilford approaches its first major curriculum revision since 1998, we approach a revision of our academic identity. We hope that you will guide us through this process to strengthen our academics and further infuse our values into our teaching and learning.

We hope you take our thoughts into consideration. We’re all very excited to have you here and work with you throughout your tenure.