Perkins' efforts appreciated on Wis. campus The April...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 15, 2002

Perkins' efforts appreciated on Wis. campus

The April 10 Sun contained an article with observations about Mark Perkins' behavior while he was chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay ("Towson ex-president faced troubles before"). I currently am privileged to hold that position, and simply want to make one unequivocal point: The remodeling of the chancellor's residence here was essential to turn a private residence into a public building suited to public purposes.

The cultivation of relationships is a major responsibility of any modern university president; this must be done in person, and the university and the people it serves benefit directly from the building of relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, legislators, regents, civic and community leaders and leaders of the communities of color that enrich a region.

Long before we heard of the issues at Towson, my wife and I had repeatedly commented on how much the renovation undertaken by Mr. Perkins had aided us in the fulfillment of our responsibilities.

In the five months we have been in Green Bay, the residence has been used to host about 700 guests of the university. This would not have been possible without the changes initiated by Mr. Perkins.

Bruce Shepard

Green Bay, Wis.

The writer is chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

As a former financial administrator with a Native American college closely associated with University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB), I was fortunate to work with Mark Perkins on a number of initiatives, and I have friends who were staff, students and faculty members at UWGB during Mr. Perkins' tenure as chancellor.

The Sun's characterization of him is unfair, one-sided and out of line.

The community of Northeast Wisconsin that UWGB serves was very saddened to see him leave.

Mr. Perkins is a man of character, integrity, vibrancy and fiscal responsibility. He expanded the operations of UWGB in a manner that reflects these characteristics.

He was well respected by the majority of his faculty, staff and administrators. He was equally respected by those at the College of Menominee Nation, where I worked.

The Sun's efforts to belittle him by publishing only the remarks of his detractors at UWGB are unfortunate.

Jonathan K. Wilber

Germantown

Checks on Perkins found no problems

The suggestions in the article "Towson ex-president faced troubles before" (April 10) and the editorial "Growing up at Towson U." (April 10) that the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents and the Towson University Presidential Search Committee failed to conduct a reasonable pre-hiring investigation of Mark Perkins' background are incorrect.

During the search, members of the search committee conducted lengthy off-the-record interviews with University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students, faculty, regents, staff and administrators as well as officials of the Wisconsin university system. No person interviewed raised any issue regarding the matters referred to by The Sun or any other concern about Mr. Perkins.

This due diligence by the search committee was in addition to a confidential investigation by the professional search firm hired by the committee and supplemental background checking by the chancellor of the university system after the committee delivered its list of finalists to him.

The committee received no negative information from any source prior to Mr. Perkins' selection by the regents.

The regents acted reasonably in relying on this process.

Gerard J. Gaeng

Lutherville

The writer led the Towson University Presidential Search Committee.

Perhaps Perkins should run for office

Assuming Mark L. Perkins was able to keep a straight face as he wrote that the $25,000 plasma-screen television set purchased for his home was part of "a multimedia, not `entertainment' center" that would be used to "demonstrate the effective use of technology in an instructional setting" ("Towson U. president steps down," April 9), I suggest that he stay in town rather than moving back to Wisconsin.

While his future as a university president appears bleak, he clearly has the "right stuff" to be a successful Maryland politician.

Larry Larsen

Towson

Cartoon captures folly of redistricting

As a Republican, I often disagree with the message of KAL's cartoons, but his "Political Animals" (April 8) brought nothing but laughter.

His hilarious depictions of Maryland's new districts are right on target and confirm yet again the idiocy of the governor's redistricting map.

Sharon Maenner Carrick

Centreville

BCCC is committed to construction plans

The Sun's article "Leaders want developers to fill in the gaps" (March 24) implies that developers have put off indefinitely the construction of shops and offices adjacent to the parking garage that is currently under construction at Baltimore City Community College's Lockwood site. This is simply untrue.

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