What Do We Look For in a President?


To be honest, what to look for in a president sounds simple and complex at the same time. On the one hand, a president needs to always represent the school. On the other hand, a president should also be a representative for the students as well. There are plenty of candidates to choose from, and that begs the question: would it be possible for our president to be a woman?  

It’s not like having a woman president is going to be impossible, but it might not happen anytime soon. The sad thing is it shouldn’t matter what gender our president happens to be. What’s important is having a president who’s competent at their job. Sadly, sexism can’t be solved overnight.

However, a president should choose what is right over what is easy or popular. If they could exceed the student body’s expectations, that’s fine. But if they have to choose, the president should try to enforce good policies rather than be popular or spineless. As long as they show a strong stance on important issues Millikin faces, any president is fair game.   

Rebekah Icenesse:

Millikin needs a president that’s going to uphold the standards of Millikin. We need someone who is qualified and who really cares about the students and Millikin community. We need a president that will make good financial decisions for the university and make changes that are essential to make.

Every previous Millikin president has been white. Not that we don’t want another white president, but we need a president that will make Millikin more inclusive and diverse. A president needs to make the student body feel included like they belong and we need someone who will bring in more diversity and inclusivity.

A president needs to not only think about the students, but they also need to be a part of the community. President Patrick White showed up to the Millikin sports games and other campus events to show he really cares about the university, it’s students, and what goes on at Millikin.

So we need a president that will represent Big Blue and our values. Not only the university’s values, but value the students and Big Blue community. We need someone that can bring in more students and make Millikin feel like a home. Millikin is our home away from home and having a great president that truly cares about the students is exactly what we need. As students, we do not have a big voice that can make a lot of changes within the university, so we need a president that will listen to what we have to say and become our voice. A president should not only reflect the university, but the students as well.

Caleb Kelch:

We’re all human and no one is perfect. When looking for a president for our school, we cannot demand certain requirements the candidate may possess or have the knowledge of, but rather we shall list the needs and wants that Millikin deserves and desperately needs. Along with this, we must realize the factors that need to be changed and addressed with our new president.


JaCarla Anderson:


When looking for someone to be in the president of the school, there is so much that people can ask for. The wants and needs can vary from person to person. But as a person of color, I want a president who will continue to push diversity, inclusion, and acceptance among the school body that Millikin has continuously worked on throughout President White’s presidency.

As a person on color on this campus, there are a lot of things that I would like to see changed and or expanded across; which includes safe spaces and more representation of people of color in higher positions.

As far as their qualities, I want someone who can be an efficient leader. When I say efficient, I mean someone who can be a leader and have their own ideas but someone who can also learn from us; And take what we have to offer.

The students may be in a lower position but we have a lot of ideas that we can offer up. As a student leader on this campus, there are a lot of changes that we need to continue to build upon including the relationships between the majority and minority students.


Athena D. Pajer:


Many people can do the job well, but the test of being a great president at Millikin University is in results. The next president will need to inspire students and alumni by demonstrating that they are relatable and strong.

My strongest role models on this campus are the women to which I can relate. The women in my life who have demonstrated strong intellect, wisdom, and leadership have played the strongest role in shaping who I am. I look up to all of my male professors but I subconsciously learn most from the women I admire.

This university, which is always trying to cultivate leadership potential in its students, needs to demonstrate that there is no glass ceiling for female students and students of color. Students of the future will desperately need empowerment to further shatter the glass ceilings they will face outside of the university.

We also need this president to stay for a long time. Students, especially in Decatur, Illinois, and similar towns like it, have faced much lower teacher and school administrator retention rates than average. The last thing we want in our president is to have them come in for a few years, realize they would have an easier time somewhere else, and leave Millikin on weak legs. Not only do we need a strong, likable, wise president, we want one that will stay with Millikin for the long-haul.