The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 26, 2013

Disgruntlement with president rises to surface at Gustavus

(Continued)

ST PETER —

The statement also points out Gustavus’ achievements during Ohle’s tenure: an increase in enrollment; a substantial increase in donations to the college, including $4.5 million given to the 2011-12 Annual Fund; and the royal visit of Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, among other things.

The statement ends by saying: “The president and the Board of Trustees are committed to continuing the college’s strategic progress, while at the same time welcoming the opportunity for all voices to be heard to make the Gustavus community even stronger than it is today.”

While Ohle preferred the board comment to The Free Press, in a previous article in the Gustavian Weekly Ohle expressed concern about GustieLeaks publishing confidential documents, as well as concern about student involvement.

“I’m sorry that the students are brought into this, because it is difficult for all of the facts to be known and, as a result, people can only make their own assumptions,” Ohle was quoted as saying in the paper.

Students go public

On Jan. 9, students and alumni initiated a collective public effort to post letters to Ohle to Facebook pages, YouTube channels and blogs. The letters had been written in December asking Ohle to resign and were accompanied with small gifts as gestures of good will, said student Ian Shay.

Students said due to a lack of response to the letters, they went public.

One letter-writer and alum Bethany Ringdal recognized strides in college advancement, but wanted Gustavus’ other core values to also remain priorities.

“As a community, Gustavus is more fragmented than I’ve ever seen it; too many community members feel that they aren’t being valued or heard,” she writes. “It breaks my heart to see the very staff and faculty that taught me so much about living well near tears due to your leadership.”

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