The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 26, 2013

Disgruntlement with president rises to surface at Gustavus



Junior Kelly Dumais said, despite comments to the contrary, the faculty and administration problems are of student concern.

“I’ve been aware of it the whole time I’ve been at Gustavus,” she said. “(Community) is the defining aspect of what makes Gustavus such an amazing place to not only go to school, but to live and learn.”

Two petitions have been created on, one for alumni and one for students asking the Board of Trustees for Ohle’s removal by the end of the academic year. Dumais said the petitions combined have about 400 signatures.

Numerous comments were made on the petition site by students.

Elizabeth Johnson of St. Peter wrote that her family’s large investment in the college should give her a voice there.

“My parents and grandparents have saved for a long time in order for me to go to a good college and get a quality education,” Johnson wrote. “Especially since this money is not my own, I want it to be used in ways I approve of, and Jack Ohle does not seem to be doing this.”

Shay said one of the biggest reasons the situation affects him and other students is because faculty have either left already or plan to leave the college if Ohle remains.

“We think he wants what’s best for the college, but we believe it would be best for the college that he left,” Shay said. “Some people say it’s normal to have conflicts between administration and faculty and staff, and it’s normal for there to be some head-butting. But I would stress we do not have a normal situation here on campus.”

Student Senate co-presidents Tasha Ostendorf and Jessica Flannery said via email that the senate does not have an official opinion regarding the issue and neither wishes to comment.

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