The religious affiliation of the upcoming president of Dixie State University should be absolutely no concern to faculty, staff or students.
The new president has one job to do: to lead the university further down the path of success. The president doesn’t have the right to express his or her religion in a professional and educational setting. To do so would be completely inappropriate and unprofessional, especially considering the fact that DSU is not a private or religious institution.
A president should be carefully chosen because he or she embodies qualities that reflect the individual’s plans for the university, personal morals and ability to lead. Bringing religion into the decision is inappropriate because the candidate is not applying to be a religious leader. The individual should be more focused on education.
Some may argue that religion teaches morals and helps a person build better character. However, just because an individual practices a specific religion doesn’t mean he or she automatically embodies integrity, honesty or ethical behavior.
I know many people who belong to a religion who don’t behave morally; likewise, I also know individuals who don’t associate with a religious party who are the most generous, thoughtful and ethical people I’ve ever met.
Judgment of an individual by his or her religion is simply unfair, especially in this situation. The candidates are applying for a job, and if religion becomes a deciding factor, it dances on the borderline of discrimination. The Presidential Search Committee should look at the applicants’ life experiences and trials because those will show what kind of character the applicants have. Religious affiliation cannot prove competency.
Instead of being religious, I hope the president is a critical thinker and a problem solver. I hope he or she values each and every student, faculty and staff member. The ethical qualities the president of this university should embody should come from within, not because a scripture told them so.
Whether the new president reads the Quran, Book of Mormon or no religious texts at all, it doesn’t matter. Good morals don’t stem from religion; rather, good morals stem from good people.