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Contrary to Sloppy KELO Report, DSU Leadership Transition Not So Tough

The best line of what passes for journalism at KELO-TV is the opening of Jared Ransom's report on David Borofsky's resignation from the presidency of DSU: "It's an empty, rainy day on the Dakota State campus...."

The next line should have been (cut to vacant leather chair, framed by hastily cleared shelves, with window at edge of picture showing rain outside), "Also empty: the president's office. After two and a half years, David Borofsky abruptly left the university under a cloud of controversy created by his heavy-handed management decisions." The article would then have delved immediately into the circumstances of the sudden resignation.

But no. The KELO report meanders toward the main story with a couple of unrelated student-in-the-street comments. The KELO report eventually spotlights the most recent staffing controversy but does not try to build a history of actions, as Bob Mercer strives to do, to give viewers a broader perspective of what might actually be behind Borofsky's departure.

Then KELO drops back to student reaction. One student says, "It's very tough... it couldn't have come at a worse time." The report text leaves syntactically unclear what it is and what's so tough about it. Having worked at a number of schools, including DSU, I can attest that or most students on campus, the presence or absence of the chief executive won't have much impact on the business of moving in to the dorms next week, buying books, and getting to class.

Another student says "There's [sic] people in place to make sure that the transition will be done and that it will be a smooth as they can make it." KELO doesn't talk to any of those people, whose persepctive might be quite enlightening. But for professors and other staff, the resignation may not be tough at all; it may give them a sense of relief that will allow them to concentrate more happily on the joys of starting a new academic year.

Plus they know that unlike last time, when the Regents brought in the director of a lawsuit-troubled for-profit college with no experience in South Dakota, the leader of this transition will be an experienced administrator from South Dakota's largest university, someone who has dealt with student and faculty issues in our state and who likely already knows a number of people on campus through other Regental activities. The old and unpopular leadership is out in time for the new school year to start fresh with a new person in that empty president's chair.

Hey, the rain is breaking up. The sun's coming out. Perfect shot to frame the end of the report, as Marysz Rames strolls past the sunrise-shining puddles toward Heston Hall.