The Editorial Board
In January, it was announced to the La Salle community that La Salle President Colleen Hanycz would be leaving the University and entering a new role at Xavier University in the fall. This announcement left many Lasallians to wonder who would fill Hanycz’s shoes. Since the announcement, no public comment has been made about the institution’s search for a new leader. Given the effects of the pandemic and unceasing changes cast on the University, however, it is critical that La Salle’s next president is up for the job. La Salle needs someone with higher education experience who has a pulse on the needs of students and faculty, a commitment to the Lasallian mission and an understanding of the greater issues of today. The editorial board sees an obvious candidate for the role: none other than La Salle’s very own Brother Ernest J. Miller.
La Salle needs a president who understands the inner workings of the institution. The editorial board believes that the University should look inward for hiring La Salle’s next president. An ideal president for La Salle would be one which is able to identify and understand the unique needs of the institution’s students and faculty. An ideal president has already developed relationships with those students and faculty and can use those relationships to inform decisions he should make about the University. For a candidate to have a pulse on the needs of the University is an incredible advantage for the University. Brother Ernest exceeds these expectations. Brother Ernest is currently in a leadership position at La Salle, but in no way is he a shadowy figure in an ivory tower. Frequently visiting classes, attending Explorer Cafés and being a friendly face on campus, Brother Ernest appears to have a wide array of connections at the University which would make him an exceptionally personable leader.
La Salle needs a president who is closely tied to the University’s mission. Brother Ernest joined La Salle University in 2015, but has been a Christian Brother for decades. He also has been a Lasallian educator for years, sharing the Lasallian mission at several Lasallian institutions. Serving as the vice president of mission, diversity and inclusion, Brother Ernest naturally has a deep understanding of and passion for the University’s mission. Most students can recall that it was Brother Ernest to bring the mission alive in our classrooms 一 introducing us to Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Ultimately, La Salle needs a president who makes decisions with consideration to our mission and identity; the vice president of mission, diversity and inclusion is, thus, a natural choice.
La Salle needs a president who understands the issues of today. As the vice president of mission, diversity and inclusion, Brother Ernest has led the institution’s efforts to be a more inclusive environment that embraces diversity. Under Brother Ernest’s leadership, the University created the Joint Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, whose several workstreams aim to address social issues on and around campus. Also, if assuming the role of president, Brother Ernest would be the institution’s first Black president, bringing to the role a unique perspective which might be used to better the experience of Black students at the University.
If Brother Ernest is not the ideal candidate for the job, we don’t know who is. Brother Ernest certainly meets the criteria of the ideal Lasallian president. Whether Brother Ernest is interested in consideration for the role the editorial board is not aware; though, should the Christian Brother be interested, he should be at the top of the University’s list. The editorial board is confident that, if assuming the role of La Salle University’s next president, Brother Ernest could achieve greatness for the institution and continue the Lasallian tradition on 20th and Olney.
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One thought on “Who should be La Salle’s next president: the case for Brother Ernest J. Miller”
Brother Miller is one of the most genuinely passionate people I have ever met when it comes to helping people and achieving the Lasallian mission. I think he would be an excellent leader for La Salle, and his extensive résumé, and history of mission work on campus certainly speak for themselves.
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