LUND GOOD CHOICE FOR INTERIM PRESIDENT
The choice of Dixie Lund to become Eastern Oregon University's interim president makes perfect sense. Lund will continue the high standards set by Phil Creighton during his five-year term, which ends this summer when he moves to the presidency of Pacific University in Forest Grove.
Lund embodies the can-do spirit that has made Eastern thrive in difficult economic times. Now completing her 30th year at the university, Lund has been EOU's dean of distance education for nine years and in that role has had to work with all departments of the university. Her consensus-building in that role, as well as integrity and intelligence, must have gone a long way toward convincing the State Board of Higher Education that she was right for the interim position.
Her familiarity over three decades with Eastern's tradition, mission and vision will help her in her new role. Lund mentioned three major challenges that she'll face during her time as president (she plans to retire next year): budget shortfalls, continuing enrollment growth and Eastern's faculty union.
With her experience and leadership abilities, Lund should be well equipped to meet and surmount each hurdle. Although she has said she will not be a candidate for president, Lund is breaking new ground as the first woman to lead Eastern when she takes over her new duties June 1. May she do well.
WHAT POLL IS SAYING
A majority of Oregonians support the war in Iraq, a story in Thursday's Observer reported. The article might have come as a surprise to people who view Oregon as a progressive state, often landing on the liberal side of social issues.
The numbers are clear from the KGW (Portland Channel 8) poll. A full 65 percent of Oregonians back the war. Even the more liberal metropolitan areas of Portland and Eugene support President Bush's efforts to drive Saddam Hussein from power.
Make no mistake. The poll did not ask if Oregonians support war. It asked if they back this war. Had citizens been asked if they support war in general, the vast majority would say no. People would dearly love to see differences of opinion settled peacefully or diplomatically. The picture of troops in a battle zone being hauled away on stretchers is not pretty. Body-count numbers are not nice to contemplate either.
What many Oregonians are suggesting by saying they support the war is that they back American troops. They appreciate what our men and women in uniform are doing. They do not want to see an extended war and would dearly love to see our efforts in Iraq end soon, with troops returning home.
But now that the United States is engaged in battle, they'd like to see the war concluded successfully. They want to see a brighter future for the Iraqi people. They want them freed from Saddam's reign of cruelty and oppression. And the sooner the better.