UM situation needs quick solution

Published 12:11 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Much speculation and buzz has followed in the days since University of Montevallo President Phillip Williams told university trustees that he will resign his position if he does not receive full support of the board.

Unfortunately, the speculation reverberating throughout Shelby County and our state is largely, if not exclusively, based on personal perspective rather than facts. And that’s dangerous for both the university and Williams.

Such is the case with most personnel matters of a “public” figure: those that know the facts are smart enough not to speak; those that don’t know the facts aren’t smart enough to keep their mouths closed.

Speculation about this or any other personnel matter is destructive for the institution and people involved and serves no purpose other than to fill time at the water cooler.

But here is what I can write about the situation:

One, what’s best for the University of Montevallo is best for Shelby County and our state as a whole.

The university’s impact on the economy and cultural life here in Shelby County should be recognized as the tremendous engine for progress in our county and state that it is.

Two, those most directly tied to the current situation, namely Williams and the university’s board of trustees, have the university’s best interest at heart.

Both, more so than anyone else, want what’s best for the university, its students, staff, alumni and faculty. While all may not agree on the best course of action moving forward, their commitment to the university is above reproach.

Three, we can hope this matter will be resolved Sept. 10 at the specially called meeting of UM’s board of trustees.

Those in a position to make certain all questions relating to Williams future at the university should work to resolve this matter quickly; doing so is in the best interest of all involved.