Last week's news that U of L has officially been placed on probation by its accrediting agency should provide a big wake-up call - not just for the school, but for our city.
This is serious business. Probation is never a good thing, and it doesn't just appear out of nowhere. It's always preceded by numerous signals and warnings of problems that prudent people should be smart enough to heed so things can be corrected. But that obviously hasn't been the case here, and the resulting problems are immediate.
Right now, U of L is without a permanent president. Why would any top national candidate for that job - or for any important professorship, for that matter - even consider it, with such a dark cloud overhead? How will U of L retain qualified instructors they already have if other schools come calling? And how are students to be recruited to a school whose diplomas could soon be worthless if the worst happens?
The blame for this situation lies in many hands. But despite what should be a sense of urgency, it seems to me that finger-pointing is still taking precedence over problem solving.
If the school's athletic program had been put on probation, the public outrage would be deafening. Shouldn't we, as a community, devote at least as much passion to the academic side? If we don't, the price we pay for our disinterest will be high indeed.
I'm Bill Lamb and that's my Point of View.