I was highly skeptical about Holden Thorp’s selection as chancellor way back when. It seemed to me that he was awfully young for the post, and I suspected that he may have been chosen not just because he is bright and capable and energetic, but because it was believed that he would be malleable.
However, one of his first decisions as chancellor impressed me greatly (the one about the airport relocation) and began to make me wonder if I had misjudged him. What I quickly came to realize about Holden Thorp is that he is also a very principled man, with a great deal of integrity, a strong sense of fair play, and an unshakable commitment to openness and honesty.
Best of all, he truly wants to help. I know that Thorp has provided staff employees more access to his office and shown more active interest in staff concerns than we have seen in a long time. From the most humble levels of this university, to the most elevated, he wants to help people do their work here in the best way they can.
When “the best way they can” goes awry, under Thorp’s leadership the University has not tried to ignore or cover up the problems. Instead, he has helped our community to stand up with dignity and honor to accept responsibility —something that not all leaders would have countenanced—and then he has tried to do something about it.
While I have not agreed with everything Holden Thorp has done, and while I remain firmly opposed to his stance on one or two important staff issues, I also feel that the University could not have had a better leader for the last four years.
Throughout a time that has been difficult for us on so many levels, he has nevertheless made us a Triple-A institution:
Acclaimed in Academics…and
Awesome in Athletics…