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Letter to the Editor: Mark Hagerott's withdrawal

Posted: Mon, Mar 11, 2013 8:47 AM

Amalia Vagts, Luther College Class of 1995, e-mails this Letter to the Editor:

I write in response to the recently published statement from Dr. Mark Hagerott following his decision to withdraw from the Luther College presidential search.  I found it surprising and unfortunate that Dr. Hagerott chose to withdraw and denigrate Luther College based on several articles in the local and college news.  Whatever the background of Luther College's next president, I hope she or he is willing to engage in healthy debate, rather than exiting with a series of rhetorical questions and parting shots.

Dr. Hagerott was not dismissed from consideration: he chose to withdraw from the search.  I don't know all the reasons the search committee extended their review of the final candidate, but I'm sure it was in Luther College's best interest.   I would hope any candidate would support that.  It is unfortunate that Dr. Hagerott would circumvent that conversation in order to try to defend himself and publicly attack Luther College based on news articles and opinion pieces.  

Matters of theology and church affiliation are relevant to the Luther College presidential search.  That said, I find the comments in Dr. Hagerott's statement more revealing of his style of leadership than any specific religious affiliation.  His comments about "political correctness" and his view that "tolerance" of diversity is adequate are inconsistent with my experience of the direction of Luther College.  Most revealing, perhaps, is the simple fact that he felt the need to issue such a statement at all.

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