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ND students surprised by Board’s move

Matt Bramanti | Monday, May 3, 2004

Many Notre Dame students were surprised Friday when they learned University President Father Edward Malloy will step down in 2005 and be replaced by Father John Jenkins.Sophomore Erica Williams said she didn’t expect the announcement, which was formally made at an afternoon press conference.”I never thought it would ever happen,” Williams said. “I thought the review of his performance was kind of a farce.” “Honestly, I had no clue that he resigned,” sophomore Rebecca Eckstein said. But not all students were caught off-guard by the news.Junior Larry Banda said Malloy’s review had recently been a major topic of discussion among his co-workers at the First Year of Studies offices.”I think people saw it coming,” Banda said. “It didn’t come as a total surprise, especially at [the First Year of Studies].”It’ll be interesting to see someone step up and take the University in a new direction.”Freshman Molly Eyerman praised Malloy, but said she looks forward to Jenkins’ presidency.”[Malloy] has had a good run here, but it’ll be good to get some new leadership in and see what [Jenkins] can do for the university,” Eyerman said.Many students, like senior Joe Friel, expressed hope that Jenkins, currently an associate provost, will make undergraduate education a focus of his administration.”There should be a commitment to undergraduate teaching,” Friel said, “even in the face of pressure for graduate programs and research.”Senior Kurt Copper agreed, saying that commitment should be Jenkins’ top priority. “A president should, first and foremost, focus on the quality of education this university provides,” Copper said. “This is an academic institution that is only as good as the students it graduates.”Senior Danielle Carducci said administrators should be careful not to emphasize research at the expense of teaching.”While it is important that Notre Dame be a good research university, I don’t think it should be a top priority,” Carducci said. “Professors should focus on teaching, not research.”Freshman Chris Sebastian said he hopes Jenkins’ tenure is marked by Notre Dame’s national prominence. “He should focus on getting Notre Dame back to the mystique [it] used to carry,” Sebastian said. “It kind of seems like we’ve fallen off the radar a bit.”Jenkins said after his introductory press conference that he intends to move out of Sorin Hall and into Keenan Hall – which prompted a slew of positive responses from many Keenan residents. “I think it’ll be a good opportunity to get to know him on different levels,” Keenan vice president Kevin Fussner said. “Obviously we’ll get to know him through the policies and changes he makes, but this will give us a good opportunity to get to know him personally.”Keenan sophomore Joe Boyle suggested that Jenkins’ presence could parallel Malloy’s residence in Sorin Hall, where the University President was known for “Monk Hoops” – pick-up basketball games with the dorm’s residence – in the early years of the former Irish varsity basketball player’s presidency.”Everyone knows that Monk was in Sorin, so there’s certainly the possibility that [Jenkins] will really be a part of Keenan Hall,” Boyle said. “It can only be a good thing.”