Awfully big shoes to fill

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After an intense semester producing this college’s student-run newspaper, all those involved with participating in The Ranger marathon are exhausted.

Nine printed issues are pinned to the newsroom walls as the staff evaluates and reflects on their work when a phone rings.

A voice says to please hold for President Robert Zeigler.

The college president is calling to commend the Ranger editor on leading his staff in a job well done.

This is the kind of leader Zeigler is.

With his impending retirement effective this summer, many on campus are left wondering what kind of person will lead this college next.

Zeigler championed students. His stewardship of shared governance extended down to the Student Government Association.

Each month, Zeigler met with SGA to discuss items affecting students, and he would often address students directly in periodic open forums or over the airwaves each Thursday morning on 90.1 KSYM’S morning show, “The Sauce.”

He is a champion of a free press and respects the watchdog function of the news media.

In February 2012, SGA presented a petition to Zeigler seeking an investigation of The Ranger and calling for an apology for printed mistakes and critical reporting.

Zeigler stood up for this publication, saying a correction can be printed, and mistakes can be addressed through viewpoints and letters to the editor.

“The newspaper is not going away and will not be censored,” he said in the March 12, 2012, publication of The Ranger.

In November 2012, Zeigler again proved to be an advocate for the watchdog, telling members of the Student Activity Fee Committee to open meetings to the public.

For the first time since the district began collecting $1 per semester hour in fall 2006, The Ranger could report on allocation of student fee funds.

Many students at this college may have not had the pleasure of meeting this president, but Zeigler is a president for the student body.

District will soon begin its search for his replacement, and students should keep a close eye on the process.

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