President Schmidly's departure is welcome news for the Silver Ribbon Committee. They are a group of law school students, who say they hope that the next Texas Tech president will put their money where their mouth is, when it comes to diversity in the ranks.
Two weeks ago Texas Tech law student Adrienne Dunn was marching for change. "Today is the day TTU, you are put on notice, we want diversity!" she shouted. Monday, with the announcement that President Schmidly is leaving Tech to head OSU, Ms. Dunn is one step closer to her goal. "We need a strong leader and I think this is the university's opportunity," she said.
The protestors, known collectively as the Silver Ribbon Committee, allege the university has a history of hiring discrimination, and point to the overwhelmingly white and male faculty as evidence. President Schmidly denied the charges and said he was committed to diversity. Now, with his departure, the Silver Ribbon Committee wants an active role in helping pick the next president."
"I think after all the allegations we have made, and how much we've come forth, that I think its going to be part of our responsibility to at lest send a delegate or a few to the search committee to listen to us."
Ms. Dunn doesn't expect the replacement of one official to change things overnight, but that it's certainly a move in the right direction. "My hope is that when we get a new leader, a strong leader, who adamantly says 'Discrimination is not going to happen here and I'm going to prove it - it's not going to happen. If you have a complaint, come to me, I'm the one you need to talk to. When I say diversity, then we're going to have diversity.'"