Turner addresses library concerns

Turner addresses library concerns
SMU Daily Campus
A. Neely Eisenstein
Issue date: 1/18/07

President R. Gerald Turner said he does not and will not have an answer to the political differences between faculty members regarding the George W. Bush Presidential Library during Tuesday’s spring general faculty meeting.

Turner said only time will tell which position is correct, and noted that those answers will hopefully emerge from resources at the library.

Tuesday’s meeting was another in a series of events after the Dec. 21 announcement that SMU was entering into exclusive negotiations for the library. The part of the library that has caused the most concern amongst some faculty members is the proposed Bush Institute.

Turner said the library is a rare opportunity with immeasurable academic resources and SMU would be providing a service to the community and its country.

President of Faculty Senate Rhonda Blair spoke about how important it is to “let the dialogue continue.” Blair said the question is not should the library come to SMU, but how.

“Like the making of America, this will no doubt be a decades-long process,” said Blair.

Turner addressed each of the six categories of questions compiled by Blair during last week’s faculty meeting. In his reply Turner said it would be better for the Bush Institute, the proposed conservative political think tank, to be independent from the university. He said such a move would allow SMU to maintain its individual values.

The idea is for the university and the library to “coexist in structural independence, but mutually thrive,” said Turner.

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