November 1, 2012 

The following is an email obtained by The Bradenton Herald written by SCF Vice President of Academic Quality and Success W. Jack Crocker to college staff:

Subject: FW: A Personal Note

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday at a meeting with my direct reports and chairs I announced my resignation from my position as Vice President of Academic Quality and Success, to become effective January 2, 2013. With irony that a poet can certainly appreciate, I submitted my letter of resignation this past Monday, and Tuesday night I became acting president. Given these circumstances I would like to give you my reasons for the decision and ask your indulgence of this personal communication.

I did not make the decision reluctantly. Dr. Hafner hired me to help bring changes to the college and I committed to him that I would stay at least three years. The college has been transformed (obviously not to universal consensus or acclaim—and that is as it should be in a college of diverse faculty, staff and viewpoints). Under Lars’ leadership I have enjoyed the academic adventure of helping create a continuum of educational opportunities from middle school to the doctorate. These innovations have added tremendous value to students and the community and changed the image of the institution for students, faculty and staff.

The next era starts now and the next president should have the very important vice president academic position open in order to choose new thinking and style. I hope it only gets better.

Furthermore, I’m old. But fortunately with a five-year old daughter and a two-year old son I’m staying younger in an older sort of way, and my priorities have changed. I have a contract for a novel I’ve been unable to complete and will now have extended time to continue not to complete, but I won’t have an excuse.

Finally, I must admit that I do not agree with the practices and ideological direction of the leaders of the current Board of Trustees. I can accept political reality, but I do not have to accept being held under its foot, to the detriment, I believe, of the traditions of a proven model of higher education and the professionalism, commitment and accomplishments of those who sustain its good works. Yes, there is plenty of room for improvement, but the danger of claiming to do good in lock-step adherence to an ideology lies in the condition, as described by Oscar Wilde, of someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

I do know and applaud the constancy of your values in your commitment to educating students. That is where the crucial work lies, and I thank you for the opportunity to have been a part of your value system.

As I finish out the semester and whatever time is left on my surprising position as acting president, I wish you all the best. SCF is a great and caring institution. May it and each of you prosper.

Sincerely, Jack

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