Humboldt Sports continues to receive letters concerning the hiring of a full-time HSU Athletic Director.
The school is currently undergoing a search to fill the position on a full-time basis.
Anyone interested in voicing their opinions on the matter, one way or the other, should email their letters to email@example.com, and make sure to include a phone number where they can be reached. Letters should be no more than 150 words.
I am a proud graduate of Humboldt State University. I began my journey as a Lumberjack in 1964 completing a degree and teaching credential in 1974. A military tour of duty and a marriage in the midst of this time frame resulted in an extended period above the desired 4 years. Humboldt State, nestled in perhaps the most beautiful setting for a campus in the entire state of California, provided me with an opportunity for a successful career. Careers in wildlife, fisheries, forestry, oceanography, marine biology, teaching and nursing among others drew students from throughout the nation to attend this renown institution. In addition, the community was bound together in support of Lumberjack athletic teams. There was that small town connection that athletics will bring to a community to create a sense of pride, loyalty and support. Our football, basketball, wrestling, cross country, softball teams brought national recognition to our area. HSU had a strong identity throughout California and the country.
Sadly, as I write this, I believe Humboldt State (California State University at Humboldt) has lost a great deal of that identity. The north coast of California is a long way from the metropolitan and populated areas of the state. We are not a commuter school. We rely on a large percentage of students from out of the area to attend to meet enrollment goals. However, HSU is becoming more like other CSUs with similar undergrad programs. There is no pull for a student to live hundreds of miles from their home to attend college when they could commute to a local CSU. Humboldt took a huge hit when the football program was cut. This was an athletic program with national appeal. It attracted excellent athletes, some of whom went on to professional careers with corresponding publicity for HSU. The lost football program will more than likely have an adverse effect on the diversity issues of the university. The loss of the football program will have a significant negative effect on public financial support from boosters that will likely filter into academic and athletic programs. Our small community will feel the loss of the bond we had with our Lumberjack football team. It is not measurable but it is real.
I could go on about blaming the administration for missteps but I will stop. What I would like to propose is for the retiring University President, Lisa Rossbacher, to delay the hiring of a permanent athletic director to that of the new administration. There are a number of important administrative staff that are vital to the University President. The Athletic Director is certainly one. Athletics may be one of the strongest recruiters to the University. It is important that the new President and new Athletic Director share the same vision moving forward. I urge Ms. Rossbacher to do the right thing and postpone the hiring of a new Athletic Director.
Duane Peterson HSU Class of 1974