You’ve probably heard a lot about “the 27” lately. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a reference to the 27 Club, a very exclusive group of rock stars who died at the age of 27 (Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse). The 27 you have probably heard about is the group of tenured faculty who has formally requested a change of leadership for Georgetown College. Yes, they want a new president. From this writer’s perspective, the reaction from students has been full of glee at the very mention of such a possibility. YES! This is great isn’t it! Dr. Crouch is nally getting what he has coming! However, I believe the overall attitude of the student body has been unfortunately misguided.
Now don’t get me wrong, I can criticize Dr. Crouch like many others. I’ll freely admit that in the past I’ve participated in the “President bashing” that often occurs in conversations. I fully endorse the faculty who have thrown their support behind this request for change in leadership. However, the attitude many students have taken in response to this move by the faculty has been quite a poor one. It seems that many students are just elated at the opportunity to humiliate Dr. Crouch and have him removed from his ofce. Facebook posts and conversations center on negative, mostly misdirected, comments about our President.
This is not the route we as students need to take. Regardless of how poorly you think Dr. Crouch has done his job in recent years, he has done tremendous work for the college and brought Georgetown out of some very low depths. As “the 27” have pointed out, he has been the face of change at Georgetown, moving us closer to Phi Beta Kappa standards, bringing numerous scholar groups, implementing diversity initiatives and ensuring both academic freedom and a unique Christian identity through a graceful departure from the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Let there be no doubt: Dr. Crouch has done great work for Georgetown College. The demonizing of him by students in this situation is unbelievably disrespectful to what he has done in the past. His ideas may not always be correct, but Dr. Crouch does not sit in his ofce scheming about how to drive Georgetown College into the ground or how to make students hate him. Yes, it’s easy to blame the President for the things that are wrong with Georgetown. Sometimes the banter is even humorous, as Songfest continues to show. Now is not the time for it.
Instead of demonizing Dr. Crouch and celebrating in his departure as a sort of humiliation, focus on positive goals for the college. The faculty are not trying to stage a coup d’état. They have simply recognized that Georgetown is in a dire
situation, and believe the best way for the college to move forward and strive to new heights is a change in leadership. Twenty-one years is a very long time, and Dr. Crouch has done incredible things for this college, including bringing in the unbelievable faculty who grace our campus. One thing I’ve heard from every student, no matter how many complaints they have about this place, is that the professors here are amazing. Count me in that group. If it weren’t for a select few faculty members, it’s very likely I would have left Georgetown. Thankfully, there were professors here that believed in me and pushed me. I’ve heard the sentiment over and over again, Georgetown College’s faculty is the best thing we have going for us. That’s the point we need to be making as students. Not that Dr. Crouch is a terrible president and has done a poor job; but that we have an incredible group of educators and that we support them fully.
So if you too feel that it’s time for new leadership, throw your support behind “the 27.” They are approaching the situation constructively and respectfully. But also realize that regardless of how you feel about Dr. Crouch, he has done great things for this college and deserves tremendous appreciation for that. It may or may not be time for him to leave, but if it is he should do so with gratefulness and gratitude from the institution he has dedicated two decades of his life to improving.