Marvin Cole, President of DeKalb College, 1981-1994

 

Politics


 

 

When I first became president of the then DeKalb College, we were in a budget crisis, and there were not too many fun stories. I chose not to have an inauguration, because it would cost money and might present the wrong image to the public.

 

     In 1981 the president reported to the Superintendent of DeKalb County Schools and we had a DeKalb College Board meeting every third Monday of the month. I had not had previous experience reporting and answering questions to a Board and prepared myself extensively. But in the session, I felt ill prepared to answer their questions. The next month, I doubled my preparation with the same results. The Board members asked questions that were completely out of sync with my preparation.

 

     So for the third month, I had the members of the college executive committee pretend to be the board members and asked their questions. It helped slightly, but still was not up to my satisfaction. Our problem was we prepared for academic reasoning and academically sound questions but the board members were not inclined in that direction. They were interested in political matters. So I quit preparing, just winged it, and everything went smoothly at the Board meetings.  I need not elaborate on the moral of the story.