It has been an extraordinarily difficult decade or so for Georgetown College.

From several financial difficulties to threats to accreditation to the rape of a student inside the schools dorms and now, the president removed following allegations he assaulted a female employee while on a business trip for the college.

Through all of this, Georgetown College and its leadership has continued to try and move forward.

One of those leaders is why we should not lose faith in the college. 

Dr. Rosemary Allen was named by the Board of Trustees as the acting president following the dismissal of William Jones as the college’s 25th president. She previously served as interim president between the administrations of Dr. M. Dwaine Greene and Jones.

Allen has been serving as the college’s provost/dean of students and has been near the college’s helm under multiple administrations, including that of William Crouch. In 2004, she became the first woman to serve as Chief Academic Officer after serving as a faculty member for 20 years, including almost eight years as English Department chair.

As a teacher, Allen was the first faculty member to win all three of the college’s awards for excellence in teaching — the Rollie Graves Award for Innovative Use of Technology, the John Walker Manning Distinguished Mentor and Teacher Award and the Cawthorne Excellence in Teaching Award. Currently, Allen directs the college’s Fulbright Program, which was recently recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education for its success rate.

Time and again, Allen has provided a steady hand as the college has maneuvered through some treacherous waters. But she and the college may face their greatest challenge yet.

This past summer a criminal trial of the rape of a Georgetown College student in the college’s dorm led to a man’s conviction. The student’s family has been outspoken in the lack of empathy shown by some within the college community. News reports are now circulating of a recent meeting Jones had with students in which he assured them the college took sexual assault seriously, and campus security was a priority.

For those students Jones’ words are ringing hollow, and by extension the college’s promises.

The college Board of Trustees must find a way to address these sexual assault situations, in order to assure students — and their parents — they are safe on campus. That security naturally extends to employees and staff, as well.

Allen is the perfect choice by the Trustees to provide reliable guidance under the current circumstances. It is unknown if Allen is willing to assume the college’s leadership for long, but right now, the college needs the leadership of a strong individual and if that individual is a woman, so much the better. 

Allen has proven time and again that she is an outstanding leader, a great motivator and a brilliant visionary.

The college deserves our faith, but it must justify that faith by taking serious steps to address the problems exposed by the sexual assault issues that have surfaced this year.

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