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If it's not broken, why fix it?

After five years as president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Dr. Donald Day found out recently that his contract will not be renewed by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).

After five years as president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Dr. Donald Day found out recently that his contract will not be renewed by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).

And although no one is talking details of the decision, it would be difficult to argue with the fact that the college has made huge strides in the past five years with Dr. Day at the helm.

Enrollment is up - from 860 students in the 2002-2003 school year to 1,300 in 2007-2008.

Some of the recent accomplishments can be seen - literally - as the college undergoes significant expansion. Funding has been secured and construction is under way for a new library and culture/recreational center with both projects to be completed in August 2008. A developer, seeing a need for added student housing and housing for middle income residents, is working with the college and the city of Cloquet to build residential housing in the next few years.

Additional educational and athletic programs are sprouting too, including the inaugural football season last fall and softball season just getting under way.

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More academic degree programs are offered than ever before with a social work degree available on campus through an agreement with The College of St. Scholastica and a business degree in the works through Bemidji State University. A registered nursing program is now available as is an associates degree in art.

The college is not just for students, either. With Dr. Day often at the door to personally greet people, the community is welcome - whether the school plays host to the February Democratic caucus, a recent mental health education program or a Frank Lloyd Wright symposium later this summer.

Dr. Day is perhaps the loudest and proudest person touting these accomplishments and more. He is the face of the college and that face is always a positive, energetic and enthusiastic one. He was even named runnerup by the Minnesota State College Student Association for the Outstanding President of the Year Award.

Whether the decision to oust Dr. Day stands, it is imperative for our community to keep the momentum of the college going strong. The best way to do that would be to keep the current face of the school at the forefront.

Lisa Baumann

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