June 29, 2018 10:37:46 AM
Friday was Jim Borsig's last day as president as Mississippi University for Women and to say he will be missed hardly seems worth mentioning.
In his seven years as The W's president, Borsig helped this university through an identity crisis that threatened the future of the institution, strengthened the university's relationship within the community and added new programs to ensure the university would be relevant for generations to come.
His success is such that the discord served as the backdrop to his arrival in 2002, seems little more than a vague, unpleasant memory.
Borsig, who came to The W from his role as an assistant commissioner at the IHL where he had participated in numerous hirings of college presidents, said finding a president is really like match-making. As far as MUW is concerned, Borsig proved to be a perfect match.
Some college presidents command respect. You will find them making broad pronouncements and bending people to their will. They rule from their office and are seen only on occasions that require their presence.
Jim Borsig was not that kind of a president. He listened more than he talked. He was a consensus-builder rather than an autocrat. He had an unassuming, aw-shucks air about him. He was easy to talk to. He preferred to be out in the crowd, having real conversations with real people, over sitting at the dais, looking down at the audience.
And, of course, he seemed to be everywhere. If there was an event in town, he was there.
It was an example the MUW family emulated and today, the university's ties with the community are strong.
A college president's success is often measured in growth -- more students, more programs, more academic achievements. Certainly, you can point to those factors as evidence of Borsig's success in his seven years at The W.
But the better measure of his success is his ability to change the narrative of The W from a institution beset with deep divisions, uncertainty and fear to unity and confidence.
The W today is unified, thriving, optimistic.
Much of the credit for that should rightly be attributed to Jim Borsig.
We thank him and wish him well.
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