It is rare that The Post’s staff members have the opportunity attempt to contextualize one person’s legacy in a way that can nearly carry an entire print edition.
So often, those people we interview often — or often hope to interview — are stacked into quotes that contribute to the ingredients of a broad-picture story. Athens city officials and Ohio University administrators are often the voices and perspectives behind some of The Post’s most important reporting, but rarely are they the subject itself.
In a way, that can be a good thing.
The Post has been reporting of President Roderick McDavis’ administration for nearly 13 years. The nature of a student-run publication has allowed dozens of Post reporters to enter and exit Cutler Hall over the decade, attempting to explain the complexities of higher education while still navigating it ourselves. Often, our reporting has focused on issues that trace a history far longer than the reporter’s time on campus.
Our aim, of course, was to hold the highest office on campus accountable. A glance at our archives suggests that we devoted the reporting that required.
But, The Post’s archives also suggest that we rarely wrote about McDavis’ life.
Perhaps that was because public figures need some semblance of a private life, too. An additional cause — at least in recent years — was a sizeable decrease in media availability. Now, when it comes to context, The Post leans on more than a decade’s worth of reporting to bolster student and faculty opinion from years ago. Seeing the good and bad moments relies on the strength of reporting done far before some of us wrote our first Post story.
We were fortunate enough that some of those moments were retold or relayed to us for this print issue by McDavis and others close to him. We’re equally fortunate for the reporters past and present that contributed to this special edition.
Whether it was the success of OU’s athletic teams, student demonstrations on campus, or complex university budgets, it is promising to know The Post was there — and will continue to be — as an institution supported by more than a century’s worth of its history.
As we move into a new era on campus, The Post hopes to continue that reporting so that an alumnus glancing through our archives might not only see breaking news and in-depth reporting on university issues, but also what we see each day: people.
We thank McDavis and his staff for being a part of our reporting over the years, and we look forward to covering another administration with equal dedication.
— Emma Ockerman is a senior studying journalism and editor-in-chief of The Post. Want to talk to her? Tweet her @eockerman or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
OU President Roderick McDavis is leaving February 17. The Post looks back at his time as Ohio's president. Click this box to read the rest of the stories from this issue.