The University lost one of its most respected and important leaders last week when Ohio’s Oberlin College announced its decision to appoint Marvin Krislov as its new president. Krislov served as the University’s vice president and its general counsel for nine years. While Krislov may be gone, his dedication to the student body and campus diversity must be values for which all University faculty and administrators continue to strive.
Although he was a prominent figure at the University, Krislov’s most noted accomplishment didn’t happen in Ann Arbor. It happened in Washington D.C., where he argued that affirmative action is a legitimate part of the college admissions process as part of the team that defended the University before the Supreme Court in 2003.
Krislov’s efforts were instrumental in renewing the University’s commitment to diversity, despite the challenges. We hope that the next general counsel is as committed to the cause as Krislov was.
While this successful venture was thought to be the most important of Krislov’s accomplishments by Oberlin College, Krislov impacted the student body on a more personal level too. He was a dynamic professor who had a reputation as a student-oriented man. As an administrator, he actually listened to the concerns of students.
It is unfortunate that the University will be losing a person of character like Krislov, but it should make every attempt to replace him with a person of similar characteristics. Instead of considering Krislov as an exception to the rule, we should consider his traits as a prerequisite for a suitable replacement.