Vilsack fit to lead Drake

Opinion by Nathan Erickson

NathanErickson-w2000-h2000The great search is about to begin, Drake University. President David Maxwell has given our university 16 great years of leadership. Now is the time that we must ask the question: Who is next? Who do we want leading our institution into the future? Surely everyone will have their ideas for a successor. I would like to see Drake led into our next chapter by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Vilsack has all the necessary qualifications to continue carving the trail of success President Maxwell has initiated. As a former governor of Iowa and presidential cabinet member, he has broad connections throughout Des Moines, Iowa and the nation. Maxwell used his relationships to bring great things to Drake, helping empower our students to succeed both on campus and off. Vilsack can continue this strong connection.

Secretary Vilsack is also a great visionary. During his time in the Iowa legislature and two terms as governor, he was able to pass legislation that helped grow Iowa’s economy, making many employments opportunities available for Drake students and alumni. As secretary of agriculture, he has made the most significant improvements to school lunches in 30 years and has established new trade agreements abroad while simultaneously improving the livelihood of many American farmers. We need this kind of strategic, innovative thinking to lead Drake into the future.

The environment in which Drake competes is evolving and increasingly competitive. A pioneering, motivated, brilliant individual is needed to oversee the kind of success that Drake has enjoyed throughout the past decade. Vilsack is such an individual. As we look towards the future and our next president, he must be a part of our conversation.

Erickson is a senior marketing major and can be reached at

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