Friday, February 25, 2005

Editorial from Rockford Register

Editor's note: Chief Illiniwek is the official symbol of the University of Illinois - not a mascot.

Excerpt below:

THE NEW PRESIDENT is keeping his distance from the controversy over Chief Illiniwek, the university's American Indian mascot.

But you can't "brand" over an open wound -- or even a sore spot.

We've said it many times. Retiring the Chief is the only way to put the issue to rest and get on with the important work of a world-class university.

Most of all, White says, he wants the school to be "hard-wired to the real needs of the state" in health care, education, new industries and job creation. It's a great plan, although first he must clear the air of the static associated with the Chief controversy.

"I'm a person with a lot of sense of urgency," White says. Glad to hear it. On many different fronts -- from image to finances to, OK, maybe not the basketball team -- the University of Illinois needs you.

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