Perhaps no single institution in our state's history has accomplished as much good for as many people as West Virginia University. In education, research and service to Mountain State residents and our communities, WVU's impact has been unparalleled.
What a shame, then, that university President James Clements had to take time out from a speech recounting WVU's accomplishments and outlining new initiatives, in order to talk about a few bad apples on the main campus in Morgantown.
Clements delivered his annual State of the University speech Monday, and it included an impressive listing of WVU's achievements during the past year. He also discussed initiatives for the coming year, including some to improve the university's already impressive effectiveness as an institution of higher learning.
WVU's new "Mountains of Excellence" program also was outlined by the president. He explained it includes plans for strategic investment in research programs that will help West Virginians in the future as well as showcase WVU's international leadership.
Among the "Mountains of Excellence" are plans for international leadership in radio astronomy, research on natural gas, stewardship of water resources, improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and improving the health of those who live in the nation's Appalachian region.
But Clements also had to address rioting during the weekend in Morgantown, in which some police officers were injured and a substantial amount of property damage occurred. He pledged "immediate action to identify and discipline any students involved."
Good. WVU officials should do just that. Our state university is too important to West Virginians to allow a few bad apples to tarnish its well-deserved reputation for excellence.