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President Matthew Wilson

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His road to suddenly becoming unpopular is just around the corner.... lots of tough tasks ahead. (but probably a good choice since  he has already connected with the community in a positive way)

Edited by morris buttermaker

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ZippyRulz    215
51 minutes ago, Hilltopper said:

Can't wait to see the faculty senates reaction to this news. I wonder how long it will take the ABJ to turn on him too.

 

I'm sure Karen Farkas is staking out the presidents mansion with her investigative engine revving. Too bad she's not the Zips beat writer.

 

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Dr Z    844

An open letter to alumni and friends of the University from Roland H. Bauer, chair of UA’s Board of Trustees: Dear Alumnus/Friend, I want to share some good news with you. The University’s Board of Trustees — following discussions with representatives of the faculty and administration, and with the encouragement of leaders from our undergraduate student body, Alumni Association and the greater Akron community -- today voted to remove the term “interim” from the titles of President Matthew J. Wilson and Senior Vice President and Provost Rex D. Ramsier. As you know, President Wilson accepted the responsibilities of leading this institution in July. He has demonstrated exceptional energy, judgment and passion in his efforts to re-establish relations on campus and within the community. He has held more than 60 meetings with donors and businesses, government and community leaders; conducted “town halls” with colleges and academic units; and personally visited with students, principals and counselors at nearly two dozen area high schools. The Board designated five priorities for him to address as interim president: developing a sustainable budget; increasing enrollment; accelerating our progress in increasing student retention; rebuilding and strengthening relationships with our various constituencies; and, significantly growing our development efforts. He has made substantial progress in each area with potential for further success. At the same time, Dr. Ramsier’s depth of experience as a faculty member and administrator, his personal devotion to the University as an alumnus, and his broad knowledge of national accrediting agencies and their procedures has secured the confidence of the Board as well.  President Wilson and Dr. Ramsier can provide stable, collaborative and proven leadership needed for this University to resume its growth and continue its service to the community. At the urging of many respected voices both within and outside the University, the decision was made to move forward with the talent and experience already at hand. As President Wilson repeatedly reminds external audiences, we are the same University of Akron that has earned numerous national academic rankings and recognitions, and that produces outstanding graduates valued for their ability and ambition. It is time for us to work together to leverage these strengths and reclaim a bright future for our community and ourselves. Thank you for all you do to support The University of Akron. Sincerely, Roland H. Bauer

 

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Dr Z    844

He is a good follow on Twitter. I wish him all the best at the job, because he seems to be a great guy from the few conversations I've had with him. 

 

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Hilltopper    265
On 10/17/2016 at 11:44 AM, Hilltopper said:

Can't wait to see the faculty senates reaction to this news. I wonder how long it will take the ABJ to turn on him too.

 

On 10/17/2016 at 0:38 PM, ZippyRulz said:

 

I'm sure Karen Farkas is staking out the presidents mansion with her investigative engine revving. Too bad she's not the Zips beat writer.

 

Looks like the honeymoon is over already. I knew we could count  on the ABJ to stir up some s#it!

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/editorials/what-the-ua-trustees-still-don-t-get-1.721289

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I have to say that I totally agree with the op-ed-- what was the rush on this?   This board has been notorious for being impetuous with making atrocious hiring decisions.   Anyone that was a party to hiring Scar should be thinking like 15x before making another decision and creating a process to get alot of input from many people throughout the community.

 

Instead, they have hired a guy that was doing great in the interim role and made him president without benefit of a process.   It is, in a word, haphazard.   It's also organizationally lazy.  They should have spent the next 6 months defining what was needed and understanding how the process failed so miserably the last time.   Having refreshed the objectives and qualifications for the role, they could then evaluate whether Wilson is the right guy or not.   

 

The only reason to do this so quickly was if we were in the position of losing him, but I'd be really disappointed to hear that he would being play that game 3 months into an interim position. Otherwise, having him be "interim" for 12 months would have been entirely logical.   Give him a chance to fully earn the job.  If there's isn't unanimity that he's the right long term choice, do a national search that includes him.    If he's the right guy, he'll win out in the end.   Now, they have committed to him without really knowing whether he's the right guy or not.

 

This is nothing whatsoever against him-- all the signals are really good, fantastic even.   He seems like he is just the right balm from a student perspective.   But that's only part of the job-- is he strategic?  Can he command a room of other leaders from NEO?   Can he raise money?   Can he bring in that highly respected polymer researcher or faculty member?  What is his experience with managing athletics-- a huge part of the job given the size of the budget and the cost being passed along to students.  

 

The BJ is right to call out UA's board for their ongoing haphazardness and impetuousness.   The community deserves more and the U needs better.

 

 

 

 

      

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72 Roo    119

LA Zip,

 

You make some good points. I like Matt, but it may have been better for he and the university if the search was longer and more thorough. I believe he would have emerged as the top candidate BTW. The immediate goals and strategy of UA should be spelled out clearly. That didn't happen and I believe it was because this board of trustees does not have the expertise to turn our situation around. Our last chairman was horrible and his recent removal points that out. The rest of the board are primarily political appointments with no love or passion for UA and/or greater Akron. The exception is the recent appointment of Bill Scala, the president of Kenmore Construction and unabashed Akron supporter. He is a great future chairman. Our politicians should get together and decide to get a strong board together. They can get Kasich to appoint who they want. The next appointment should be Bill Considine, the CEO of Akron Children's, former student body president and deep lover of UA. But he called out the board for not firing Scar and some of the trustees now dislike that he noted their incompetence.

 

Without a strong board to support him Matt will have to rise above them and be as strong a leader as Proenza was. The board then will follow, but they, as currently constituted, are not capable of leading. That's all on Matt's shoulders. And all the risk will be his too.   

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Hilltopper    265

UA is spiraling down the toilet bowl and you guys want to take a year or so to decide who the next leader should be! Until that decision was made no real progress on turning things aroundwas going to happen. People with "interim" in their titles are not empowered to make the kind of strategic planning decisions neccesary to turn things around. LA Zip, do you work for the government in some capacity? In the real world a big company doesn't wait around for a year to find new leadership while their stock price drops like a rock!

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kreed5120    587

Any decision the University made was going to be met with criticism. An article about how inept the University is a popular narrative at the moment and generates more paper sales and web clicks than just some lame article about some dude they never heard of getting hired for a position that probably doesn't impact their day to day life.

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Hey Hilltopper-- no, I've never worked in the public sector.   There's a big difference between a university and a company--- and let's not pretend that companies don't make lots of mistakes in transitions (Disney being a great example, where there is a now a 5 year drama playing out over who Iger will allow to succeed him).  Big companies don't just pick someone from the ranks either-- they have succession plans and Spencer Stuart and strategic plans and process.   My point was that the ABJ did what it should do which is point out that this is another example of poor board oversight and management, as 72Roo points out.    

The biggest decision that had to be made to turnaround things at UA was blowing out Scar... thank God they at least did that.   But to the point of the role of the ABJ, they probably would not have acted so quickly without the public pressure applied via the ABJ op-eds.

 

 

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ZZZips    19

I agree with Hilltopper.  We need major surgery on this university asap.  The risk-reward ratio is poor on doing a traditional national search, multiple campus visits and speeches by the candidates will take another 12-18 months.  The patient (our university) is laying on the operating room table waiting for the surgeon to arrive.  The patient is deteriorating quickly. Is the surgeon the board picked the best national candidate to do the surgery.  I have no idea.  But I can also predict that in a long wait for the best surgeon may kill the patient.

 

 As for the Beacon Journal editorial on this subject, Michael Douglas is a good supporter of Zips Athletics (you can see him at every men's soccer game) and I truly believe cares about the future of this university.  On this editorial I think he is miss reading the financial condition of the university and is hoping for community unity and unanimous support for a national leader to come to Akron.  The chance of a  national quality educational leader with turnaround experience applying for this position and running a community gauntlet is near zero.  

 

I support the candidate the board promoted and anxiously await his surgery and rehabilitation plan for our beloved patient. 

 

 

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Blue & Gold    655

New UA President has a No-Frills Contract

 

http://www.ohio.com/news/education/new-ua-president-has-a-no-frills-contract-1.722536

 

I like that (for now) Matt Wilson has a humble contract.  I think this sends a good message.  In the future they can add all the ginger bread if UA is in a better position.

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ZippyRulz    215
50 minutes ago, ZZZips said:

I agree with Hilltopper.  We need major surgery on this university asap.  The risk-reward ratio is poor on doing a traditional national search, multiple campus visits and speeches by the candidates will take another 12-18 months.  The patient (our university) is laying on the operating room table waiting for the surgeon to arrive.  The patient is deteriorating quickly. Is the surgeon the board picked the best national candidate to do the surgery.  I have no idea.  But I can also predict that in a long wait for the best surgeon may kill the patient.

 

 As for the Beacon Journal editorial on this subject, Michael Douglas is a good supporter of Zips Athletics (you can see him at every men's soccer game) and I truly believe cares about the future of this university.  On this editorial I think he is miss reading the financial condition of the university and is hoping for community unity and unanimous support for a national leader to come to Akron.  The chance of a  national quality educational leader with turnaround experience applying for this position and running a community gauntlet is near zero.  

 

I support the candidate the board promoted and anxiously await his surgery and rehabilitation plan for our beloved patient. 

 

 

 

+1. Hiring a well-liked known-quantity insider to rebuild trust within the UA community vs. a lengthy and expensive national search of a limited-quality candidate pool...he may not even want a long tenure as president here but if he can stabilize things in the near term we will be on a better footing for the next search.

 

 

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skip-zip    686
On 10/27/2016 at 10:53 AM, ZippyRulz said:

if he can stabilize things in the near term we will be on a better footing for the next search.

 

Unfortunately, because of the numbers that are already in place, "stabilizing" may mean nothing more than putting small dents in huge multi-million dollar losses that are going to continue to repeat every year. 

 

The alarming figure for me right now is that Freshman Full-Time classes are significantly reduced.  That class will enter year 2, year 3, and year 4 as significantly small classes as well.  And unless next year's Freshman class increases incredibly, those numbers will also translate into year 2,3 and 4 as well.  

 

These are basically fixed numbers that can't really be impacted significantly until those classes graduate, and a new freshman class replaces them  

 

It's going to take a long time to fix this mess.  

Edited by skip-zip

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LZIp    743
8 hours ago, skip-zip said:

 

Unfortunately, because of the numbers that are already in place, "stabilizing" may mean nothing more than putting small dents in huge multi-million dollar losses that are going to continue to repeat every year. 

 

The alarming figure for me right now is that Freshman Full-Time classes are significantly reduced.  That class will enter year 2, year 3, and year 4 as significantly small classes as well.  And unless next year's Freshman class increases incredibly, those numbers will also translate into year 2,3 and 4 as well.  

 

These are basically fixed numbers that can't really be impacted significantly until those classes graduate, and a new freshman class replaces them  

 

It's going to take a long time to fix this mess.  

It might have improved some over the past several years as the University has gone away from open admission, but aren't our graduation rates pretty horrible/transfer rates pretty high? IF (big if) this Freshman class is of better quality than the rest and sticks around/graduates, it should help lessen the blow.

Edited by LZIp

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skip-zip    686
26 minutes ago, LZIp said:

It might have improved some over the past several years as the University has gone away from open admission, but aren't our graduation rates pretty horrible/transfer rates pretty high? IF (big if) this Freshman class is of better quality than the rest and sticks around/graduates, it should help lessen the blow.

 

I'm not well informed on the graduation rates or transfers.  I was just pointing out that when you have small classes of incoming freshman, it affects you every year until that class is gone, and another new freshman class replaces them.  

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