How many times must we ask for transparency?
December 3, 2015
Filed under Editorials
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Last Sunday the Akron Beacon Journal ran a full-page ad signed by seven of Akron’s prominent business executives, which exhorted readers to put faith in the changes at UA and “come together” to support it.
Near the bottom of the ad in smaller letters read: “Paid for by the Friends of The University of Akron.”
It is unclear, however, precisely who the “Friends” are, as it was later revealed that those who signed the ad were not the ones who paid for it. Rather, The University of Akron Foundation shelved the $5,000 price tag through private, non-scholarship funds.
Soon after, the UA administration came out with a statement saying the “funds that were used for the ad are being donated to The University of Akron Foundation for this type of purpose by Richard W. Pogue, former chair of The University of Akron Board of Trustees…We wanted to check with Mr. Pogue before publicly identifying his contribution.”
What, then, was the need was to conceal the ad’s payer by attaching a name that strongly implied the cost was borne by the ad’s signees, when it really wasn’t? Such questions might be easily answered if communication between UA administrators and the community was more forthright and transparent — words we’ve heard much exalted, but have yet to see in practice.
It’s disturbing that we have to end another editorial with calls to the exact same reforms.