Trustees look to name president, provost
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While Board members are considering making Interim President Matthew Wilson’s position permanent, the administration is cutting back on faculty hiring for financial reasons.
This Wednesday, the Board of Trustees is holding a special meeting to discuss the removal of the word “interim” from the titles of Wilson and Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Rex Ramsier.
The executive session of the meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m., with the public session starting at 5:30 p.m., or whenever the first session ends.
The Faculty Senate, University Council, and Akron chapter of the American Association of University Professors (Akron-AAUP) will each send three representatives to the meeting to voice their opinions.
Officially named interim president in July, Wilson’s term was only meant to last for 18 months, until the administration permanently filled the position.
UA spokesman Wayne Hill declined to give further information.
Ramsier and the administration have been working with faculty on other issues as well.
Following financial uncertainty at UA, the majority of faculty positions that were previously open in the spring were closed this semester.
After consulting the deans of different departments, Ramsier and the administration decided to only make new hires that were absolutely necessary.
“Right now we are focusing on what we have to do, not what we want to do,” said Ramsier. “The fact that we closed open positions means no one lost their jobs.”
The administration will resume hiring new faculty members following a full audit of University finances from the local branch of Ernst & Young, an international business consulting firm. The final report is expected to come out at the end of October.
After the report, the administration will be restructuring UA’s budget and deciding where to make faculty hiring investments in the future, according to Ramsier. The deans and faculty will be included in these discussions.
In addition, Interim President Wilson has mentioned publicly that future discussions may take place about administrators taking pay cuts in order to maintain jobs, according to Ramsier. No proposals have been formally made yet.
“It’s always a potential option when people take potential pay cuts, so we don’t lose jobs,” said Ramsier. “However, doing this, you have the risk of losing good people.”
Ramsier said the main priority of the administration is making decisions moving forward that will benefit the students.
“We’re all in this together and we are all here for the students,” said Ramsier. “We’ll focus on the positives and think about the future.”