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Trustees look to name president, provost

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Interim President Matthew Wilson

Interim President Matthew Wilson

Photo Courtesy of UA

Photo Courtesy of UA

Interim President Matthew Wilson

By Kristina Aiad-Toss, News Editor

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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.

ramsier

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.

 

Faculty hiring

 

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.”

1 Comment

One Response to “Trustees look to name president, provost”

  1. Thomas Guarino on October 18th, 2016 2:00 am

    One, this sets a disturbing precedent. Completely taking the faculty out of the discussion for such monumental decisions and excluding a national search? And we are talking about other interim appointees like Provost Rex Ramsier. Yes, Wilson might make a great President (and so far I like what he is doing) but two, it is way too early to assume this. UA is still in a very dangerous position, post Scarborough, with most of the same board members and administrators in the same or, in some cases, higher positions. This proves to me that the faculty’s great experience, wisdom, and direct connection to students are still not being taken into account! The faculty leadership must be a integral participant in such decision making moving forward. This is one of the biggest reasons UA is in the position it’s in.

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Trustees look to name president, provost