Outgoing UA President Luis Proenza sat down with The Buchtelite May 20. Proenza spoke about his hopes for incoming President Scott L. Scarborough. Proenza gave insight to his upcoming plans for his sabbatical and new plans for his return to UA. Proenza will be leaving his job of 15 years as the President of The University of Akron.
Some questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Q: What are your hopes for the new president of the University of Akron?
A: I hope that he will be as lucky as I was. Most importantly, obviously, what we all look to is for him to continue the trajectory that has been on-going for the 144 years of the university and take it to the next level. I’m sure he’ll do fine.
Q: With the new president do you think the University is in good hands?
A: Very much, I have been impressed with both he and his wife. I think he has the right kind of demeanor and the right preparation. As he himself said all of us have strengths and weaknesses and he has strengths that I don’t have. I think he will bring new ideas and new direction to the university. That will be exciting.
Q: What do you plan to do after leaving the University?
A: I eventually plan to come back. I will be taking the first professional leave of my career. In academic life it’s a commonplace roughly every 8 to ten years-for people to take what is known as a sabbatical. I was so busy with my own career, I never took a sabbatical so I’m looking forward to a time to both decompress from both what is a demanding schedule and job. Also, to think about the kind of teachings and other things of interest to do when I come back.
Q: Anything else you would like to leave with the University?
A: Well, I am delighted that you guys are taking back the Buchtelite and bringing it back in both print and the web. I think that’s just fantastic. I appreciate the opportunity to be your first interview as you get going. I would like to leave with my favorite quote from the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”