Less confidence than before

New survey shows faculty opinion of UA leadership worse than last fall

By Grant Morgan, Managing Editor

The results of a survey released yesterday show that UA faculty have even less confidence in University leadership and direction than they did fall semester.

“Approximately 9 out of every 10 faculty believe that the university is worse off than it was two years ago, that the public sees the University more negatively, that shared governance is not working well on our campus, and that they have little confidence in the direction the leadership is taking the university,” said president of the Akron Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (Akron-AAUP) John Zipp in a prepared statement.

Conducted by the Akron-AAUP, this survey drew in responses from 73 percent of UA bargaining-unit faculty. The college with the highest percentage of responses (82 percent) was the College of Health Professions; the lowest (40 percent), the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

The questions were similar to those of the Akron-AAUP’s faculty survey last semester, which showed that 72.2 percent thought the University was worse off than it was a year ago. This spring, that number jumped up to 90.1 percent saying the University is worse off than it was two years ago.

Nearly 90 percent also responded that they have no confidence that President Scott Scarborough is “leading the university in a positive direction,” a result which comes after the Faculty Senate in early-February voted 50-2 as having no confidence in him.

The survey results also come in spite “overwhelming faculty support” for the new faculty contract, according to Zipp. The contract was approved in March after more than a year of negotiations with the UA administration that toward their end portended a faculty strike.

“We continue to look for ways to work with the faculty and many others to advance The University of Akron, especially in recruitment of new students and the retention of current students,” said UA Vice President for Advancement Lawrence Burns in a prepared statement. “It’s also important not to lose sight of the many good happenings and developments throughout the campus.”

As examples of these good happenings Burns mentioned the large upcoming graduation class, student career placements, and the new community and University connections made by UA’s new EXL Center.
The survey’s full results can be found on Akron-AAUP’s website here: akronaaup.org/blog/?p=1778.