University of Akron President Scott Scarborough has resigned, the UA Board of Trustees announced Tuesday morning.
The Board and Scarborough reached an agreement during an emergency meeting on May 31. The decision is effective immediately.
“The Board is charged with ensuring the effective governance, leadership and management of the University and, along with Dr. Scarborough, determined that new leadership is needed for the University to move forward and achieve sustained success in the future,” board Chairman Jonathan Pavloff said in a prepared statement.
Scarborough’s departure comes after more than a year of unpopular decisions, such as rebranding the university as “Ohio’s Polytechnic University,” cutting the baseball team, and spending over $800,000 on student success coaches.
The University recently announced it would no longer feature the polytechnic tagline on its website. Last week, UA also said it would not renew its contract with Trust Navigator, the company that provided success coaches.
Both students, faculty, and community members have long expressed dissatisfaction with Scarborough’s leadership.
In February, the Faculty Senate passed a 50-2 vote of no-confidence in Scarborough. Both graduate and undergraduate surveys have shown disapproval ratings as high as 62 percent.
Additionally, students and faculty have gathered to protest outside many of the most recent Board meetings.
Interim provost Rex Ramsier will fulfill presidential duties until the Board appoints an interim president.
The Akron branch of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) said that it looks forward to working with the administration to find Scarborough’s replacement.
“The faculty of The University of Akron are deeply committed to our students’ success and invested in the future of this institution,” Akron-AAUP said in its statement. “Accordingly, the faculty must be a part of the conversation that will focus on the educational mission of the university and build on its considerable existing strengths to ensure an excellent learning environment for our students.”
President Scarborough will have the option of teaching at the College of Business Administration or accepting a buyout of about a year’s salary – $450,000.
The Board’s statement, which was sent to all students by Zipmail, included a brief letter written by Scarborough in which he thanked the trustees for giving him the opportunity to serve.
“As I look forward to the next chapter in my life, I hope that our faculty and staff, our passionate alumni, generous donors and committed and sincere members of the Akron community come together to advance the process of change and continuous improvement necessary for The University of Akron to realize its vast potential,” Scarborough wrote.
The University will search for his replacement in the coming months.