Proenza takes new position

“As if being president of the university were not enough, Dr. Proenza can now add the title of co-chair to his resume. Proenza has been named as a co-chair to the Regional Leadership Institute Steering Committee of the Council on Competitiveness along with John Hilrick.”

As if being president of the university were not enough, Dr. Proenza can now add the title of co-chair to his resume.

Proenza has been named as a co-chair to the Regional Leadership Institute Steering Committee of the Council on Competitiveness along with John Hilrick.

The council of competitiveness is a national body, Proenza said.

The council is limited to CEOs, university presidents and labor leaders. The group works to ensure the future prosperity of all Americans through enhanced competitiveness in the global economy and the creation of high-value economic activity in the United States, according to the web site, compete.org.

Proenza said that he has been associated with the council for the past 20 years in various capacities.

Proenza also said the council undertook a major national study several years ago on regional clusters of innovation. It was then concluded that today’s economies are regionally rather than locally based.

His job as co-chair will be to look at leadership requirements that are necessary for a region to continue to use these fundamental principals of regional economies, he said.

According to Proenza, he will be trying to gain input from national experts and will end up making suggestions, which are often the basis for national policy.

Proenza has aspirations, not only for the university, but for the state as a whole.

As you know, Northeast Ohio has been economically challenged, he said.

According to Proenza, however, the work of the council in 2003 improved the state of Northeast Ohio. He said they held a meeting in which they were given ideas and guidelines as to what they needed to do to help the area.

The next step is to take the new findings and build upon those and capture yet another upswing in our economy, Proenza said in a phone interview.

As for his goals, he said that they will take about a year to accomplish. However, he expects that a report will be available at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2009.

Once they have decided on a plan of action, a report will be written and those who work with the committee will be contacted.

We will then abdicate for changes in national policy and state policy, Proenza said.

Proenza said he sees Northeast Ohio growing in the next couple of years.

The economy should get better, to put it briefly, he said.

He believes everything they are doing now should help Ohio conduct business.

The university has factors that can be injected into the economy, according to Proenza.

University Foundation has made several licensing contracts with major companies throughout the country, he said. They have started 21 new companies in the Akron area. By applying some of these principles to ourselves, we are able to be a partner in stimulating the economy.

Proenza also said UA is a perfect resource to aid the future economy.

We’re typically ranked among the top 10 institutions in the country for productivity in this area. That includes the number of patients or start ups per millions of dollars per research.

As for the end result of this work, There will be more jobs and better jobs for you.

In order to achieve this, Proenza said we need to harness our leadership and grow at a rate greater than we are now.