Monday, April 21, 2014

UA still hunting for new president - or maybe not

And so, dear reader, we begin a new week with the University of Akron Board of Trustees still unsure of the identity of the school's next president.

Presumably the gestation period began back in August, 2013, when President Luis Proenza announced that he would move on.    You can find more than one person on the campus who believes the required institutional "search" for Proenza's successor ended in 2011 when the school hired dethroned OSU football coach Jim Tressel and put him on
a fast-track career projectile that would seat him in the president's office when it was finally vacated.

The Board's  game plan appears to be drawn from the playbook of another OSU icon, Woody Hayes, known widely for a  grinding  offense relying on "Three yards and a cloud of dust". The trustees must have read about it somewhere.

The search, such as it has been,  has been  a pro forma exercise that finally drew a dozen and half or so applicants with Tressel prominently among them after a  series of coy responses on whether he was actively seeking the job.  Not only that job.   It has since been revealed that he has applied for the presidency at Youngstown State University. Has  the situation now opened to auction bidding for his services between the two schools?

There's been little coming from the Board, although I'm told that three Republican members, and maybe more,  are solidly behind hiring Tressel for the  top job.  That group is led by Jonathan Pavloff, Board vice chairman and chairman of the Summit County Republican executive committee.

Meantime, the next  president may have to demand hazard pay. He (or she?) will quickly be challenged by a projected $15 million budget  shortfall, a four percent decline in enrollment and a two percent increase in tuition. Tressel would find the challenges much greater than defeating Michigan.

College, anybody?

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