Thursday, September 17, 2015

Is Scarborough finally getting the message?

So now Team Scarborough is telling us that there will be no school name change - period!!! The   Deciders  are blaming a rude invasion of the so-called "rebranding" conversation on misinformation, gossip, media error, rumors, and fitful understanding of what  UA is trying to do - period!

"We want to be clear as possible," President Scarborough and Trustees Chairman Jonathan Pavloff said in a collaborative statement that would dilute the scorn on one or the other.  I didn't read much  more because when the leadership tried to promote  clarity over the summer of campus discontent, it didn't.

Item:  In August,  the Plain Dealer's Karen Farkas  reported, "the University of Akron may currently be 'Ohio Polytechnic University'   but the president has not shelved the idea  of changing the name."  Scarborough told the paper that the school simply has to expand its identity to reach more potential students.  Period!

The name thing, as well as a lot of other changes,  has undergone so many variations during Scarborough's first full year at the downtown campus that even statements with Periods should be approached warily.

Could it be that the regime is finally becoming aware of the troubles it has cast upon itself that are beginning to hit it in the most vulnerable  spot - the pocketbook?  The University of Akron Women's Group has responded  sharply to the removal of AKRON from the marching band uniforms, a rebranding idea that was badly timed inasmuch as  the women's group had donated $11,000 for the band's new raincoats and bags.

Louise Harvey, the group's  president, said in an email to me that
  "the Scarborough/Pavlov letter did little to soothe ruffled feathers.  I had a scathing letter from another member of the Women's Committee last night and more today.   When he puts Akron back on the uniforms, basketball court, scoreboards etc. we will (maybe) believe him."
More than a week has passed since the committee first notified Scarborough of its intent.  So far, Harvey said,  she's received no reply.

Meantime, the Association of the University of Akron Retirees (AUAR)  has also expressed its deep concern in a letter to the trustees,  Scarborough, Gov. Kasich and others similarly situated.   It stressed its "extreme dismay and concern about the changes being made at the University, as well as the way in which those changes are being made.  The letter also was critical of the treatment of affected school employes."

It pointed out that the AUAR financially supports scholarships. Period!

When UA music school professor Guy Bordo publicly described the school's leadership as "arrogant" you could understand why. I might add to that, "institutionally inept"  - a malady that has already cost Team Scarborough so much credibility.  PERIOD!

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