Thursday, February 11, 2016

A wakeup call to UA Board of Trustees

A letter to University of Akron Board of Trustees from Louise Harvey, president of the UA Women's Committee

As a 10-year UA retiree and a native Akronite, I have watched and listened to the horror stories from within The University of Akron.  PLEASE stop listening to Scott Scarborough and his team with their  prepared narratives of explanation.  Talk to the faculty, staff and students who are dealing with the ramifications of poorly planned and questionable changes and are demoralized as they watch one person "destroy a great university."  Those are the words of a highly respected, long-time faculty member/administrator.  Inability to accept change is not the issue.  Universities change constantly. Ask anyone who has worked under more than one president.  It is the manner in which the changes have been implemented without regard to the effect on students or faculty and often with total disregard for the human factor. 

I just read the official BOT response to the vote of no confidence and to the letter from the school directors and department chairs. It is a canned response, and I can only hope that it is your cover for behind the scenes negotiations.  You have run a company or organization, and you surely know that without the support of your employees or constituents, you will not succeed.

Scott Scarborough has demonstrated many times over that he does not want to listen or work collaboratively with any constituent group. It is not the "others" who will not work with him.  Scott Scarborough has lost his credibility and respect on almost all fronts.  Once lost, regaining one's credibility is long road.  Is that not one reason that you rejected Jim Tressel's bid for president?
You are facing a decline in students, a decline in contributions, and very soon the loss of many of your most talented and effective faculty members and administrators.  It will be very difficult to attract good people in all those constituent groups as the reputation of the University diminishes.   

The resolution is simple:  tell Scott Scarborough that he is not a good fit for The University of Akron and allow everyone to move on before the university is destroyed for good.  If the univerfsity is destroyed,  you will be known as a member of the Board of Trustees that killed a fine institution just to avoid admitting you have made a significant mistake in your choice of a president and refused to listen to the voices of many who have tried to explain their concerns.  

 Louise M. Harvey

No comments: