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Scarborough is out as University of Akron's President

Scott Scarborough

Note: Additional information on what Scarborough will make if he opts for a teaching position has been added to the story. 

Note: The text of Scarborough's resignation letter has been added to the end of this story.  

Scott Scarborough is out as the president of the University of Akron. Trustees accepted his resignation at a special meeting this morning, giving him the option of a year’s pay – about $450,000 – or taking a faculty position in the business school.

If he opts for the faculty position, the contract the university trustees signed when they hired him promises him 65 percent of his president's salary for at least five years or the highest pay  in the business school -- whichever is higher. The 65 percent comes to $292,500 a year. 

Scarborough, who was with the university for two years, was not at the meeting.

Trustee President Jonathan Pavloff said the resignation was a mutual decision.


  As we looked at the environment that we have today, and the challenges that are in front of us, we determined that the best path forward, the one that gave us the best chance for success, was to have a change in leadership."

The announcement followed a series of controversies, including hundreds of layoffs, plummeting enrollment, a faculty no-confidence vote, and a failed rebranding campaign and contract with a startup that was supposed to boost freshman retention.

By late September, Scarborough also must move out of the mansion, which the university spent about million dollars renovating for him.

In a statement, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said the announcement “provides an opportunity to move beyond a difficult period in the history of our university – although many challenges still remain.” He’s urging the trustees to fully engage faculty, students, alumni and the community in finding the next president.

Text of the letter Scott Scarborough wrote to the trustees


The University’s Board of Trustees and I have mutually agreed that, effective May 31st, I will step down as President of The University of Akron.  It is our belief that new leadership is needed for the University to move forward and achieve sustained success in the future.    

I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve this great University and work not only to address the challenges that were before it when I arrived, but also to begin the process of change that is necessary for the University to succeed in the rapidly changing environment of higher education.   

I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for giving me 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.



Scott L. Scarborough, Ph.D.

M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.