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Education

The University of Akron Is Searching for an Interim as Well as a Permanent President

Protesters at the University of Akron
M.L. SCHULTZE
/
WKSU

    

With Scott Scarborough’s resignation this week, the University of Akron is searching for both for an interim president and a permanent one – a search that could take a year.

One of those who mounded the campaign to oust Scarborough is grad student Tom Guarino.

photo of Tom Guarino
Credit TOM GUARINO
Grad student Tom Guarino led many of the protests. He says the university needs to look within to find an interim president.

  He regularly lead protests on campus and attended Faculty Senate and university trustee meetings, and has some ideas on what should come next.

He says the school can begin the healing process by naming a candidate from within as interim president.

“I don’t think that that would be fair for somebody – from the national search – to come from the outside and try to have to fix [things]. I think the university is in a worse position than what Dr. Scarborough took over.”

Guarino says the interim should be someone familiar with the university’s recent challenges, "somebody who can help bring the community together, because there’s been a great divide now between the administration, the Board of Trustees and faculty and students.”

Guarino hopes some of the cuts made by Scarborough – including the baseball program and the privatization of the school’s food services – can be reversed by an interim president. He suggested David Baker, a psychology professor at Akron, as the perfect choice as interim.

Guarino believes the search for the school’s next president should involve students, faculty and alumni, a sentiment echoed by Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, who says community stakeholders also should be fully engaged.

Interim Provost Rex Ramsier is the acting head of the university until an interim president is named.