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The University of Akron's Interim President Holds His First Student Town Hall

photo of Matthew Wilson

The University of Akron’s interim president held his first town hall with students today.

Matthew Wilson has been on the job for eight weeks, after spending two years as the dean of Akron’s law school.

A summary of Wilson's first town hall

During the town hall, Wilson took questions about the future of graduate assistantships, programs that may be cut and even how to recruit new students. Cassandra Durell is a senior mathematics major, who said she was reassured by Wilson’s commitment to transparency.

“It seems like he doesn’t necessarily have the answer, but it’s not about giving us that answer now – that he doesn’t have or making something up on the fly; it’s more about knowing that he has the resources to find something out for us and to find out what’s going to work best for us.”

Wilson acknowledged that enrollment is down but not as much as projected for this year. He said he hopes to be able to look less at cutting programs and more at strategic investment opportunities.

Wilson is taking over, in his words, from a “turbulent” administration led by Scott Scarborough, who resigned in May. But Wilson said some good still came out of that period.

“If there was ever any question about the value of the University of Akron to this community, I think that was resolved. I mean, there was a resounding ‘yes’ as people stepped up, and they talked about why the University of Akron mattered.

"The opinions might have differed in terms of what the vision was for the future, but you could see how invested they were and how much they cared about the university as an institution.”

Wilson said he’s encouraged by the positivity and momentum on campus since he took  over and added that it would be “wonderful” to continue that beyond his interim period, which lasts until January 2018.