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Education

Trustees Approve University of Akron Reorganization from 11 to 5 Colleges

a photo of University of Akron trustees
UNIVERSITY OF AKRON
The University of Akron Board of Trustees met in special session Friday, May 29, 2020. Some participated in person and others joined by conference call.

University of Akron trustees on Friday approved a number of long-term changes intended to keep the university solvent despite lost revenue from the pandemic.

The cost-cutting measures range from reshaping academics to restructuring employment benefits. 

President Gary Miller said the university will be reorganized into five colleges, allowing retention of all existing undergraduate and graduate programs and enabling savings through greater administrative efficiency.

The new structure will protect the university’s academic programs while helping them address budgetary shortfalls, Miller said.

“Our ability to manage administrative costs will be enhanced,” he said. “Our ability to be responsive to the needs of the local and regional economy will be enhanced by this efficient administrative structure.”

Executive Vice President and Provost John Wiencek, one of the architects of the changes, joined the meeting via phone.

“I do think this is the right moment to do this,” he said. “This is going to help us with our budget resetting programs and it’s really going to position us well to come out of COVID-19 stronger and with a lot of forward momentum.”

Wiencek joined UA April 30 from the University of Idaho.

Miller and other senior administrators have taken 10 percent pay cuts. Head coaches of football, basketball and soccer took 20 percent reductions.

Trustees also approved a policy change that will allow the university to furlough nonunion workers for as many as 70 days. And they’ve ended healthcare coverage for the dependents of certain retirees. UA was the last public university in the state to offer such coverage. Eliminating it will save the school $1.5 million.

Read the report presented to the trustees below:

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