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Scott Scarborough, Uphold Mission for Education, Not Bad Business.

This petition had 11,036 supporters

The University of Akron has a long standing connection with the local community. It's name represents a point of pride for Akronites to say "We have The University of Akron". It's is a four year college with about 200 undergraduate programs and 100 graduate programs in an array of subjects. It can boast housing a College of Business Administration that is ranked in the top 100 of the nation, a diverse and dedicated Colleges of Arts history and classics departments, communications, theater and dance, College of Nursing, School of Law, and many more. Under Dr. Luis Proenza the university saw a massive expansion for better learning, adding 22 buildings, 18 majors, and 34 acres of green space for the students. It is important that The University of Akron remain an inclusive entity to all programs and majors, instead of pigeon holing itself into a specific niche.

A distinguished professor from The University of Akron provided the following history. “Many schools that were referred to as “polytechnics” moved from this name towards the term university in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom. Why? Because the labels were too limiting. Since then most of them have grown in reputation, enrollment, and research funding.” This begs the question as to why our proud university would want to go in the opposite direction?

Scott Scarborough, the new president of the university who started July 1, 2014, has initiated a plan to change the name of the university to Ohio Polytechnic Institute. Mr. Scarborough and his administration team have been discussing this change, and many others, without the inclusion of faculty and staff. Any major changes to the colleges should be discussed openly with those that it employs, and not at the whim of an administration team that has not been open with the changes it is initiating. The University of Akron has also played a major role in the revitalization of downtown Akron, its surrounding communities and businesses. With the expansions on Exchange Street, and the new housing developments off Grant Street, it has offered jobs to many locals in the area, as well as an update on the buildings it has renovated. It has long been a source of pride for the local Akronites, and those who commute to the university from towns such as Canton and Cleveland. Its more than just the name. Since the beginning of the change, Scot Scarborough has said that the repositioning of the university is to increase student enrollment and revenue. His plan? Cut faculty, sports programs, course offerings, and invest in online classes. Why not cut the 11% spent on administrators so that academics and sports can flourish? 

What will happen to the already low funding to graduate study programs that are not part of the engineering and polymer department? What will happen to the future enrollment for the college if students are deterred by a niche name? What other changes are connected to this? What happened to shared governance at the university? How does this does anything to help the current students get their degrees with the classes they need? How does this address the fact that one tenth of the faculty are leaving the university? Is this a tactic to distract from the astounding lack of any plans to replace these faculty members? What will happen to the degree programs that have nothing to do with the engineering and polymer programs? Is this a step in the direction of cutting the university funds to narrow the focus of the university?

Scott Scarborough needs to demonstrate a commitment to the university's mission of a broad education. To quote a respected professor, “This is a living institution inherited from the past, and that carries obligations for those currently running it.” Say NO to Scott Scarborough!

#AkronPride #SayNo2Scarborough #GoZips


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