President Luis Proenza and the University of Akron board of trustees have been looking to add talent, thinking, correctly, that the school benefits when adding skills at the leadership level. One option now available is the appointment of an advisory trustee. On Wednesday, the university tapped its first, gaining the presence of Sandra Pianalto, the president of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank and a UA graduate.
The university promises to be well served by Pianalto’s management experience, higher education in need of lessons in improved productivity. More, she understands the economic and educational challenges facing the region.
The Cleveland Fed has been a leader in seeking answers to how Northeast Ohio and the state as a whole must navigate successfully the transition from an industrial economy to one based more on knowledge and entrepreneurship. Put simply, it has highlighted the value of investing sufficiently in education and innovation, the key engines of sustained and shared prosperity.
It helps that Pianalto cuts a higher profile than the typical university trustee. In her new role, she is signaling that here is a place worth investing her time and energy. In that way, she is positioned to help attract even more talent, the university benefitting further from her appointment.