Here are five priorities the newly appointed president of the University of Akron, Gary L. Miller, will have to tackle once he takes over Oct. 1:
The last decade has seen significant enrollment decreases for the university. After almost hitting 30,000 students in fall 2011, enrollment last fall was 20,554.
Due in large part to the declines in enrollment, the university has seen significant deficits and offered buyouts this spring to nearly half the faculty. The university expects to dip into its reserve funds by $11.5 million for the 2019-2020 school year.
3. Departmental reorganization
The university halted a process to consider reorganizing academic departments, a pause that is supposed to end this month. Interim President John Green said he and Miller would make a decision together in the coming weeks about how that process would move forward.
4. Provost search
The current chief of academics is in the role on an interim basis, and the university pledged to conduct a search for that key position in conjunction with the presidential search process.
5. Faculty trust
The university and the major faculty union have traded words over the last few weeks about the current state of affairs, with the Akron chapter of the American Association of University Professors releasing a March survey showing a lack of trust in the interim leader and Chief Administrative Officer Rex Ramsier. Green said the lack of trust and low morale dates back years and is a result of tough choices that had to be made over his short tenure.