Joe Gingo, the chairman of the University of Akron board of trustees, wondered why the faculty union waited months before releasing its survey of faculty views about the university’s leadership and decision-making. Actually, union leaders shared the results with the chairman in March, or not long after the survey was conducted. The union presented the findings to other trustees in early April. It apprised John Green, the interim UA president, and Rex Ramsier, then the provost, now the chief administrative officer.

Why wait until last week to post the results? Faculty members consulted quietly in the hope the trustees and top university officials would act constructively. It also made sense to hold off when accepted students are choosing where to attend college. To their credit, university leaders did respond. They moved Ramsier to his current position and named Chand Midha the chief academic officer.

Yet, in the months since, little apparently has changed in the way power is wielded. Ramsier remains the authority, and he is deeply unpopular among the faculty, the constituency indispensable to the university’s core mission and crucial to the school navigating its current financial and enrollment troubles.

The university leadership may spin about the portion of the faculty responding to the survey or point to decisions “based on careful and thorough reviews of data and information.” It is hard to dodge such striking results as 95 percent of respondents rating the performance of Ramsier as “fair or poor,” the two lowest of five possible answers.

Might the number reflect the hard choices facing the school and Ramsier’s willingness to make them? In part, perhaps. Still, good leadership involves bringing people along. In that way, the extent of his unpopularity isn’t something that can be shrugged off. It long has been a topic of discussion — and worry — across the campus.

The board chairman said he failed to understand how releasing the survey results serves the best interests of the university and its students. The release is a cry for help — for the sake of the university, faculty members trying again to get the trustees and the university’s leadership to listen. This isn’t about the union somehow positioning itself for contract negotiations or otherwise angling for power, the casting suggested in the school’s response to the survey. Faculty get the difficulties facing UA. They want a larger role in how it moves forward.

This is the opportunity the trustees fumbled in the aftermath of the Scott Scarborough debacle. The university was divided, riven by mistrust and a lack of confidence in trustees who largely are political appointees. The trustees had an opening to pull the campus together, drawing on the talent and experience there, the knowledge about how universities operate. Instead, three years later, the provost in all but title, a constant presence through this period of interim leadership, is described as arrogant and vindictive, a source of ill will and declining morale.

The trustees appear on the verge of naming a new and permanent president. Joe Gingo indicated the selection process, which does include a faculty presence, is “nearing completion.” For all the challenges facing UA, including consecutive years of declining enrollment, the school has many strengths. The university is ripe for good and sustained leadership, aware of the school’s importance to the city and region and once armed with a plan about what the school will look like in a decade.

Among the most important things the next president must do is engage fully the faculty, seeking to build trust (which must go both ways). It can be done. Unfortunately, it isn’t the case now, as the survey makes clear.