University of Akron Presidents Both Looking for Cuts in 2016

Matthew Wilson says he wants to use buyouts not layoffs.
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Last year at this time we were looking back at the first full year in office for the president of the University of Akron.  This year Scott Scarborough is no longer president.  State Impact Ohio’s Mark Urycki reports . . .


The University of Akron is Ohio’s fifth largest four-year college but its enrollment has been declining for the past 5 years.   Scott Scarborough arrived in 2014 and immediately raised anger in the community for considering a name change for the school and for layoffs to cut costs. Last year he said that change was necessary.

“A lot of universities are in financial challenges.  The number of 18 year olds graduating from high school is on the decline, is likely to continue to be on the decline.  So there are too many obvious data points to suggest you’ve got to adapt. “

But freshman enrollment dropped sharply amidst the turmoil and Scarborough stepped down at the end of May.  

Now the law school dean, Matt Wilson, is in charge.

Wilson says he wants to avoid cutting programs and people but he and other school officials are looking into early buyouts to reduce costs. Akron is dealing with a $30 million deficit this year. 

We’ll probably see a downturn in enrollment this coming year but the following year I anticipate we’ll see an uptick in enrollment.  I anticipate we’ll see an another uptick the year after that.” 

Wilson hopes to increase enrollment by offering more evening classes for non-traditional students.   He’s also taking aim at attracting international students.  Wilson was dean at Temple University’s Tokyo campus.  He speaks and writes fluent Japanese.

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