The University of Akron formally introduced John Groce as its new Head Basketball Coach Thursday. Groce, who previously served as Head Coach at Illinois and Ohio, inherits a team that won 27 games in 2016-17 under Keith Dambrot before he left for Duquesne.

Groce joined Jasen shortly after his introduction to talk about his plans for Zips Basketball.


Published in Jasen Sokol

The University of Akron has hired its new men's basketball coach.

John Groce is the new man in charge of the Zips, as he replaces the departed Keith Dambrot, who left to coach Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.

George Thomas from the Akron Beacon Journal spoke with Sam and Brad Wednesday to talk about the hire.  Groce comes from the University of Illinois where he coached from 2012-17.

For the full interview, click here.


Published in Sam and Brad

Zips' sports beat writer George Thomas from the Akron Beacon Journal spoke about the departure of former University of Akron head coach Keith Dambrot to coach the men's team at Duquesne.


Published in Sam and Brad

Former University of Akron basketball player and Buchtel High grad Matt Futch joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about the departure of Keith Dambrot from the University of Akron basketball program after 13 seasons.


Futch played at Akron from 2002-06 and was an assistant coach under Dambrot from 2011-13.


Published in Sam and Brad
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 06:57

AUDIO: Dambrot Leaving Akron For Duquesne

After 305 wins and four trips to the NCAA Tournament in 13 years, Keith Dambrot is heading eastbound on Interstate 76. Dambrot, the now-former head coach of the Akron Zips, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about his decision to guide the Duquesne Dukes. Duquesne is familiar territory for Dambrot, as his father played there and his mother is from the Pittsburgh area. According to Dambrot, leaving the University of Akron was “the toughest decision I’ve ever made in my life, to be perfectly frank about it.” He said he was not looking around for other jobs, but the timing was right to try to turn another program around. It will be a seven-year, $7 million contract for the 58-year-old Dambrot.

Dambrot is 59 and says he doesn't want to be coaching into his 70s or 80s, and looks at the rebuilding of the Duquesne program as a great opportunity. "The timing was right and I would take one more fling to turn another program around," Dambrot said.

LISTEN to the full Dambrot interview with WAKR's Ray Horner below.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 04:09

Goodbye, Our Native Son

Fan or no fan -- you have to feel sad when a member of the family leaves. And Keith Dambrot is a member of the Akron family, with deep roots in the community and University. The long-time basketball head coach is heading east, to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, for a reported seven year, seven million dollar deal.

Dambrot led the Zips to their winningest season in history, but fell to Kent State in the MAC title game; that loss scrubbed any hopes of a March Madness berth. Akron went two rounds before falling in the NIT.

- - -

(University of Akron) Earlier tonight, The University of Akron was informed that current men's basketball Coach Keith Dambrot has accepted the position as head basketball coach at Duquesne University.

The University has issued the following statement from UA Athletic Director Larry Williams and it is being shared with you at this time:

"We are very grateful for the enormous contributions that Coach Keith Dambrot has made to our excellent men's basketball program. His hard work with our student-athletes combined with their dedication to going the extra mile have brought great success to The University of Akron – including the winningest season in UA history – and we value his role in making that happen. He and the Dambrot family will always be a part of The University of Akron family, and we wish him well as he moves along.

We will immediately launch a national search for our new basketball coach and we reaffirm our commitment to building our basketball program and all of Akron Athletics into a nationally recognized program across the board. In addition to finding a new coach, we are working to be in a position to upgrade the James A. Rhodes Arena and we will need to rely on support from the community to achieve that goal."

Published in Local

The University of Akron Zips will be taking on the Mavericks of U.T. Arlington for a second round NIT matchup in Texas.

Assistant coach Kevin Byrne of the UA basketball team spoke with Sam and Brad Monday to talk about the team, their journey on the road, and what they're looking for in the Mavericks tonight. 

For the full interview, click here.


Published in Sam and Brad
Friday, 17 March 2017 17:54

AUDIO UA, Dambrot Ready For Mavericks

University of Akron Zips head basketball coach Keith Dambrot spoke with Sam and Brad to talk about the win over Houston in the first round of the NIT.

The Zips will play the Mavericks of UT Arlington on Monday at 8pm in Texas.


For the full interview, click here.


Published in Sam and Brad
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 10:19

Shooting Near U of A Campus

University of Akron Police are investigating a shooting just off campus along South Adolph Avenue, just east of campus and Route 8. 

According to the police report, the shooting happened Monday afternoon about 1:15. One 26-year-old male victim was shot in the foot and transported to Summa Akron City Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say the victim hasn't been cooperative with them and hasn't provided a suspect description. 

The only thing police know is that a male suspect fled the scene on foot, running through backyards toward campus. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Akron PD or University of Akron PD. 

Published in Local
Thursday, 16 February 2017 15:07

AUDIO Kent State, Akron Ready For Rivalry Game

Rob Senderoff, coach of the Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team spoke with Sam and Brad Thursday ahead of the game Friday between KSU and the University of Akron.

Tomorrow's game is sold out at Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena and can be seen on the ESPN family of networks.

The Flashes are 14-12 overall and 6-7 in the MAC. 


University of Akron head basketball coach Keith Dambrot also spoke with Sam and Brad as well to offer his take on tomorrow's contest.


 The Zips are 22-4 overall and 12-1 in the MAC.


Published in Sam and Brad
Monday, 13 February 2017 10:18

Akron, Kent State Rivalry Comically Renewed

Neighboring University of Akron and Kent State University have been rivals in the Mid-American Conference for some time now.

Well, ahead of their matchup on the basketball court on February 17th, the colleges are teaming up for a funny TV campaign to renew that rivalry in the friendliest of ways. 

They've released two new local TV spots (see below) featuring mascots "Zippy" the kangaroo from Akron and "Flash" the Golden Eagle for Kent State, and their one-time "sizzling romance" as the press release puts it. 


Published in Local
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:10

AUDIO Dambrot Discusses Zips' Win Over Ball State

University of Akron Zips men's basketball head coach Keith Dambrot spoke with Sam and Brad Wednesday to talk about last night's buzzer-beating win over Ball State on Tuesday.

The Zips are now 20-4 on the season and 10-4 in the MAC. They will take on Eastern Michigan Friday, Feb 10 in Yipsilanti.


For the full interview, click here.


Published in Sam and Brad
Monday, 06 February 2017 17:03

AUDIO Former Zip Jason Taylor Heading To HOF

One of the inductees to the Pro Football HOF, Jason Taylor found out the good news over the weekend that he will be enshrined in Canton as part of the Class of 2017.

One of his former coaches, Lee Owens, former head coach at the University of Akron, current head coach at Ashland University spoke with Sam and Brad to talk about how Jason committed himself to the game of football.


For the full interview, click here. 

Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 02 February 2017 15:02

AUDIO Bowden Pleased With 2017 Recruiting Class

University of Akron Zips head football coach Terry Bowden spoke with Sam and Brad Thursday to talk about his 2017 recruiting class.

Some local talent headlines this year's haul including Ellet's Marquise Bridges,  Jemarulin Suggs and De'Andre Brimage from East, and Cobie Booker from Barberton.


For the full interview, click here.


Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 02 February 2017 12:13

Holocaust Survivor Recordings Found At UA

Long lost recordings of songs sung by holocaust survivors in the years immediately following World War II have been found at the University of Akron.

The songs were part of a collection of material from psychologist David Boder, who recorded interviews with holocaust survivors back in 1946.

Dr. David Baker who is the Executive Director of the University's Center for the History of Psychology, says the recordings have been in their archives since 1967, but were in a mislabeled canister, and not found until recently.

But, because they were so old and recorded on wire instead of tape; they couldn't play them back. So, one of their media specialists actually constructed a new playback device using both old and new parts.

The songs are sung by a woman who had been in a forced labor camp in Poland. One, is a song that Jews would sing to inspire resistance against the Nazis, and another is a song the Germans forced their captors to sing while working in forced labor camps.

Copies of the recordings will now become part of the collection at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Published in News
Thursday, 02 February 2017 12:13

Holocaust Survivor Recordings Found At UA

Long lost recordings of songs sung by holocaust survivors in the years immediately following World War II has been found at the University of Akron.

The songs were part of a collection of material from psychologist David Boder, who recorded interviews with holocaust survivors back in 1946.

Dr. David Baker who is the Executive Director of the University's Center for the History of Psychology, says the recordings have been in their archives since 1967, but were in a mislabeled canister, and not found until recently.

But, because they were so old and recorded on wire, instead of tape; they couldn't play them back. So, one of their media specialists actually constructed a new playback device using both old and new parts.

The songs are sung by a woman who had been in a forced labor camp in Poland. One, is a song that Jews would sing to inspire resistance against the Nazis, and another is a song the Germans forced their captors to sing while working in forced labor camps.

Copies of the recordings will now become part of the collection at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Published in News
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 17:49

AUDIO Marquise Bridges Ready To Be A Zip

Marquise Bridges, Ellet High School football standout running back, spoke with the Sam and Brad Show Wednesday to talk about the commitment to go play for the University of Akron Zips.


Published in Sam and Brad

The University of Akron Zips are now 16-3 on the season and will take on Western Michigan Tuesday in a big MAC matchup.

Coach Keith Dambrot of the University of Akron Zips' men's basketball team joined Sam and Brad Monday to talk about their win over Eastern Michigan last Friday and what's coming up next with the Broncos.


For the full interview, click here.


Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 08 December 2016 11:34

The Buchtelite Halting Publication

"The Buchtelite," the independent student newspaper of the University of Akron, will halt publication starting next semester, according to a press release today.

Information provided says that with two of the paper's nine editors graduating and four more either studying or working abroad, the paper simply cannot operate with the remaining staff. It's the second time in less than three years the paper has gone on hiatus.

Temporary advisor of the paper, Val Pipps, says they're looking to hire someone who can select and manage a staff so that when they are back up an running they don't run into the same issues.

Below is the press release from The Buchtelite:

The Buchtelite, the 127-year-old independent student newspaper of The University of Akron, will suspend publication at the beginning of next semester, marking the second time in less than three years that the paper has gone on hiatus.

“The Buchtelite is important to the University, it’s important to the school,” said Theodore Avtgis, director of the School of Communications since July 1 of this year. “We will seek out alternatives to keep the paper alive for next semester.”

But with two of the paper’s nine editors graduating, and another four going out of the country to either work or study, it is unclear how long this suspension will last.

The paper’s current temporary adviser, Val Pipps, is leading the search for a new adviser next semester, who will be able to reconfigure the paper for what will likely be a full comeback in the fall of 2017.

“We’re looking for someone who will be able to hire a staff, work with that staff, and also sort things out on the organizational side of the paper so that, when it does come back, it won’t run into these same problems again,” Pipps said.

The Buchtelite is an independent student newspaper, which further complicates the matter of its continuance. Without any clear and established oversight, it falls into a “sort of no-man’s land,” as described by one of the paper’s former advisers, Roger Mezger.

Because general oversight (i.e., accounting) falls to UA’s Student Affairs, and the School of Communication hires and pays the adviser, neither entity is totally invested in the paper, Mezger added.

The Buchtelite’s status as independent also means that it does not receive any funding from the University itself, but relies only on revenue generated by its own business staff.

This business staff has not had any sort of professional guidance since 2013, when an Accounts Coordinator, who was a part-time University employee and managed the business side of the paper, left after a dispute with her superiors, according to a document from Mezger.

Two other factors have contributed to The Buchtelite’s funding issues: the University-wide cutbacks under former President Scott Scarborough in fall of 2015, which caused several key UA employees, who had an interest in keeping The Buchtelite running, to leave; and a changing media landscape in general, in which people turn more toward national, digital media and less toward local print media.

UA’s student newspaper, in short, does not make enough money to continue publication in the same form, nor generate enough incentive to have a steady, secure business and editorial staff.

“This year, it was difficult for us, a staff with over a year of experience, to even run the paper because, to say it simply, people don’t care very much,” managing editor Logan Lane wrote in an emailed statement. “The paper is treated as a campus novelty, something that needs to be kept alive because [people] feel like it should be. There’s no faculty or departmental effort to monitor or even keep the paper running.”

When The Buchtelite does return, it could be in a different format than the current one, which publishes two print issues per week and maintains a website.

One option, which many other college newspapers have taken up, is to go entirely online. Another option is to retain a print format, but reduce the numbers of issues per week and change the style of the printing.

Another possibility is for the paper to align with the University’s other student media, WZIP and Z-TV, which would act as a sort of organizational umbrella, one of whose functions would be publishing a newspaper.

More important possibilities regard the paper’s funding and editorial model, according to Pipps. Though it is now independent from the University, The Buchtelite could drop this status and merge into the College of Business Administration (for business and advertising) and the School of Communication (for an editorial staff and writers), becoming a laboratory enterprise for experiential learning.

Currently, only Buchtelite editors are paid; all writing and photography contributions come from volunteers. So unlike other area universities with a student newspaper, including Ohio State, Kent State and Youngstown State, communications students at UA are not required to contribute to The Buchtelite.

“I would say that that was the main problem this year,” said News Editor Kristina Aiad-Toss. “It’s very difficult to get students to volunteer their time and effort when they’re already involved in so many other things.”

If the paper were to become an experiential laboratory, some such problems might disappear.

“I’m saddened to hear [the news],” said UA Dean of Students Michael Strong, who worked for a student newspaper when he was in college. “As a member of our community I read The Buchtelite and I look forward to seeing it.”

Ashley Ritter, a senior public relations student who infrequently reads the paper, says she thinks it important nonetheless.

“I like that students can get experience [in writing for] publications, and I think a lot of students enjoy seeing what their peers are thinking about,” Ritter said.

Chris Horne, editor of Akron’s main cultural newspaper, “The Devil Strip,” expressed a similar sentiment.

“Student-run publications are always at risk because of attrition,” Horne wrote in an emailed statement, “[but] I’m usually going to side with there being more voices [in the community], not fewer…I think this is a loss to our community but I’m hopeful it isn’t a permanent loss.”

John Zipp, president of the Akron chapter of the American Association of University Professors, has often added an important perspective to various Buchtelite articles over the past two years.

“An engaged student press is an extremely important voice for students, and I hope that The Buchtelite comes back even stronger in fall 2017,” Zipp said. “With limited resources, I think that the paper has repeatedly produced well-done…articles.”

Those interested in joining The Buchtelite staff when it does return, or who in any other way have comments or questions regarding the newspaper, may direct their inquiries to Professor Val Pipps at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Local
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 10:21

U Of A Student Stabbed By Roommate, Dies

University of Akron student Duncan Unternaher, 23, was allegedly stabbed by his roommate in their apartment on Grant Avenue on campus. Police say it happened on Saturday, December 3, juat about 12:30 a.m., and stemmed from an argument that started over fast food. 

A third roommate called 911 to report that his roommate, 22-year-old Kendall Scheid, stabbed Unternaher. 

Unternaher, from Newark, Ohio, was transported to Akron City Hospital where he died from his injuries on Monday, December 5. 

Scheid was arrested and booked into Summit County Jail on Felonious Assault charges. Bond has been set at $1,000,000 and he is reportedly facing more charges following the death of Unternaher. 

The Monday Unternaher died, University of Akron students held a candlelight vigil outside of the Phi Delta Theta house on campus, where students remembered him as fun-loving, outgoing, and friendly to everyone. 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 03:50

VIDEO UA Looking For More Belt-Tightening

Times are tough at the University of Akron, and a new report by Ernst and Young is leading to voluntary buyouts as the school tries to right it's spending versus revenues. University President Matthew Wilson says he wants to avoid layoffs; 161 employees were laid off in 2015 by the administration of then-President Scott Scarborough and that decision touched off fierce debate and open rebellion that eventually helped lead to Scarborough losing his job.
Student enrollment is down 20 percent for full-time freshman while and $18 million dollar deficit this year was covered by the University's reserve fund, but it cut the amount held by nearly a third. Wilson says they've managed to save up to $5 million dollars by current cost-cutting measures.
The economic proposals have already been shared with key stakeholders such as faculty representatives and donors.  
- - -
(University of Akron)  As you know, I strongly believe in open and direct communications. Out of gratitude and respect for your support of UA, I want you to be among the first to receive this communication about our beloved institution. 
Since my appointment as President, we have experienced a lot of good news. Going forward, I anticipate that there will be much more. Donations to the University have started climbing (recent ABJ article), media coverage has been positive, the focus on student success has elevated, new student applications are once again trending in the right direction, and just a few weeks ago we announced a $3 million Knight Foundation grant. On campus, there is a renewed sense of optimism. In the community, I have felt the excitement as I have connected with alumni, university stakeholders, governmental officials, high schools, and others. In fact, I have personally visited nearly 50 high schools this semester and spoken at about 10 high school assemblies. To everyone who has helped me spread our success stories – thank you! 
At the same time, the University faces the financial realities associated with a sharp downturn in student enrollment. Over the past five years, we have experienced gradual enrollment declines resulting from the University’s move to more selective admission standards several years ago, demographics, the impact of large graduating classes and the turbulence of the last year, which resulted in a smaller entering freshman class this fall. To adjust and adapt, we reduced our expenses by $20 million last year by reducing administrators and staff, limiting expenses, and taking other measures. This year, our overall enrollment dropped by 8%. Our smaller student body (23,152 students this year) combined with our efforts to provide students with an affordable education require that we again simplify our budget to ensure our future success. 
A gift from an anonymous donor made it possible for us to engage the services of Ernst and Young (E&Y) to explore our past financial activity, look at our current financial situation, and provide preliminary suggestions for ensuring budgetary stability going forward. E&Y has provided us with an objective and impartial report of our financial history and current status. The E&Y team did an outstanding job providing an in-depth understanding of our situation and suggesting potential solutions to our challenges. 
To address our current situation, we have outlined the framework of a 2-year strategic financial plan based on objective data and discussions within our University family. This information has been shared with the leadership of Faculty Senate, University Council, student government, our bargaining units, and the Board of Trustees. I believe everyone is working toward a common understanding of the situation, and appreciates the importance of maintaining positivity for this plan to succeed.
We have posted our action plan and the E&Y report at Also, I have recorded an explanatory video message and posted it on the webpage. In short, I can summarize for you the key finding of the E&Y report: expenditures outpace revenues and will continue to do so unless we take appropriate actions. E&Y’s efforts have helped us focus on solutions and develop a strategic plan that can best be summarized as Stabilize–Invest–Grow. We will further stabilize our institution with a variety of initiatives that address our challenges, including a voluntary buy-out program to reduce personnel costs; we will invest in retention and recruitment opportunities to increase enrollment and expand our fundraising efforts; and we will grow our existing networks and expand greater pathways for non-traditional students, veterans, international students, and others to graduate from UA.
This is a lot to take in at once. I anticipate many more discussions with University governance groups, student representatives, and community leaders. I also welcome your input at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I personally read every message I receive, and will respond to as many as possible. 
I strongly believe this two-year plan will carry us forward. I ask for your goodwill, positivity, and continued support as my colleagues and I work tirelessly to ensure a prosperous future. Thank you for all you do for our students and our University.
Published in Local
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 12:45

Akron Early College H.S. Honored

Akron Early College High School is making strides to provide a better, more well-rounded high school, and even college experience for student in the Akron area. 

The Ohio Department of Education has taken notice, and has named Akron Early College one of four "Schools of Honor" in the state. 

Akron Early College Principal Cheryl Connolly, who started at the school as a classroom teacher when it first opened on University of Akron campus 10 years ago, says, "We have all worked very hard to make this school a success, so we're very proud of the kids and very proud of all of our graduates who... are doing great things for themselves and their communities." 

See the full press release on the School of Honor distinction for Akron Early College High School below: 

APS Akron Early College is 'Honored'

One of four Schools of Honor in Ohio

Ohio is recognizing four schools today for maintaining high academic achievement among their students, including many from economically disadvantaged circumstances that can make learning difficult.

The Ohio Department of Education named four High Performing Schools of Honor. Akron Early College High School (AECHS) is among the elite group.

You can find a complete list of Schools of Honor by clicking here.

Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James said today, "This award is important for our students and faculty, most certainly.  But, we want our community to know how valuable it is we recognize achievement by our students who face difficult odds every day, not of their choosing.  Poverty creates unique educational challenges."

“All children can learn and achieve, and these schools have shown that circumstances don’t define them,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “Congratulations to these teachers and administrators for making a real difference in the lives of students."

The U.S. Department of Education approved Schools of Honor as part of Ohio’s flexibility waiver request for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 2012.

To be a High Performing School of Honor, a school must:

  • Be Title 1 served or eligible and serve 40 percent or more economically disadvantaged students.
  • Have 90 percent or more of all students score Proficient or higher in reading and math on statewide assessments (i.e., Ohio Achievement Assessments, Ohio Graduation Tests, and Ohio’s State Tests) over the last five years.
  • Have 80 percent of all subgroups, including racial and ethnic, economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities and English language learners who are Proficient.
  • Score an Ohio School Report Card grade of A, B or C on its Annual Measurable Objective, to narrow performance gaps between student groups.
  • Receive an A or B on student learning progress through the school year and a combined five-year graduation rate of 93 percent or higher, if it is a high school.



Published in Local
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 08:43

UA President Settles Into Official Role

Matthew Wilson had his interim title dropped a couple weeks ago and became the permanent president of the University of Akron, and he has hit the ground running.

Wilson joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what is on his plate, which includes the recent $3 million endowment from the Knight Foundation for polymer science and engineering. It is the largest singe endowment in school history.

The UA president acknowledges the challenges he has ahead, which includes a sizable loss in enrollment over the last few years. But Wilson is confident that the issues can be solved, especially with the school’s 150th anniversary around the corner.

Wilson took over as interim president when Scott Scarborough stepped down. He came to the university in 2014, and was enticed due to how much the community truly cares about the school.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Thursday, 20 October 2016 09:53

University Of Akron Names Wilson President

The University of Akron Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday night to remove the "interim" tag and make it official, naming Matthew Wilson the President of the University. 

Wilson was named Interim President back on July 11, 2016, after a tumultuous two years at the university under then President Scott Scarborough. At the time of that appointment, the Board of Trustees put five primary responsibilities on Wilson's plate, the two most important being improving enrollment numbers and improving student retention and relationships with faculty and staff. 

In their announcement Wednesday, the board said that Wilson is well on his way to meeting or exceeding all of the goals they set for his term. 

Wilson, who was formerly the Dean of the College of Law at the University of Akron, will see his term run through June 30, 2018, per the board. 

Also in the meeting, the Board of Trustees removed the "interim" prefix on Sr. Vice President and Provost Dr. Rex Remsier. 

Below is the release from the University of Akron Website: 

The University’s Trustees voted today to name Matthew J. Wilsonthe University’s 17th president and Dr. Rex Ramsier as senior vice president and provost. Both had been serving in those roles on an interim basis.

Before the votes, Board Chair Roland H. Bauer praised the work done by both.

“In the months since (Wilson’s interim) appointment, he has brought new energy and enthusiasm to all corners of the campus and the community,” Bauer said.  “He is personally visiting area high schools – 20 so far with another two dozen scheduled the rest of this semester – talking with students and engaging with principals and counselors to help with our recruitment and enrollment efforts. He has had well over sixty meetings with donors, business and community leaders and public officials. He is conducting “town halls” with the colleges and academic units to foster free-flowing conversations. And, as has been well documented, he has actively engaged with students in the usual and some not-so-usual ways, such as basketball contests and late night email exchanges to provide guidance to students who have asked for help. As he says it so well… ‘It’s all about the students.’”

Speaking about Ramsier, Bauer said, “In similar fashion, stabilizing the academic leadership of the University is critical to our success going forward. Dr. Ramsier’s depth of experience as a faculty member and administrator, his personal devotion to the University as an alumnus, and his broad knowledge of national accrediting agencies and their procedures have secured the confidence of the Board as well. We recognize that as provost, he serves an important ‘gatekeeper’ function to both oversee and push forward the academic mission of the University.”



Published in Local
Monday, 17 October 2016 11:44

University Of Akron To Decide On President

The University of Akron will reportedly decide on whether or not they'll make Interim President Matthew Wilson the university's 17th President. 

A special meeting of the U of A Board of Trustees is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19, at 4:30 p.m., to discuss the matter. 

Wilson has been with the University of Akron since 2014 when he was hired as Dean of the College of Law. He was named interim president back in July after former President Scott Scarborough was dismissed after only two years on the job. During his time on the job, Wilson has already made a significant impact, establishing a direct relationship with incoming students and upperclassmen. As part of his effort to better connect to University of Akron students, Wilson even gave out his personal cellphone number at a meeting with students on campus. 

At Wednesday's meeting, the Board of Trustees will also consider removing the interim tag on Senior Vice President and Provost Rex Ramsier. 

Published in Local
Friday, 23 September 2016 10:45

Zips Football Player Charged With Assault


Akron Police say formal assault charges have been filed against 19-year-old Brian Bell, a University of Akron student and football player. 

The charges stem from an incident at a party during last school year in May. A report filed by the victim, Jason Watkins, claims Bell sucker punched him and then hit him in face a few more times. Watkins went to Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center and was treated for a cut on his nose and swelling above his left eye. 

Bell, who plays likebacker for the Zips, is from Valdosta, Georgia, and was originally offered a football scholarship to Florida State University. The university retracted the scholarship after Bell was investigated in the death of a high school classmate back that happened back in January of 2015. A grand jury was convened in that case and the student's death was ruled accidental

Bell is scheduled to make his first court appearance on September 30. 

Published in Local
Friday, 16 September 2016 12:35

EXL Leader At UA Stepping Down

The head of the University of Akron's Experiential Learning (EXL) Center submitted his letter of resignation today. Interim UA President Matthew Wilson confirmed that he received an email from EXL founding director and co-founder Jeff Hoffman stating that he would be stepping down at the end of the month.

"We wish Jeff the best," said Wilson "Part of Jeff's letter to me was very sincere and very kind, offering to continue to assist as we move forward so that's very encouraging."

But there's no word on what will happen to the career-focused program that was launched earlier this year.

"In terms of whether or not it's going to stick around in its own current form or fashion, that's something that we're going to need to explore."

Previous Coverage:

UA Creates Real World Link

Published in Local
Thursday, 08 September 2016 08:21

Students Hopeful About New UA Leadership

Open communication was one of the main concerns students and alumni had last school year during the University of Akron's public challenges with budget cuts, layoffs and declining enrollment.

This year -- it's a fresh start with open dialogue between students and U of A's Interim President Mathew Wilson during a Town Hall meeting. 

"What I've noticed that has been different about [Wilson] in comparison to [former President Scott Scarborough] is he is talking to students," said UA senior Hayley Cargill. "I mean, he's giving out his personal phone number for people to text him. He really cares about the students and that's a big difference."

The university faced heavy criticism over the past year under the leadership of now-former President Scott Scarborough. In late May, the board of trustees and Scarborough reached a mutual agreement for Scarborough's resignation.

It came as no surprise that some of the questions at Wednesday afternoon's meeting were focused on the administration's transparency and open communication. Those were problems that were brought up under the leadership of Scarborough. But Wilson, who has been working as the interim president for eight weeks, was quick to say that he's focused on being a good "communicator."

Even some of Scarborough's toughest critics at the event said they feel hopeful about what's to come for the university.

"Just the way [Wilson] speaks is encouraging," said graduate student Thomas Guarino. "Talking about putting students first. I've heard that many times, repeated, over and over. That's very encouraging."

Cargill said she's hopeful about the new direction the university is headed and appreciates Wilson's focus of connecting with students on campus.

"I have yet to see what this year will hold, but I have a lot of hope that it'll be a lot better than last year. It already is." 

Wilson talked about the hours he has spent helping connect students with the proper resources, including an an email he received from a student who was faced with the possibility of being homeless. Wilson said he worked with the student to help find a solution to pay for housing.

The status on donations at the university was also brought up. Wilson said pledges are coming in -- and that a major donation is currently under consideration. He noted that the total is in the millions, but didn't release further details.


Published in Local
Tuesday, 06 September 2016 13:33

ITT Tech Closing, Including Akron

UPDATE 2:35 PM: The U.S. Secretary of Education's blog post is reprinted below.


An embattled private career college is closing all locations, including one in the Akron area.

The parent company of ITT Tech earlier announced that no new students would be enrolled.

ITT blames federal sanctions that would have cost it 40% of federal student aid, and the potential loss of accreditation.

The University of Akron declined to enter a deal that it was negotiating with ITT near the end of former president Scott Scarborough's tenure.

In addition to the Fairlawn location, ITT also had campuses in Strongsville, Warrensville Heights and Youngstown.

Another private career college, Brown Mackie, will close its Akron location at the end of October.


(ITT Tech, news release) Today, ITT Educational Services, Inc. released the following statement:

"It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service. With what we believe is a complete disregard by the U.S. Department of Education for due process to the company, hundreds of thousands of current students and alumni and more than 8,000 employees will be negatively affected.

The actions of and sanctions from the U.S. Department of Education have forced us to cease operations of the ITT Technical Institutes, and we will not be offering our September quarter. We reached this decision only after having exhausted the exploration of alternatives, including transfer of the schools to a non-profit or public institution.

Effective today, the company has eliminated the positions of the overwhelming majority of our more than 8,000 employees. Our focus and priority with our remaining staff is on helping the tens of thousands of unexpectedly displaced students with their records and future educational options.

This action of our federal regulator to increase our surety requirement to 40 percent of our Title IV federal funding and place our schools under "Heightened Cash Monitoring Level 2," forced us to conclude that we can no longer continue to operate our ITT Tech campuses and provide our students with the quality education they expect and deserve.

For more than half a century, ITT Tech has helped hundreds of thousands of non-traditional and underserved students improve their lives through career-focused technical education. Thousands of employers have relied on our institutions for skilled workers in high-demand fields. We have been a mainstay in more than 130 communities that we served nationwide, as well as an engine of economic activity and a positive innovator in the higher-education sector.

This federal action will also disrupt the lives of thousands of hardworking ITT Tech employees and their families. More than 8,000 ITT Tech employees are now without a job – employees who exhibited the utmost dedication in serving our students.

We have always carefully managed expenses to align with our enrollments. We had no intention prior to the receipt of the most recent sanctions of closing down despite the challenging regulatory environment that now threatens all proprietary higher education. We have also always worked tirelessly to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and to uphold our ethic of continuous improvement. When we have received inquiries from regulators, we have always been responsive and cooperative. Despite our ongoing service to this nation's employers, local communities and underserved students, these federal actions will result in the closure of the ITT Technical Institutes without any opportunity to pursue our right to due process.

These unwarranted actions, taken without proving a single allegation, are a "lawless execution," as noted by a recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal. We were not provided with a hearing or an appeal. Alternatives that we strongly believe would have better served students, employees, and taxpayers were rejected. The damage done to our students and employees, as well as to our shareholders and the American taxpayers, is irrevocable.

We believe the government's action was inappropriate and unconstitutional, however, with the ITT Technical Institutes ceasing operations, it will now likely rest on other parties to understand these reprehensible actions and to take action to attempt to prevent this from happening again."

SOURCE ITT Educational Services, Inc.

(Department of Education, blog post by Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr.) Dear ITT student,

Today, ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ITT) announced that it is closing all of its ITT Technical Institute campuses. For most of the world, that news will be covered as a business story or a political one, but I know that for you it is deeply personal. You are probably wondering what this means for your future; how it is going to affect your finances and your ability to continue your education.

In recent years, ITT has increasingly been the subject of numerous state and federal investigations. In August, ITT's accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) determined that ITT "is not in compliance, and is unlikely to become in compliance with [ACICS] Accreditation Criteria." This came amid increasingly heightened financial oversight measures put in place by the Department over the past two years due to significant concerns about ITT's administrative capacity, organizational integrity, financial viability, and ability to serve students.

The school's decisions have put its students and millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal student aid at risk. Last week, the Department of Education took oversight actions to prevent ITT from continuing to add to that risk. When we made that decision, we did not take it lightly. One possible outcome of oversight actions is that a school may choose to close rather than take corrective actions, which can cause disruption and disappointment for current students. Ultimately, we made a difficult choice to pursue additional oversight in order to protect you, other students, and taxpayers from potentially worse educational and financial damage in the future if ITT was allowed to continue operating without increased oversight and assurances to better serve students.

We are committed to helping you as you consider next steps. Most immediately, you have two basic options to choose between:

If you are currently or were recently enrolled at ITT, you may be eligible to have your federal student loans for your program at ITT discharged. Your federal loan debt will be wiped away and you will have the option of restarting your education somewhere new. We will post and update information about how to receive a discharge at our ITT announcements page.
If you wish to continue and complete your program at a different school – especially if you are close to graduating – you may be able to transfer your credits. It is important to note that transferring your credits may limit your ability to have your federal loans discharged. Closed school discharge may be an option if you enroll in a different program that does not accept your ITT credits.
Both of these options have pros and cons, depending on your unique circumstances, so it is important that you consider your specific situation carefully. You can find some information to start with at our ITT announcements page. The Department's Office of Federal Student Aid is ready to support you with resources and information, including through this website, and will be updating you with more information in the coming days and weeks.

Whatever you choose to do, do not give up on your education. Higher education remains the clearest path to economic opportunity and security. Restarting or continuing your education at a high-quality, reputable institution may feel like a setback today, but odds are it will pay off in the long run. There are people and tools – like our College Scorecard – out there to help you pick a program that gives you a real shot at success.

I am proud of your hard work and dedication, and we will do all we can to continue to provide information to you on your options.


John B. King Jr., U.S. Secretary of Education

Published in Local
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 05:39

UA Attack Blamed On Race

Seven young men -- between the ages of 18 and 25 -- arrested after a racially-tinged attack in the wee hours of the morning near the University of Akron campus.

Police say seven white males were walking along Carroll and Goodkirk when they were attacked and robbed by a group shouting "Black Lives Matter." Five of the attacking group were black, two were white. One victim was kicked in the head until he was unconscious.

All seven of the arrested are in the Summit County Jail on a variety of charges, including riot and assault.

- - -

(APD)  Around 12:30 am Sunday morning, seven white males were walking in the area of Carroll Street and Goodkirk Street. While the males were walking, they were approached by five black males and two white males, shouting "Black Lives Matter" who then attacked the white males with bottles.

The suspected then started punching and kicking the victims. One victim fell to the ground and was kicked in the ehad several times before losing consciousness. The suspects then took the victims' belongings before fleeing on foot.

Responsing officers from the Akron Police Departement and University of Akron located the suspects nearby. Officers arrested:

Anthony M. Valasek, 18, of Walbroow Street NW in Canton, was charged with riot, felonious assault and robbery.

Raejon W. Williams, 18, of 6th Street SW in Canton, was charged with riot, receiving stolen property and assault.

Jessie L. Butler, 19, of Clarendon Avenue SW in Canton, was charged with riot and assault.

James C. Vance, 22, of 13th Street NE in Canton, was charged with riot, assault and receiving stolen property.

Shane R. Thompson, 20, of 28th Street in Canton, was charged with riot and assault.

Bret D. Young, 25, of 3rd Street NE in Canton, was charged with felonious assault, riot and robbery.

Jordan M. McCrae, 22, of Bromo Court SE in Canton, was charged with riot.

They were all booked into Summit County Jail.  

Published in Local
Thursday, 18 August 2016 16:15

Trump Rally Scheduled At UA

It looks like Donald Trump will be coming to Akron after all.

According to his campaign website, Trump will be stopping by the James A. Rhodes Arena on the University of Akron campus on Monday for a rally at 7:00 PM.

Trump was previously scheduled to appear in Akron after the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last month, but later canceled the event.

He has visited northeast Ohio twice in past two weeks, once at Youngstown State and earlier at private fundraiser in Stark County.

Tickets to the rally at UA are available on his campaign website.

Published in Local
Thursday, 04 August 2016 01:08

Wayne College Gets New Dean

A new dean has been named for Wayne College.

The University of Akron says Dr. Jarrod Tudor will take over as dean at Wayne College later this month.

He was dean at Kent State's Geauga campus and Twinsburg Center...and has worked for Kent State for 20 years, including 17 years as a full-time faculty member at Kent State Stark.

His appointment must still be approved by the UA Board of Trustees.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 18:40

Trump Campaign Rents EJ For Akron Event

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could make his next stop after the convention in Akron.

The University of Akron confirms to that the Trump campaign has rented E.J. Thomas Hall for a late afternoon Friday event.

The rental was first reported by the Akron Beacon Journal.

The event would take place the day after Trump officially accepts the Republican nomination, in a speech Thursday at the Republican National Convention.

Published in Local
Thursday, 14 July 2016 05:19

Zippy Gets Better Tailgating

Zips fans have new rules for tailgating at football games -- with some parking lots open at six in the morning on game days, small gas grills on open surface lots and charcoal grills in some others.

- - -

The following are the tailgating guidelines applicable to The University of Akron football games played at InfoCision Stadium- Summa Field. These guidelines are relevant to University owned surface lots, parking decks, and campus owned green space designated for tailgating. The University of Akron tailgating policy is designed to ensure:

• The comfort and enjoyment of game day patrons.
• The safety, security and well-being of all people associated with game day activities.
• The safeguarding and preservation of all public property under the management of the University.

All guests on campus are required to comply with applicable University policies and State of Ohio laws and regulations. Possession and consumption of alcohol on the property of The University of Akron, including its buildings, facilities, grounds, and parking areas is subject to the laws and regulations of the State of Ohio. Overnight parking, including recreational vehicles, is permitted only in designated parking lots with the prior approval of Parking and Transportation Services (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 330.972.7213). 

Lots 6, 8, 9 and 10 will be open at 6 a.m. on game days. All other campus parking lots will open four (4) hours prior to each game. Vehicle and related tailgating activities can occupy no more than one (1) parking space and must not interfere with traffic lanes and vehicular or pedestrian movement. Saving spaces for other vehicles is not permitted. The unauthorized distribution or sale of merchandise, food or beverages is prohibited. Outside caterers are prohibited without prior application and approval from Aramark.

The use of small gas grills is permitted in open surface parking lots. The use of charcoal grills is permitted in Lots 8, 9, and 10. Grills are prohibited in parking decks. 

Tents larger than 10'x10' are not allowed in tailgating areas. The use and location of larger tents must be approved by the University prior to the day of game and may require special permits. Tents or other raised structures cannot be secured directly into the ground or pavement. Tents must be attended at all times.

Guests are required to bag and dispose of all trash and recyclable products. Portable rest rooms will be available adjacent to designated tailgating areas on game day. University buildings and restrooms are available per each building's game day guidelines.

The University of Akron reserves the right to restrict tailgating at its discretion due to game time, weather conditions, etc.

Published in Local
The University of Akron continues to go through a transition process, specifically after the resignation of former president Scott Scarborough back in May. But the effort to push through the poor publicity continues.

The dean of the University of Akron College of Law, Matthew Wilson, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about him being named interim president. Wilson will tackle the presidency until the trustees pick a permanent choice.

Wilson has been with the university since 2014. Prior to coming to Akron, he held a similar position with the University of Wyoming College of Law.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Monday, 11 July 2016 20:00

UA Names Wilson Interim President

The University of Akron wasted little time finding an interim President to fill the vacuum left by the remnants of the Scarborough Administration, tapping the Dean of the University of Akron School of Law for the post.

Matthew Wilson has been on the faculty of the school in 2014 and during his tenure is credited with helping boost enrollment at the school when other law schools have recorded declines. Student enrollment has suffered at the University of Akron and is a high priority for improvement, says Board of Trustees Chairman Roland Bauer.

Wilson's appointment is for 18 months. Interim leadership was also announced for the College of Engneering and College of Law.

- - -

(University of Akron) Following weeks of conversations within the campus and the community at large, the University’s Trustees tonight named School of Law Dean Matthew J. Wilson as interim president.
Wilson, whose 18-month appointment begins at once, has increased enrollment and employment rates at the School of Law in a challenging environment for legal education.
“We are convinced (Wilson) will help the entire University achieve the same kind of successes that have been realized within the School of Law,” said Board Chairman Roland H. Bauer.
Wilson said he was humbled by the appointment.
“My commitment to serve as interim president stems from my firm belief in the greatness of this institution, my faith in the University and local communities, as well as my genuine desire to see The University of Akron excel,” Wilson said. “We have exceptional students, faculty, staff, programs, and opportunities here at The University of Akron.  We also have an alumni base and community that truly care.”
Areas of focus
In announcing Wilson’s appointment, Chairman Bauer described areas of focus for Wilson to address that include:
·         developing a sustainable budget;
·         increasing enrollment;
·         accelerating our progress in increasing student retention;
·         rebuilding and strengthening relationships with our various constituencies; and,
·         significantly growing our development efforts.
“Achieving those goals will require a strong and capable leader,” Bauer said, “and we believe we have found that person.”
Wilson called for the campus and community to unite to solve the challenges.
“I am confident that things will be much better tomorrow so long as everyone can quickly come together, collectively seek sustainable solutions to budgetary challenges, exercise patience and understanding in the process, and work as a team going forward,” Wilson said. “Dwelling on recent events will only serve to compound existing challenges. It is my intent to work collaboratively with our outstanding faculty and staff.  My door will always be open.  I invite everyone to join with me in not only working to conquer existing challenges and rebuilding relationships, but also to innovate and explore new opportunities.”
Accomplishments at Akron Law
Bauer said Wilson’s accomplishments at the School of Law prepare him well for the interim position. Wilson and the faculty and staff at Akron Law have:
·         increased the school’s enrollment as other law schools recorded declines;
·         developed innovative program offerings, including a unique dual country, tri-city study abroad program;
·         helped students excel in both bar passage rates and national competitions for client counseling and trial advocacy; and,
·         provided practical experience for students through a new, intensive course in which leading trial attorneys and judges from around the region participate and help students learn how to conduct a trial from beginning to end.
“Employment preparation and placement are important priorities for the School of Law,” Bauer said, “and success has been seen there as well. The employment rate (within nine months of graduation) for the 142 Akron Law graduates in the Class of 2015 – excluding four students who were pursuing additional graduate degrees and four students whose status was unknown – was 92.5 percent.”
Wilson, who also is a tenured faculty member, came to UA in 2014 after serving as professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Dean of Student Affairs at The University of Wyoming College of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Utah with a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in Asian Studies and holds a J.D. from Temple University School of Law.
Discussions and consultations
Throughout June and this month, the Trustees met with representatives from campus groups to hear about their desires in an interim president. Groups consulted included faculty, staff, students, deans, department chairs and school directors, the leadership of the University Council, the Faculty Senate and the AAUP. Several members of the community at large also provided priorities.
“These discussions were very constructive, productive and positive,” Bauer said. “Uniformly, we heard a key message – that we must all work hard together to move The University of Akron forward. Indeed, that phrase – ‘move forward’ – was heard time and time again.”
Separately, the Board also approved interim leadership for the College of Engineering and the School of Law. Dr. Donald Visco will lead the College of Engineering, and Sarah Cravens and Ryan Vacca will jointly lead the School of Law.
Interim leadership named for engineering, law
The Board of Trustees announced Monday interim leadership appointments for two colleges:
·         Dr. Donald J. Visco was named interim dean of the College of Engineering.
·         Sarah M.R. Cravens and Ryan G. Vacca were named interim co-deans of the School of Law.
·         Visco, who joined UA in 2010, is associate dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering. Before that, he was professor of chemical engineering at Tennesee Technology University for 11 years.
Visco earned a bachlor’s degree and Ph.D. in chemical engineering, both from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Cravens is associate dean and an associate professor of law at the School of Law. She joined the school in 2005.
She earned her bachelor’s or A.B. from Princeton University, her master’s in philosophy from Cambridge University, and her Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee University.
Prior to joining the faculty, Cravens was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and an associate at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, D.C., where she specialized in products liability litigation.
Vacca is a professor of law and director of the school’s Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science/law, jurisprudence and social thought from Amherst College, his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his LL.M in intellectual property and trade regulation from the New York University School of Law.
He joined Akron Law in 2010. Prior to that, he taught at the University of Oregon’s School of Law and the University of Denver’s College of Law.
Published in Local
Monday, 11 July 2016 14:44

New UA Interim President To Be Named

There could be an interim president named at the University of Akron tonight.

The announcement is expected to be made this evening in public session after a 5:30 PM executive Board of Trustees session

Interim senior vice president and provost Rex Ramsier has been performing the duties of the office, after the resignation of now-former UA president Scott Scarborough.

UA says it will conduct a search for permanent president, after the interim president is named.

Published in Local
Thursday, 07 July 2016 17:53

UA Dean The Latest Exit

There's another exit at the University of Akron.

UA has "terminated without cause" the contract of Dr. Todd Rickel, who has been the dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology.

He'll get a 120 day paid leave and is no longer performing those duties, per his contract.

Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Dr. Rex Ramsier made the move, as he is performing the duties left behind by former UA president Scott Scarborough.

(University of Akron) Earlier today, Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Dr. Rex Ramsier met with the leadership of the College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) to inform them that the University has exercised its option to terminate without cause the contract of Dr. Todd Rickel as Dean of CAST.

In keeping with his contract, Dr. Rickel has been placed on paid leave for the next 120 days and has been relieved of all duties and responsibilities as dean.

Dr. Ramsier will work with the CAST leadership to coordinate the College's programs and activities until an interim dean is named.

Published in Local

As the 2016 Rio Olympics approach, one University of Akron track and field athlete will look to make his mark in Brazil later this August.

Clayton Murphy joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his accomplishments and his aspirations of running in an Olympic Games.

He won the Olympic trials in the 800 meters on Monday and ever since then, he's been getting ready for Rio.

"When I crossed the line Monday, it was an overwhelming feeling, and it's starting to sink in a little bit."

The 21-year-old Murphy hails from New Paris Ohio, outside of Dayton.

When asked about if he ever thought the Olympics would be a possibility, he said it became real during the past 12 months.

"Track really started to go well,  and I really had large aspirations to run well in the trials and be at the Olympics in August."

For more with Clayton Murphy and his Olympic bid, click here. 


Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 17:35

UPDATE Akron Closures Due To Rally

There will be some closures due to the LeBron James celebration at Lock 3 on Thursday.

There will be no afternoon classes at the University of Akron due to crowds expected in Akron for the LeBron James celebration, and street closures.

Classes will resume on Friday, and those UA employees who have summer work hours will still be at work.

Akron Municipal Court will also close at noon, because access to the Stubbs building will be restricted.

Those who are scheduled to appear Thursday afternoon should appear on Friday morning at 9 instead.

(University of Akron) The University is canceling all classes that start at noon or later on Thursday, June 23, because of scheduled street closures adjacent to campus and the anticipated large crowd expected to converge on downtown Akron tomorrow for the City of Akron celebration of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Championship

The normal class schedule will resume on Friday, June 24.

Normal summer work hours for University employees will remain in effect.

(Akron Municipal Court) The Akron Municipal Court will close at 12:00 noon Thursday, June 23, 2016. Downtown access in the vicinity of the Harold K. Stubbs Building will be restricted due to the Akron Celebration scheduled for later in the day.

Please be advised and notify affected parties the Akron Municipal Court will be closed at this time. Those scheduled to appear on a summons during the afternoon of Thursday, June 23, 2016 should appear at the Court the following morning at 9:00 am on Friday, June 24, 2016. Please contact court offices at 330 375-2120 with questions or to reschedule.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 16:45

UA Trustees Pass New Budget

The University of Akron's board of trustees have approved a budget that could change depending on input and enrollment numbers.

The budget plan projects an earlier predicted enrollment decline, which would remove about $20 million from the budget.

But there's $7.2 million on the positive side due to debt refinancing, and the use of $18 million dollars from reserve funds - currently at $243 million.

There'll be more emphasis on cost control, though there's currently no plans for faculty and staff layoffs.

Efforts will continue to increase enrollment, and changes will be put into the budget in mid-September.

UA is holding talks throughout the summer to get input from the campus community.

(University of Akron) At its regularly scheduled meeting today, the Board of Trustees approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2017 (covering July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017) that establishes an operating plan while discussions are being held throughout the summer with campus constituencies, including the University Council Budget and Finance Committee.

The budget is presented in a manner that the University community is used to seeing and can be compared to past years. The assumptions take into account the projected total enrollment decline of approximately 9% and the resulting $20 million impact of that decline.

There will be an increased emphasis on cost control, although faculty or staff layoffs are not being contemplated. The University will realize $7.2 million as a result of the recent debt refinancing, and the budget plan will utilize $18 million from the University's reserve funds, which currently stand at $243 million.

Efforts to increase enrollment continue across the entire campus, and the fall enrollment figures will be incorporated into the budget in mid-September.

Budget materials presented to the Board can be found on our budget page.

In other business:

The Board elected new officers for the Fiscal Year 2016-17. The new chair will be Mr. Roland H. Bauer and the two vice chairs will be Ms. Olivia P. Demas and Mr. Ralph J. Palmisano. University General Counsel Ted Mallo was elected secretary of the Board and M. Celeste Cook, associate vice president and deputy general counsel, was elected assistant secretary.

The Board passed resolutions of appreciation for outgoing Board members Jonathan T. Pavloff, the current chair of the Board, and Matthew R. Hull, a student trustee. Their terms expire June 30, 2016.

The Trustees approved promotion, tenure or both to 37 faculty members. See the list.

The bylaws for University Council were referred to the Board's Rules Committee for codification into Board rule format. These bylaws had previously been approved by University Council and forwarded to the Board for consideration.

The Board approved and will forward to the Governor two required reports – the University's updated Retention and Completion Plan and the Report to the Ohio Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency in Higher Education.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for Aug. 10, 2016. Board committees will meet on Aug. 1.

Published in Local
Monday, 06 June 2016 14:41

UA "Tiger Team" To Provide Input

As the University of Akron moves to its next phase after the resignation of Scott Scarborough, it's turning to what it calls a "Tiger Team".

UA says that team will bring in experience and expertise from the university community, including faculty, staff, chairs and deans.

The group will tackle issues like enrollment challenges, governance and finances.

It's being assembled by interim senior vice president and provost Rex Ramsier, who will be handling the president's duties until an interim replacement is named.

The "Tiger Team" will work in addition to existing adminstration and board efforts to build UA's next budget.

The university says it hopes to start naming representatives of each group in the next week to start as quickly as possible.


(University of Akron) In an effort to help build trust and engagement across The University of Akron campus, Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Rex Ramsier today announced his intention to establish a team drawn from the Faculty Senate, University Council, Deans, Chairs and School Directors and the American Association of University Professors – Akron Chapter to help address the University's challenges.

This so-called "Tiger Team" will draw on the expertise and experience of the University community to develop actionable plans to assist in numerous efforts, including enrollment, University governance and finances. This group will be in addition to the ongoing work of the administration, Board of Trustees and the University Council Budget and Finance Committee to develop the University's budget.

Dr. Ramsier said, "I've been genuinely pleased with the many offers of assistance that have been received in the last week. This energy and enthusiasm to help advance the University is most welcome and will be extremely beneficial."

The Tiger Team will be led by Dr. Ramsier and will consist of three representatives from the specified groups. It is hoped that those individuals will be identified within the next week to enable the group to begin its work as quickly as possible and continue through the summer and as long as needed.

Published in Local
Friday, 03 June 2016 11:34

New Home For The Olive Jar?

The $556 decorative olive jar that sits in the University of Akron-owned home of now-former President Dr. Scott Scarborough became a symbol of the challenges and criticism the university faced over the past year. 
So - is it time for a next chapter for the infamous olive jar?
The public learned about the expensive olive jar when documents revealed how much was spent on renovations to the president's home. Nearly a million dollars was spent on the renovations, which included the $556 olive jar.
A poem read at one protest in August was an example as to what the olive jar represented to some.


It became the image of the budget cuts and layoffs at the university and the frustration over the lack of communication between the administration and students, alumni, faculty and staff. The olive jar was the center of attention during the controversy that was brewing on campus. The olive jar even attracted its own Facebook and Twitter pages. 
After this week's announcement from the board of trustees that they reached a mutual agreement with Scarborough to step down, talk of what happens to the infamous olive jar is beginning to surface. 
There's now a petition on to move the jar to a new home -- inside the Student Union on campus. The petition said it's a way for people to see it, touch it and "identify with its symbolic role."

As of late Friday morning, just a few dozen people had signed the petition.

Published in Local
The parting of ways with Scott Scarborough was certainly not surprising, but it was not without its concerns. Those concerns are being heard throughout the Akron community, and the local leaders are listening.

Mayor Dan Horrigan joined the Ray Horner Morning Show on Thursday, two days after the announcement from the University of Akron. Horrigan talked about the search for the new president and the challenges it can bring, as well as what it means for the region.

In addition to the university, Horrigan also touched on the food truck popularity and the state softball tournament at Firestone Stadium.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 07:28

UA: Scarborough Is Out

After months of heavy criticism, members of the board of trustees at The University of Akron and President Scott Scarborough have reached a mutual agreement for Scarborough's resignation.

UA held a special meeting Tuesday where the board announced President Scarborough's expected resignation after months of criticism from faculty and students for the way the university handled budget cuts and layoffs. 

The news also comes after UA decided to terminate its contract with a success coaching program, about a year after it that was put in place as the university was dealing with budget issues. Board of Trustees Chairman Jonathon Pavloff said the board determined that "new leadership is needed for the University to move forward and achieve sustained success in the future."

Scarborough, whose base pay is $450,000 a year, has the option to either take a buyout of about a year's salary or become a professor in the college of business admistration. The university will also reimburse Scarborough for the "necessary and reasonable moving expenses from the University's presidential residence up to $15,000." Scarborough must vacate the residence on or before September 27, 2016. 

Dr. Rex Ramsier, interim senior vice provost, has been named acting president until an interim president is named.

Statement of Board of Trustees Chairman Jonathan T. Pavloff: 
At its meeting today, The University of Akron's Board of Trustees and President Scott L. Scarborough, Ph.D. mutually agreed that Dr. Scarborough will step down as President of The University of Akron, effective May 31, 2016.
The Board is charged with ensuring the effective governance, leadership and management of the University and, along with Dr. Scarborough, determined that new leadership is needed for the University to move forward and achieve sustained success in the future. The Board will conduct a rigorous and thorough search for a permanent president with the experience and qualities it believes are necessary to lead The University of Akron.
An interim president will be named in the near future. Until that appointment is made, the duties of the presidency will be fulfilled by Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Rex Ramsier, Ph.D., the University's Chief Academic Officer.
When the Board selected Dr. Scarborough to serve as President, our top priorities for him were to address the financial and enrollment challenges the University faced and to work with our faculty and staff to enhance the quality of the educational experience our students receive.
The Board is grateful to him for his effort and recognizes that addressing those challenges required courage and the willingness to consider, and in some cases, implement needed changes in the way the University operates. We wish Dr. Scarborough and his family the best as they move forward.
The University of Akron offers so much to so many people, and although a number of challenges remain, the opportunities in front of us are many. Now is truly the time for all of us who care for the University to come together in a united effort to support the University and help ensure its success in the months and years ahead.


Letter from President Scarborough to Faculty, Staff and Students

The University's Board of Trustees and I have mutually agreed that, effective May 31st, I will step down as President of The University of Akron. It is our belief that new leadership is needed for the University to move forward and achieve sustained success in the future.

I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve this great University and work not only to address the challenges that were before it when I arrived, but also to begin the process of change that is necessary for the University to succeed in the rapidly changing environment of higher education.

I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to serve. As I look forward to the next chapter in my life, I hope that our faculty and staff, our passionate alumni, generous donors and committed and sincere members of the Akron community come together to advance the process of change and continuous improvement necessary for The University of Akron to realize its vast potential.


Scott L. Scarborough, Ph.D.

Previous Coverage: 
Published in Local
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 14:09

UA Ends "Success Coach" Program

The "success coach" program at the University of Akron is not being renewed.

In a notice to faculty and staff, UA says its review concluded that there was not "an appreciable difference" in retention rate this past year with the success coach program compared to last academic year.

The university says it has decided to allow the contract with TrustNavigator to expire at the end of June. Success coaches are no longer on the job as of Wednesday morning.

The statement says they're carefully looking at expenditures, and will work to provide support for students in a different way...and will get input from academic and faculty leadership, and student success teams, to determine how that will happen.

In July 2015, UA trustees voted to spend $843,000 to start the "success coach" program with TrustNavigator, in the wake of 213 job cuts...including over 50 jobs in the Department of Student Success.


Previous coverage:

7/31/15: Who -- Or What -- Is TrustNavigator? (investigation by's Amani Abraham)

Published in Local
Sunday, 15 May 2016 15:05

3,000 Graduate From UA

Over 3,000 students walked across E.J. Thomas Hall and became University of Akron graduates this weekend, one of the largest graduating classes in the school's history.

Derek Hauff gradated with a bachelor degree in civil engineering and became the first in his family to graduate.

"I was very excited to be finally done, it's been a long five years."

Now graduates are preparing to enter the real world, Matthew Lee is one of the lucky ones and already has a job lined up.

"I'll be starting the 31st of May and I'll be working for Dominion as a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Technician."

But most are not as fortunate as Matthew.

Luara Stall is an English major and is still looking for work and might go back to school until jobs open up.

"The longer I can stay in school the more jobs will open, right now I'm just trying to stay positive."

Published in Local
Thursday, 28 April 2016 15:08

UA Won't Enter ITT Tech Pact

The University of Akron will NOT be entering a controversial agreement with the private college company ITT.

That's according to a letter to the campus community just released by UA.

University officials say they haven't been able to discuss talks with the for-profit educational company due to a non-disclosure agreement, but UA now says they won't be entering any agreement with ITT.

The letter says that UA "will continue to search for appropriate ways to strengthen" the university and enhance its profile, and mentions its new contract with the UA faculty union.

(University of Akron, letter/release) In recent months, there has been much public discussion about a potential collaboration by the University that included ITT Educational Services, Inc. – a major proprietary educational institution. ITT currently reports an enrollment of approximately 45,000 students at about 130 locations across 38 states. The University has been unable to discuss the scope of the discussions and considerations due to a non-disclosure agreement with ITT. Those discussions have concluded, and the University will not be entering into any agreement involving ITT.

We will continue to search for appropriate ways to strengthen The University of Akron and enhance its profile as a leading research and teaching institution, offering students unparalleled opportunities for an education that is rich in experiential learning and connects them with great career options.

We have recently reached agreement with the Akron Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) on a new, four-year contract. Both the Board and the AAUP believe this multi-year commitment will create the type of mutually supportive environment that will enable the administration, Board and faculty to help the University adapt and succeed in the changing higher education environment as well as to address more immediate financial and enrollment challenges. We hope that we all will be open to considering and evaluating options that can help make it even stronger going forward.

Published in Local
Thursday, 24 March 2016 16:56

UA Responds To Enrollment Numbers

News reports that the University of Akron had the lowest enrollment totals of any school in the Mid American Conference are prompting reaction from UA officials.

The university claims the numbers that were used in the Beacon Journal story, which highlighted an enrollment drop of 3.2 percent over last Spring and drops in applicant ACT scores and grade point average, were out of date and misleading.

UA Associate Dean Lauri Thorpe focused on comparing numbers to 2012 in an interview with WAKR's Jasen Sokol. That's when the university ended its open enrollment policy in favor of more selective requirements. She says the university expected to take an enrollment hit at that time.

"You're admitting fewer candidates, it's more selective, it's automatically going to be more of a hit," Thorpe tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol.

When compared to 2012 numbers, UA is up significantly in total applications and admissions and has also seen slight increases in average GPA and ACT scores. But when compared to last year's numbers, the university has fallen in applications, admissions, and the GPA and ACT scores of the full applicant pool.

While GPA for applicants fell slightly, the GPA for students admitted to UA for the Fall semester have risen slightly from 3.32 last year to 3.3 this year. ACT averages for those admitted have fallen from 22.5 to 22.3.

The university has also received a lot of negative press over the last year, and Thorpe admits that could have an impact on enrollment.

"Although the applicant pool and the admit pools are strong, albeit a little bit smaller, though still stronger than two years ago, which was a great entering class," Thorpe says, "our confirmations are still running behind."

Thorpe says the university benefits from a selective student pool.

"It's great to have a robust, solid application pool," Thorpe says, "from which to then work through the enrollment funnel as we admit students."

Overall enrollment is down roughly 1,000 students.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Friday, 11 March 2016 10:06

UA, Faculty Reach Tentative Deal

To cap off a week where unionized members of the University of Akron faculty have been holding a strike authorization vote -- an update that changes the entire story. The University of Akron and University chapter of the American Association of University Professors have reached a tentative agreement on "all issues" relating to ongoing contract talks. Members of the AAUP will begin voting on the new contract as proposed next Wednesday; Trustees of the University must also ratify any agreement reached by negotiators, who are recommending passage.

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(University of Akron) Joint Release: Tentative Agreement Reached by The University of Akron and Akron-AAUP

The Administration of The University of Akron and the University of Akron Chapter of the American Association of University Professors have reached tentative agreement on all issues pertaining to contract negotiations. The tentative agreement now must be ratified by the University's Board of Trustees and by the membership of the Akron-AAUP. The timetable for ratification is being established.

For the Akron-AAUP, the chapter membership will begin voting after an informational meeting on Wednesday, March 16th.

Both parties recommend ratification to their respective constituents.

Published in Local
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