UA president delivers State of the University address

UA president delivers State of the University address

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Students and staff have been hungry for answers about the big changes in play at the University of Akron.

"I don't really think as a student body we have a voice and being a senior at this college I don't really have a choice to move and relocate to another university, so right now I really want to know where my tuition dollars are going," said student Andrea Lopez.

As the school endures a self-proclaimed transition phase, President Scott Scarborough says he wants to be a national university with an international reach.

During his State of the University speech Tuesday, Scarborough said he wants to concentrate on great research, build upon the success with the honors college and focus on the strengths of programs like Polymer Science and Polymer engineering.

He says the school's biggest problem is declining enrollment. Their new brand as Ohio's Polytechnic University plays into this plan to educate the masses not the elite.

These changes come at a cost of jobs and programs.

"Now we are in a position to invest in our faculty. Now we are in a position to invest in the programs that are going to keep us strong," Scarborough said.

But the professors' union president John Zipp says based on a recent survey, less than 10 percent of faculty support President Scarborough.

"One of those issues is shared governance. What we feel is that the road to success at the university has to be with the faculty, not over the faculty," Zipp said.

"We recently began the process of hiring 15 new faculty members. The state of our university today is far better than many critics claim," said Board of Trustees Chairman Jonathan Pavloff.

Based on Tuesday's address, President Scarborough clearly has a vision and a plan, and the Board of Trustees trusts him to execute.

The question remains, will the rest of the university community get on board or continue to fight the direction the school is going?

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