How about a $25,000 performance bonus?
Not bad, especially in a city where the median household income is $34,190. That makes The University of Akron President Dr. Luis Proenza's bonus about 73% of what Akron households are making in an entire year.
$25,000 is not enough, according to University of Akron Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Progue. Progue says Proenza's performance bonus is less than some other Ohio university presidents and suggests that it should be significantly higher. He stopped short of asking for a different amount, citing "economic pressures" faced by the university.
The bonus is based on how well the trustees think Proenza fulfilled established goals. In this case, Proenza gets credit for efforts that include fundraising, capital improvements, enrollment growth and various partnerships that can help students, the university and the community.
The University of Akron refocusing it's vision of the campus of the future, with a fresh view of what "Academic Way" will look like. The Board of Trustees approving the plan's Master Guide Plan today, targeting development of a "main street" on campus that provides a greater opportunity to interact.
It also opens wide the discussion on replacing the James A. Rhodes Arena with a new arena, either on-campus near InfoCision Stadium or at a downtown location near Canal Park. City officials have long argued the downtown location would pose a greater benefit to the overall community, but University officials have privately favored a campus location more convenient to students and as a connection for fans to the University.
It's a plan to further connect the various schools even though they're now spread out across the campus. It also takes into account student experiences and sharing the campus with the community by building a pedestrian-based main street connecting the campus with downtown Akron, including a "people mover" for the one mile between the University's classrooms at the Polsky Building garage from the University's east parking deck.
The Master Plan also envisions neighborhood building off-campus, especially around Buchtel Field and Quaker Square. Artist renderings of Buchtel "before and after" seen at left and below, are courtesy the University of Akron and Sasaki and Associates.
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(University of Akron) The Board of Trustees of The University of Akron accepted an enhanced master guide plan developed by Sasaki Associates of Boston and presented to the Board by President Luis M. Proenza, Ted Curtis, Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities Management, and Mike Sherman, Senior Vice President, Provost and Chief Operating Officer. The plan, which builds upon the original 1999 master guide plan, presents a vision for the campus closely aligned with the mission and aspirations for growth set forth in Vision 2020, the University’s strategic plan endorsed by the Board in January, 2012.
The guide plan touches the full spectrum of university activity: academics and research, residential life, athletics and recreation, open space, transportation and parking, energy and infrastructure, and sustainability. Stakeholders representing many constituencies – including students, faculty and staff, the City of Akron, University Park Alliance and the Board of Trustees – collaborated extensively in the planning process through many public forums and meetings.
Rather than focusing on specific projects, the plan sets forth principles behind a structure for campus change: learning and research; connecting and partnering. These principles will guide decisions, from restoration and rehabilitation of current campus structures to the planning and building of new ones.
Central to the plan is the creation of the Academic Way, essentially a “main street” that promotes academic interaction across disciplines, a focal point for the student experience, and an opportunity to improve physical connections within campus and with the community.
Some specific highlights of the master guide plan include:
More than a decade ago, University officials worked with Sasaki Associates of Boston on a plan accepted in 1999 that set the groundwork for the New Landscape for Learning initiative, which has included the addition of 20 new buildings, 18 major additions, acquisitions and renovations, and 34 acres of new green space.
The University of Akron and Akron Public Schools taking their collaborative efforts to the next level -- so long as state lawmakers go along with the idea.
University President Dr. Luis Proenza and Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James tag-teaming members of the General Assembly in Columbus Wednesday, hoping to drum up support for changes in state law that would give first refusal of public school property for sale to universities. In exchange, universities would lend local school districts assistance across a wide range of products and services, including teacher training and even scholarships.
In Akron's case, when the former Central Hower High School is fully de-commissioned by the Akron school district the University would have an appraisal performed, and convert the value of the property for full scholarships for students in the top 10% of their class or graduate with at least a 3.0 grade point average. Students, regardless of class rank, have to achieve certain ACT scores to quality.
If state lawmakers approve State Representative Lynn Slaby's "Innovation Generation Scholarships" measure, it would allow such partnerships across the state. The U of A and APS already partner on other efforts, including the STEM school at the old Inventors Hall of Fame.
(University of Akron) Ohio legislators are being asked to approve a novel concept in the transfer of ownership of public school property to public universities for the purpose of advancing public education. The request is a unique approach to creating the building blocks necessary for a new scholarship program at The University of Akron.
“This is an innovative way to launch our new Innovation Generation Scholarship,” explains Luis M. Proenza, president of The University of Akron. “Through this scholarship, we will offer Akron Public School students who have worked hard and performed well in school full tuition to the University.”
Last month, The University of Akron released its strategic plan, Vision 2020: A new Gold Standard of University Performance. The Vision includes an ambitious growth in enrollment and unique programs to help students succeed in college and in the workforce. Student success includes connecting the academic experience with community and industry, so that the knowledge acquired in college inspires innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to solving societal and economic problems.
“Our students must be prepared for a world of rapid change and growth,” says Proenza. “Our new Innovation Generation Scholarship will provide expansive opportunities for the motivated student. We know that scholarship programs like this incentivize students to work harder to achieve better grades, increase graduation rates from high school and college, and ease the financial burden on students and families. The scholarship opportunity allows students to go to college full-time, rather than have to balance college and part-time work, which usually delays graduation.”
Proenza and Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James appeared together today before the House Education Committee to ask for support for House Bill 381. Specifically, the legislation would require a public school district that is selling a building (real property) to offer that property first to a state university. The university could accept the offer and, in exchange, provide the school district with in-kind services or educational programs valued at the appraised fair market value of the property.
The new legislation would apply directly to Central-Hower High School (photo, left), a 230,000 square foot facility that is located on the main campus of the University. Due to declining enrollment in the Akron Public Schools, Central-Hower is scheduled for decommissioning. In his sponsorship of HB381, State Representative Lynn Slaby suggested that such decommissioned properties be made available first to public universities through the exchange of in-kind services "in the form of assisting the public school district, its teachers, administrators and students, through a broad array of higher education expertise, initiatives and incentives, all with a focus on increasing the college readiness of students."
If the legislation is approved, the University of Akron would use the appraised value of Central-Hower HS to launch the Innovation Generation Scholarship. Graduates of the APS would be eligible for full tuition scholarships if they:
- Have a 3.0 high school GPA and score a 27 on the ACT, or
- Rank in the 10% of their high school class and score a 26 on the ACT, or
- Have a 3.5 high school GPA and score a 24 on the ACT.
“We developed these criteria to provide motivation and incentive for students to prepare themselves for college, and for parents and schools to support the students’ aspiration,” said Proenza. “As part of our new Vision 2020, we are building pathways to success for each of our students. Those pathways really begin before they set foot on our campus.”
The University already has partnerships with the Akron Public Schools through the National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM middle school, and the Early College Program.
According to David James, APS Superintendent, “the Early College program offers Akron public high school students a truly unique experience. They take courses on campus while they’re still in high school, and by the time they’ve graduated from high school, they’ve earned college credits; some receive an associate’s degree and move on seamlessly to further higher ed. We take pride in the fact that the students in the early college program at the University outperform nearly all their peers throughout Summit County. This is clear evidence that our students will excel, when given opportunities and access. The new Innovation Generation Scholarship opens more doors to more of our students by removing the financial barriers to higher education.”
The Innovation Generation Scholarship would be available to eligible APS graduates following the approval of HB381 and the appraisal of the Central-Hower property.
The University of Akron believes that the launch of the Innovation Generation Scholarship through this novel public/public partnership to support public education will act as a catalyst for other community leaders, foundations, and industry to broaden the funding, sustain and grow the scholarship program, and expand opportunities for students throughout the state.
After the announcement that Jim Tressel is returning to the University of Akron as vice president of strategic engagement, questions follow surrounding the duties he will hold in his new position.
UA President Luis Proenza says the focus will be on what he calls the "student experience." He says Tressel will be recruiting students and linking them back to the university as alumni.
"His career has consisted of, not so much of the hours on the field, but the countless days, months and years of working with students to elevate their aspirations, to create the opportunity for success and to build their character," said Proenza.
In 1977, Tressel graduated from the University of Akron with a master's degree in education. Prior to hiring Tressel, Proenza contacted the NCAA and made a decision to follow through with plans to bring Tressel to the university.
Many are questioning whether Tressel will have any impact on athletic programs, but Proenza says Tressel will not have any direct involvement.
Before closing out 2011, UA introduced Terry Bowden as the new UA head football coach.
"We have a new coach and they know each other, and they very much respect each other. We don't need two coaches. Mr. Tressel will be focused on helping us build the Akron experience for our students," said Proenza.
Proenza says Tressel's long history working with students will help create a new atmosphere at the university.
The Rob Ianello era is done at the University of Akron. The University announcing this afternoon the former football coach will take a one-time payout of $250,000 to ease out of his contract.
Ianello had three years remaining but needed to free himself to take a coaching position elsewhere; the deal saves the University $750,000 over the three-year period.
The deal still requires Board of Trustees approval.
(University of Akron) Under the terms of an agreement reached Tuesday, Dec. 20, The University of Akron announced that former head football coach Rob Ianello will resign from the university to accept a coaching position elsewhere.
Ianello will forego three years of guaranteed employment with The University of Akron, with a base salary and benefits totaling in excess of $ 1 million, in return for receiving a one-time $250,000 payment – a savings of more than $750,000 in salary and benefits he would have received had he stayed at The University of Akron in a reassigned position for the three years remaining on his contract.
The agreement will be recommended by President Luis Proenza for approval by the University’s Board of Trustees at its next meeting, scheduled for January 18, 2012.
The University of Akron is continuing its search process for a new head football coach.
Tuition prices increase even as revenues are down slightly at the University of Akron -- but Trustees haveapproved pay hikes for next year.
University President Luis Proenza tells the Beacon Journal it's to keep key positions competitive.
Union faculty members already have up to four and a half percent raises coming; non-union staffers will see three percent increases.
Among those seeing the biggest pay hikes: Proenza's chief of staff Candace Campbell Jackson, who's salary will rise from $169,302 to $194,302 and newly-hired vice president for communications Eileen Koury. Her salary could rise from $170,000 to as much as $185,000 in July 2012.
On the web: Akron Beacon Journal www.ohio.com
The University of Akron staying a step ahead in the wake of the Penn State scandal.
Akron faculty and employees getting a reminder -- via email -- of their duty to report to both supervisors "...and proper authorities as required by law..." crimes or violations of the University ethical standards. The list includes not only criminal conduct but also sexual harassment -- reported to police -- and academic misconduct.
The system-wide email to faculty and employees reminds them of their duty to report crimes -- to the police -- and misconduct if they come across it. The email quotes University President Luis Proenza, noting the expectation "administrators faculty, staff and students should act honorably, ethically, with civility, and in compliance with the law in every instance."
The email starts out "What would you do? What should you do? What must you do?" and specifically mentions Penn State. There's no grey area; the memo tells the "UA community" to assume personal accountability, and understand personal and professional responsibilities.
Text of University of Akron email
What would you do? What should you do? What must you do?
As events at Penn State dominate national news coverage, and stories abound over ethics violations and alleged illegal activities at other colleges, it is imperative that all members of the UA community understand their personal and professional responsibilities.
We must be vigilant and assume personal accountability in adhering to legal requirements and the highest of ethical standards endorsed by the Board of Trustees and President Proenza. Moreover, we all have a shared responsibility to conform our actions to behavior that reflects a sense of understanding between "right and wrong."
"There is an expectation that administrators, faculty, staff and students will act honorably, ethically, with civility and in compliance with the law in every instance," Proenza said. "Further, it is incumbent upon all of us to report promptly suspected violations of our standards to a supervisor or to Human Resources; or to the proper authorities as may be required by law."
Under Ohio law, people who have knowledge of a felony are required to report the crime to the police (Ohio Revised Code §2921.22), and failure to report a crime may itself be a crime.
Where to report:
Threat to safety: Report it to University police immediately at 330-972-2911 or at 9-1-1 in an emergency. You can submit a tip confidentially to police by texting it to 274637 (CRIMES), and beginning the message with the keyword ZIPTIP. You may also submit a tip confidentially online to provide more detailed information, including images.
Occurrence of sexual harassment: File a report with the police. Call 330-972-2911.
Academic misconduct and student conduct: Notify the Office of Student Judicial Affairs.
Some University of Akron staffers say they're not at all surprised that university president Luis Proenza is trying to discourage them from joining a union.
Ann Evans is an administrative assistant at the university, and part of a group of support staffers interested in voting for a union.
She says Proenza sent a similar letter to faculty members who moved to unionize in 2003. But she believes joining the Communications Workers of America (CWA) would be a good move.
"We do think by joining together with one voice, we would have a stronger voice on campus," Evans tells AkronNewsNow.com, "and get a seat at the table."
Proenza's letter says though employees have the right to decide whether they want to unionize, he doesn't think unionization in the best interest of employees and the university.
Evans says unionizing would be a positive net result for the workers and the university.
"Yes, we do," Evans tells AkronNewsNow.com, "We think it would be positive, make the university maybe even better. We're looking for respect, opportunity and security in our jobs, and we think that having CWA representatives, that that would be accomplished."
The letter went out to support staff, like administrative assistants and secretaries.
The University of Akron Board of Trustees approved a 5% base salary increase for President Dr. Luis Proenza from approximately $385,000 to $405,000 during their meeting Wednesday.
Proenza is the longest-serving public university president in Ohio.
In addition, a new college was created for students looking to break into the health-care field. The new College of Health Professions combines the College of Nursing and the College of Health Sciences and Human Service.
The University of Akron is dedicating its new education center in Lakewood Thursday afternoon.
The 11,000 square foot facility will be located in the Bailey Building at the corner of Detroit Avenue and Warren Road after the Board approved its development last spring.
The University of Akron and The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR) today announced a novel open-innovation agreement to accelerate technology development. The organizations plan to combine their expertise in materials and surface engineering at newly established laboratories in the UA College of Engineering.
According to the Aug. 24 agreement, Timken will contribute resources to establish the Timken Engineered Surfaces Laboratory, which will be located in a new facility currently under construction on the UA campus at the intersection of Wolf Ledges Parkway and Carroll Street. Timken's Gary L. Doll, Ph.D., chief technologist in tribology and next-generation materials, will lead the lab as the newly established Timken Endowed Chair in Engineered Surfaces beginning Sept. 1.
Douglas H. Smith, Timken's senior vice president of technology and quality, hails the agreement as a new model of open innovation. "Not only is UA Ohio's fastest growing college of engineering, it is a leading developer of materials for vital, commercially viable uses," says Smith. "Matching some of Timken's leading scientists and capabilities with UA's renowned faculty andgifted postdoctoral researchers and students will further the development and commercialization of advanced materials, engineered surfaces, and performance coatings for the world's most demanding applications."
UA President Luis M. Proenza also praises the arrangement, adding that it defines The Akron Model, the University's blueprint for successful regional development and job creation and a new gold standard for university performance.
"The UA-Timken collaboration demonstrates what The Akron Model truly is," says Proenza. "Universities must be engaged with the larger community and its regional economies to build a very synergistic and reciprocal relationship with each other – universities feeding the economy and the economy feeding the university back."
George K. Haritos, dean of the UA College of Engineering, pointed out that this new agreement significantly broadens the scope of the existing Timken-UA strategic alliance.
"For decades, UA College of Engineering students and graduates have been supporting Timken's global operations as co-ops and employees," Haritos says. "This agreement further strengthens our strategic partnership with The Timken Company and creates a new, important platform for innovation that will benefit our engineering students, Timken, UA and the region through our joint research and commercialization efforts."
The Timken Company will fund and equip the new Timken Engineered Surfaces Laboratory, one of five laboratories to be housed in the new engineering research building. Other labs include the Wright Center for Sensor Systems Engineering as well as those for corrosion and reliability engineering, integrated biomedical engineering and advanced vehicle and energy systems. Following Doll's transition to UA, two Timken research investigators also will make the move to the campus to begin work at UA. The value of the partnership to UA, which also includes research funding, is approximately $5 million and will place UA among the leading U.S. institutions nationally recognized for surface engineering and tribology research.
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