Rats abandoning Wright State’s sinking ship

Last week Craig Woolley was the hatchet man, going around giving people walking papers. He was the “Chief Information Officer” at Wright State, but didn’t know the difference between hiring an ad agency and hiring a media buyer. His head of marketing is more a web developer than an ad pro. If you need proof that creativity isn’t in their wheelhouse- look at campaigns that are still plays on “Wright/Right” and saying stupid things like “Wright Choice.” The schools in turmoil, and they think a billboard with tired puns is the answer.

Today, Esrati.com learned that “Craig Woolley has informed his staff and university leadership of his intention to leave Wright State University for a CIO position at Louisiana State University (LSU). His last day at Wright State will be July 31” according to Seth Bauguess, the Director Office of Communications.

thumbnail of Craig Woolley pay and promotion

Click on image to see PDF of Craig Woolley pay and promotion details

Wooley was paid $240,000 a year as of his last raise April 2018. Previous to that, he was overpaid with $185K base salary, with a $10K bouns with his CIO offer letter and a $7,500 per year car allowance which had totaled $202,500. His current pay had no bonus or car allowance. That deal was signed off by former President Cheryl Schrader, to Dr. Tom Sudkamp who was then the provost.

This is the part that kills me. Instead of hiring from within, someone brought this guy in from Florida- where he had absolutely no experience in marketing.

Craig Woolley, assistant vice president for University of South Florida Information Technology, has been named Wright State University’s chief information officer.

Woolley is expected to assume his post Jan. 5, 2015….

Woolley has 27 years of experience in managing higher education information technology and strong technological skills in many areas of IT, including workstation support, database design and server administration. In addition, he has a proven track record of building trusted relationships with faculty, staff, students and vendors.

As assistant vice president for University of South Florida Information Technology, Woolley oversaw a budget of $25.5 million and more than 135 employees. Prior to that, his positions at South Florida included director, user support services; director of computing, College of Arts and Sciences; and director, technology services and resources, College of Education.

Source: Wright State Newsroom – Craig Woolley named Wright State’s chief information officer « Wright State University

Five and a half years and out, with the university in a way worse state than it was when he came.

My conversations with Woolley in the past led me to believe he couldn’t tell you what ad agency did 1984 for Apple or who W+K was. If you said “Bogusky” to him, he’d probably think you’re talking about golf. (note, I own a local award winning ad agency and am a Wright State grad).

Word is that Woolley also fired 9 people from his own department. The “geniuses” that Cheryl Schrader hired to do the big strategic plan are gone- Mike Wiehe who was a straight political hack, is out. No one has compiled a complete list of terminated folks yet, but, with Greg Sample at the helm, there is no rudder. Sources say they also fired the people in career placement. I guess you don’t have to worry about students getting hired after graduating if the University won’t survive their “leadership.”

thumbnail of Greg Sample Pay and Promotion

Click on image to download PDF of Greg Samples pay and contracts for last 3 years

Greg Sample has done really well, despite being the engineer of the entire Double Bowler fiasco that helped sink the university to a $130M deficit. Paid $273,982.50 as COO & CEO DB Properties on 1/1/19 up from $249,075 on 10/1/18 Current WSU President Sue Edwards as one of her first acts, on Jan 14,2020 gave Greg the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in Office of the President effective Jan 1 at an annual salary of $301,308.80. For this bump, he takes over “reporting responsibility for Purchasing, Contracting, Athletics, Communications, VAP Public Affairs and the Director, Strategic Initiatives. The AVP Public Affairs (Bob Hickey) has informed the President they will be retiring at the end off the academic year and Greg will subsequently self-perform the majority of those duties as that position will be eliminated. Greg is relied upon to directly assist with both Board of Trustee and state government relations and is viewed as an executive level employee.”

Samples’s first major initiative was to start selling off the whole mess of Double Bowler and other far flung outposts after laying off a lot of people and consolidating colleges within the university. When looking for history on Sample and his qualifications for this position, there are few examples of life online. No Linkedin profile, and mostly references to either working for RG Properties (developers of Austin Landing) or Double Bowler. Before RG he was at GDAHA (Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association), the questionably legal trade association for local hospitals (price fixing and collusion)  before that, Sample was senior director with SBC Ohio, where he oversaw external and corporate affairs for western Ohio. He was also the mayor of Franklin at one time. Not the normal career path for a State University Chief Operating officer. Another local university president told me a story of how Sample came to him with a proposal for something like what he planned for Wright State before he got going on his path of destruction- he was laughed out of the office and told to go away.

Wright State still doesn’t have an effective positioning plan, unlike Clark State or Sinclair Community College which both seem to be well run and not seeing huge enrollment declines thanks to bad mis-management. Wright State just hired a long time enrollment management guy from UD- who was supposed to help Woolley with student recruiting, it looks like his first job will be to recruit a replacement for his former boss.

In the meantime, no one at the university is willing to sit and listen to a plan I’ve had since 2007 for repositioning Wright State for the future. But, you know the old bumper sticker “minds are like parachutes, they work better when open.”

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