We’d like to apologize to the community for the constant stream of negative news about the university over the last 5 years. This university does not belong to us, it belongs to the people of the great State of Ohio, and we have mismanaged it grossly,
Starting today, we will try to return your trust and respect to the institution that has given so many people in our community the tools to improve their knowledge, and shape their futures. Wright State was a good place to get an education, and we plan on making sure it is again.
While there are many different parties that were supposed to keep this school on track, it is obvious that the controls weren’t in place to do that. And while we’ve spent an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to put systems in place to monitor and account for our money, we’ve come to an ah-hah realization. Wright State Reasearch Institute, Wright State Applied Research Corporation, ATIC, Double Bowler Properties, have been involved in most of the problems we’ve had to examine, restructure and fix. None of them were critical to the core mission of Wright State, and none of them are critical to our future success. It’s time to get back to the basics of educating the people of “Raider Country” and awarding degrees. The pursuit of grant funded research can continue, by our very talented faculty, without the help of other administrative overhead and off campus facilities. We will start an immediate ramp down of these organizations and transfer the research back into the university.
The buildings that were bought outside of normal channels, will be sold. Board President Douglas Fecher has agreed to compensate the university back any gap between the sale price and the original purchase price on his companies former headquarters. The Wright Archives will remain on campus, in a re-purposed existing building.
The entire board of trustees has tendered their resignations to the Governor, pending a third party evaluation of their actual qualifications and suitability for continuing on as Trustees. Since Bruce Langos is the only board member who was brought in after the failings identified in the Plante Moran audit, he will serve as the Board President Pro-Tem, and is authorized to select a working group of three from the AAUP, three from the Administration, three from staff, along with two outside community members who have skills the working group determine as helpful.
Once the third party evaluation is done, and former trustees have been vetted for suitability they may be considered for a reconstituted board.
This process is expected to be completed within 3 months.
While the details of the new contract are mostly finalized, we’re at a point where we can move forward. We have faith that these changes will facilitate a win-win for all. The AAUP members will return to their classrooms, and let Dr. Schrader go back to running a university,
Dr. Cheryl Schrader has acknowledged that the climate of her tenure has been strained, and wishes to appologize to all parties for missteps she took while following the advice of the Board. It is not her normal management style, or her first choice for a relationship with faculty and staff, but much was driven by her bosses, the board of trustees. She has asked for a six-month window to regain the faculty and staff’s trust, at which point, she will honor the decisions of a vote of confidence.
The university community has realized that the 10% drop in attendance this fall is going to continue to challenge finances. We are going to reconsider the value of remaining a Division I athletics program, and assess if this is still a viable and important part of our service offering. We will involve students, members of the community and faculty in this decision. We realize that our most important revenue source is, and always will be tuition, which is a vote of confidence in our ability to deliver our mission. Education.
During the strike, the university communications department broke the fundamental rules of public relations- honesty. For that, we apologize. We’ve taken steps to make sure that when you hear the voice of Wright State in the future, it’s all of us, speaking in unison, about all the great things that are happening at Wright State. There is no gulch between the administration, the faculty, the staff, and even the stakeholders. We are all working together to deliver a quality education to the people of the region.
We know it will take a while for students to regain their trust in us. So, we’ve established an incentive system to keep you moving toward your educational attainment. If you were enrolled this year, through these most difficult times, we will refund you 10% of your 2018-19 tuition upon your successful graduation as a graduation gift.
It’s the least we can do. Because without you, there is no Wright State.
If there is one thing we know, it’s education. This process, to come together, to work together, to move forward together has been a difficult, yet educational process. In the end, we realized, that when we stopped fighting, and did an assessment of the damage we’d done, it wasn’t serving any of us. We learned our lesson the hard way, and for so many smart people, admitting our mistakes was the first step to solving our problems,
We screwed up, We’re sorry. Now, it’s time to move forward. We hope you join us in what’s to come.
(note, this is a work of fiction, written on an iPad in the Miami Valley Hospital ICU while my mother is fighting for her life. If there are any typos, grammar errors, or anything else that you want to whine about- I don’t really care right now. This is offered as a template for the parties negotiating the successful saving of Wright State, my alma matter. Let’s hope they get this right, or there won’t be a Wright State for them to argue about. DE)