Board approves raises, name for new engineering building


Today, in recognition of the hard work and productivity of the University’s faculty and staff, the Board of Trustees approved the allocation of merit-based raise pools of 3 percent for eligible non-bargaining unit administrative staff and 5.5 percent for faculty (as stipulated in the final year of a 3-year contract). The increases are retroactive to July 1, 2012.

“During these challenging times, it is vital that we remain competitive,” said UA President Luis M. Proenza. “With this action by the Board, we are more appropriately aligned with Ohio’s higher education marketplace.”

The Board also expressed its gratitude to President Proenza for his accomplishments over the years, and in 2011 in particular, in spearheading significant progress at the University. In recognition, and in keeping with increases offered to faculty and staff, the Board awarded him a 5 percent increase to his base salary, retroactive to January 1, 2012, as per his contract.

Also at the Board meeting:

  • The Board heard from grateful recipients of the Achieving Distinction Awards, including Dr. Peter H. Niewiarowski, who called the competitive process a “valuable bottom-up process” important to the faculty, encouraging collaboration and building on university strengths in research and teaching. Dr. Monte Turner called the Board “forward-thinking” in investing in these awards, which will allow the University to meet the goals of Vision 2020. Jeffrey M. Samuels and Elizabeth Reilly told the Board that these awards help to build a culture of innovation and contribute to a thriving regional economy. More about Achieving Distinction. More about this year's recipients.
  • The Trustees authorized the administration to explore the procurement of solar panels to provide electricity, reduce usage of fossil fuels, and contribute to energy savings and efficiencies. The solar panels, about the size of an acre, would be installed on the south facing roof of the Stile Athletic Field House and would be the largest solar array on a rooftop in the state. Providing the system is a company called Carbon Vision, which has a proven track record of providing “green” systems at other universities in Ohio. This system would help the University comply with state mandates to reduce fuel consumption by 20 percent by July, 2014.
  • The Board approved the naming of the engineering building located at 264 Wolf Ledges Parkway: “The University of Akron Engineering Research Center,” developed to bring together industry and faculty to engage in both fundamental and applied research.
  • The Board highlighted outstanding student athlete Charlie Bull, the first member of the men’s golf team to compete at the NCAA regional championships, and the first UA golfer to be named to the PING All-Region Team; and the Board provided Brandon Padgett, head coach of the UA tennis team, with a framed resolution recognizing several players on the team and the entire team’s performance in its second consecutive Mid-American Conference championship and back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament. The team has compiled historic records of 20-5 (2011 season) and 24-4 (2012 season).
  • At each Board meeting, two students are featured and honored, talking about their Akron Experience. Eric Compenhaver, a senior majoring in both physics and philosophy, told the Board how he came to UA aspiring to be a jazz guitarist, but inspiring professors led him to pursue interests in philosophy and science, with a new plan to pursue a Ph.D. in physics. Katelyn Mertz is a graduate assistant in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, an accomplished poet and fiction writer, who expressed her gratitude to the University for creating a culture where creative writers could excel and be supported in professional pursuit of a writing career.

Media contact: Eileen Korey, 330-972-8589 or