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Message from the President Jan. 20
Time: n/a
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March 19, 2004
Members of the University Community


All of us, Dear Colleagues . . .

. . . are dealing with some strong feelings and tough questions regarding the Inspector General’s report that was released last Tuesday. As your President, I personally feel a great sense of sadness, disappointment and regret. Wrongful conduct of the sort reflected in the IG report cannot and will not be tolerated at The University of Akron.

Those of you who have talked with me have expressed your own sense of dismay and your desire to know how we are proceeding to take rapid and aggressive corrective actions.

Let me share a summary of the actions that we have taken and are initiating today:

1. Initiated the Dismissal Process. As you know, immediately upon the receipt of the report last Tuesday, I placed Dr. Gaylord, Mr. Donnelly and Mr. Wasik on “administrative leave.” Based on our further review and conferral with the Office of the Attorney General, I now have directed that we begin the formal process of their dismissal for cause. The formal dismissal procedure requires compliance with necessary constitutional due process, unlike the process of placing an individual on administrative leave, which permits immediate removal from an employee’s area of responsibility and involvement.

2. Invited Special Audit. I have asked Ohio Auditor of State Betty Montgomery to have her office conduct a special audit of the University, focusing on those issues raised in the report including the possibility of findings for recovery. Today, she and I have announced our joint agreement to proceed.

3. Continued Cooperation with External Agencies. Both our General Counsel and I have been in touch with the offices of the State Attorney General, the State Auditor and the Ohio Ethics Commission to underscore our continued cooperation and assistance. Already, in the course of the Inspector General’s investigation during the last nine months, numerous people and offices throughout the University have cooperated with the Inspector General’s office, including our police department. Their cooperation is appreciated and duly noted, and it is expected their example will be followed as we move forward.

4. Changes in ITS Reporting Lines. As of January 15, we effected interim changes in the reporting lines of the units comprising Information Technology Services. The Learning Technologies & Scholar/Learner Services area now is under the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, along with the entire Institutional Planning, Analysis, Reporting and Data Administration unit, some of which was reassigned during Fall Semester 2003. The other ITS areas – Network and Communications Services, Hardware Operations and Operating Systems Services, and Enterprise Applications Services – have been placed under the Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance. Provost Stroble and Vice President Ray are forming a transition leadership team with staff from the affected areas, and I have asked that they further confer with and gain the input of various campus constituencies, such as the Faculty Senate’s Computing and Communications Technologies Committee. That team will work on short-term operational issues and, with the assistance of a broad-based campus group, will conduct longer-term analyses of reporting lines, organization, leadership, staffing, project priorities and other related topics.

5. Requested Research into Reported ITS Surplus. I have directed Provost Stroble, Vice President Ray and their staffs to diligently research and review the reported $6.2 million budget carry-over in ITS from FY2003. I also have asked that they share their findings broadly. Further, depending upon the outcome of their review, I have asked that they determine whether and to what extent monies in that budget may still be available for redistribution. Should they determine that monies are available, I have asked that they confer with the vice presidents, deans, chairs and directors, as well as appropriate faculty and staff representatives, to recommend redistribution and uses of those monies.

6. Initiated a Formal Response to Inspector General Report. I am asking our Internal Auditor and General Counsel to work directly with the Board of Trustees to implement the recommendations of the report, take any other corrective measures as indicated and prepare the institution’s formal response to the Inspector General within the required 60 days. Of course, I and other University staff and administrators will assist in those efforts, at the Board’s request.

I will keep you informed as we move through these various steps and as external agencies decide upon what actions they might take, and we will continue to act and respond with all due deliberation and speed.

I appreciate your sincere concern and many expressions of support. Most important, I value the fine work that all of you continue to do with our students and in service to each other. Please be assured that we will act aggressively in complying with the report so that we can return our full attention to our students and our mission.

With every good wish,

Sincerely,


Luis Proenza
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How to Get Your Information In Zipmail
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The University of Akron's Zipmail is a compilation of University announcements for University students, sent each Friday unless circumstances require otherwise. The deadline for submissions to be considered by the University is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Zipmail is a University of Akron communication vehicle established for the benefit of The University of Akron to communicate with its students. Items will be accepted for publication only when the University is directly involved in the activity through participation, sponsorship, or partnership with one of its recognized organizations, colleges or departments. The University reserves the right to edit or to refuse to run any submission for any reason. Zipmail is not, nor is it intended to be, a public forum or a limited public forum. Questions about the implementation of this policy may be directed to zipmail@uakron.edu.

Items to be considered for inclusion in Zipmail should be sent through the Zipmail Event Submission Form. Due to the volume of submissions received, items will not run more than one time.

Questions about specific announcements should be made to the contact person/department/organization listed in the announcement.Your event will automatically be forwarded to the University's online calendar. The Zipmail Coordinator can be reached at x2837.
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