Dr. Sharon Gaber emphasized the need for more resources to support all of the great initiatives of The University of Toledo and her experience increasing funding through growth in enrollment, research dollars and fundraising in her second presidential search open forum on Friday.Gaber, one of three finalists to be UT’s 17th president, said the next president of the University needs to be visible in the community to enhance the reputation of the institution and increase its support. She is the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas.
“In the past several days here, everybody says that The University of Toledo is an outstanding university, and that’s what I’ve seen by talking to people, by looking around, by having the opportunity. And yet people externally aren’t recognizing it as well as people internally,” Gaber said. “At Arkansas, we joke that we were the best kept secret. I said, ‘Well, why do we want to be that?’ And I’d say that’s the same for Toledo. From what I’ve seen, you have all of the component pieces, now the question is how do we make that step?”
Gaber introduced herself to Health Science Campus with a similar presentation about why me, why here and why now.
She said promoting a University is about directing your limited resources in the appropriate ways to support and enhance the institution.
Gaber emphasized her experience increasing enrollment by 37 percent during her tenure at the University Arkansas and at the same time improving the total diversity of the student body by 92 percent. Fundraising also grew from $74.4 million in 2009 to $113.3 million in 2014.
As part of her home institution’s goal to become a top 50 public research university, she noted her strategies of reaching out to program officers and creating collaborations through a health initiative to go after the increasingly competitive National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation research dollars.
Gaber answered questions from the audience about increasing diversity of ethnic minorities, hiring more faculty to improve the the faculty-student ratio, her thoughts on a separate provost for Health Science Campus, engaging with the community, building relationships with UT neighbors, empowering people to do their jobs well, and supporting libraries.
If you would like to share your views with the UT Board of Trustees, fill out the feedback questionnaire available on Gaber’s profile page on the presidential search website through 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28.
For more information on the presidential search, visit utoledo.edu/presidential-search.