Trustees voice strong support for president following annual review

June 14, 2010 | News, UToday
By Jon Strunk



With its annual assessment of the president finished, The University of Toledo Board of Trustees emphasized complete support for the president in an announcement to the UT community June 14.

Board Chair Olivia Summons said the trustees are “100 percent behind” UT President Lloyd Jacobs, his handling of the University’s sustainability during the last four years, and the ongoing development of local, regional, national and international partnerships.

“The University of Toledo is on the right strategic path and we are there in very large part due to the leadership of Lloyd Jacobs,” Summons said. “This board is grateful to Dr. Jacobs for his innovative thinking and recognition that UT has the potential to be more than we are today.”

Summons said she and incoming Board Chair Bill Fall told the president the trustees remain committed to a resolution passed Jan. 25 calling for the president to: “accelerate fundamental, transformational and sustainable change to elevate the stature of undergraduate and nonprofessional graduate programs during fiscal years 2010 and 2011 to create a vibrant institution thriving into the 21st century.”

Fall, who previously has served as chair of the Board’s Finance Committee, praised Jacobs for the University’s financial management and oversight, saying the trustees have “great confidence” in UT’s fiduciary strength, even in this time of difficult and challenging budget constraints.

Summons said it is important for Jacobs to continue assembling a strong senior leadership team, pointing to upcoming searches for a provost and deans in the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Law, the Judith Herb College of Education and the School of Solar and Advanced Renewable Energy.

Both Summons and Fall pointed to the need for improved communication with stakeholders inside and outside the University and asked Jacobs to examine current communication methods and consider enhancements.

Summons also said it is important for Jacobs to recognize that some feel he has a perceived allegiance to the Health Science Campus.

“While I believe the president has done an excellent job balancing issues across all campuses, it’s important to acknowledge that this impression exists and seek to alleviate these concerns,” she said.

Summons also thanked Faculty Senate for submitting to the Board for consideration an evaluation of the president. Jacobs’ evaluation, conducted by faculty members who returned surveys, included comments on his performance, many of which were critical.

“Change is never easy and that always creates some anxiety,” Summons said. “The comments the faculty gave us and those that came in from the Board’s survey were discussed with the president. Although the Board did not concur with all the comments, we did incorporate the constructive suggestions into our discussions with the president.”

“Looking back to where we were four years ago, the Board is pleased by where UT is today,” Summons said. “Whether the measure is student enrollment, community partnerships, external research funding, patient-care quality or an increasingly international reputation, this institution is on the right track and the leadership of President Jacobs is a primary reason why,” she said.