Times are changing for local university presidents

Monday, August 12, 2013

Luis Proenza's bombshell announcement last week that he would step down from the helm of the University of Akron next summer after 15 years on the job was the latest in a series of presidential shakeups that have the potential to dramatically alter higher education in the state of Ohio, particularly in the northeastern part of the state.

Last spring, for instance, Kent State's Lester Lefton announced he would step down next summer after seven years on the job. Youngstown State's Cynthia Anderson this summer vacated the top post at the financially hard-pressed university after three years at the helm.

Moreover, longtime Cuyahoga Community College president Jerry Sue Thornton, a fixture in the Ohio higher education landscape for the last two decades, stepped down this summer. On the private school front, Hiram College president Thomas Chema said he would step down after the conclusion of the coming academic year after more than a decade leading the small liberal arts college.

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