Credit the Akron Beacon Journal for taking a deeper look into what’s behind the rumblings about a merger between CSU and the UofA.
If you care at all about the future of higher education in Northeast Ohio, you should read both of these stories. The first is based primarily on an interview with UofA president Luis Proenza and the second takes a look at how both Cleveland and Akron would like to be home to at least some of the operations of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy now in Rootstown in Portage County.
Years ago I heard Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic say that NEOUCOM was located in Rootstown because the region couldn’t settle on a destination so it compromised by putting it in the middle of the region. NEOUCOM is an outstanding institution, but because of its remote location it doesn’t have the profile or impact it could. Thirty plus years after its creation, leaders are exploring how best to maximize this regional asset. This process will test how far Northeast Ohio has come at becoming a region. As I’ve noted before, regionalism doesn’t make hard decisions go away. But it should mean that people involved in the decision-making process trust each other and the process enough to have confidence that the outcome will be best for the region.
As Chancellor Eric Fingerhut said to the ABJ:
”These are important conversations. There are many approaches, and . . . we have been and are continuing to look at all of them.”
”Everyone has to be excited and move forward together,” Fingerhut added. ”Ultimately, out of those conversations will be a shared vision, and it will be a combination of everyone’s ideas.”
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