WSU pres­i­dent urges talk about prob­lems

Talk can help cam­pus com­mu­nity solve is­sues, Schrader says.

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In her first “state of the univer­sity ad­dress,” Ch­eryl Schrader said the univer­sity’s is­sues need to be dis­cussed in or­der to solve them.

Wright State Univer­sity should not be em­bar­rassed by the mis­takes and scan­dals that have plagued it over the past few years, the school’s pres­i­dent said this week.

In her first “state of the univer­sity ad­dress,” pres­i­dent Ch­eryl Schrader said ad­min­is­tra­tors, staff, fac­ulty and stu­dents need to dis­cuss Wright State’s prob­lems in or­der to solve them.

Just be­fore Schrader ar­rived, Wright State slashed $30.8 mil­lion from its fis­cal year 2018 bud­get in an ini­tial at­tempt to cor­rect years of over­spend­ing. The univer­sity has also faced mul­ti­ple law­suits over its can­celed pres­i­den­tial de­bate and in­ves­ti­ga­tions into pos­si­ble H-1B visa mis­use that have lin­gered over the last two years.

“First let me say that there is no need to be un­com­fort­able speak­ing about what oc­curred,” Schrader said to a room full of peo­ple in the stu­dent union. “Rec­og­niz­ing, un­der­stand­ing and dis­cussing it will only help us as we set a bold course for the next 50 years.”

Talk­ing about the univer­sity’s is­sues made Schrader’s speech un­like any state of the univer­sity ad­dress she had given be­fore, she said. But, dis­cussing those is­sues is nec­es­sary be­cause “we need to be able to look at re­al­ity,” Schrader said.

Earlier this year Schrader be­gan seek­ing feed­back for what Wright State should be­come 10 years from now. The ini­tia­tive is part of a strate­gic plan­ning process Schrader and her ad­min­is­tra­tion will be de­vel­op­ing dur­ing her first year in of­fice, she has said.

The re­sponses Schrader re­ceived showed that the cam­pus com­mu­nity is mostly con­cerned about Wright State’s fi­nances, aca­demic pro­grams, cam­pus life and morale at the univer­sity.

“The chal­lenges of the last few years have been a stark wake-up call that busi­ness as usual is not an op­tion. We can’t go back to the

way we have al­ways done things,” she said.

Schrader has been adamant that she can help move Wright State past its re­cent strug­gles and on Wed­nes­day she said the “vast po­ten­tial of this univer­sity far out­weighs the tem­po­rary set­backs we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.”

Provost Tom Sud­kamp echoed Schrader’s state­ments, say­ing “the fu­ture of Wright State is bright, very bright” be­cause of the con­tri­bu­tions of the univer­sity’s peo­ple.

Dur­ing her ad­dress, Schrader also gave a shoutout to her new chief busi­ness of­fi­cer, Walt Bran­son. Bran­son, who pre­vi­ously served as an ad­min­is­tra­tor un­der Schrader at the Mis­souri Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, started this week at WSU.

“His un­ques­tioned acu­men and in­tegrity are a great ad­di­tion to Wright State,” Schrader said. “Walt and I will work to­gether with the cam­pus com­mu­nity to place this in­sti­tu­tion in as strong a fi­nan­cial po­si­tion pos­si­ble by the end of this fis­cal year.”

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