Senate District 11
Teresa Fedor
Lawmakers Urge Transparency in Selection of University of Toledo President
April 29, 2020
Today, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and state Representatives Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo), Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and Mike Sheehy (D-Oregon) authored a letter advising the University of Toledo Board of Trustees to weigh public input and ensure transparency when selecting the successor to the university’s current president, Sharon Gaber.

“The board and the university have been under public scrutiny because of work being done behind closed doors in regards to the University of Toledo Medical Center,” the letter says. “Including the public in this decision will reestablish public trust and confidence in this board and its processes.”

Gaber, who announced her resignation Tuesday after five years as president of the University of Toledo, is leaving during an already contentious time, as the UT officials decide the future of the University of Toledo Medical Center. Recognizing the critical role that the public hospital plays for residents of South Toledo, the legislators urged the board to establish a citizen advisory committee who will seek public input and recruit candidates who will both lead the university and advocate for the community.

“The next leader of the university must understand the value this public institution adds to the community and the importance of its responsibility for citizens,” the letter says. “The best candidate should have experience in an urban university setting that can partner with the community to develop the most resources for the Toledo area. Having an understanding of urban issues is critical.”

The legislators see this decision as part of the ongoing fight to invest in UTMC, whose innovations and services — including the creation of more rapid Covid-19 testing capabilities — are under attack during a global public health crisis.

“First I want to reiterate good wishes for President Gaber in her future endeavors, but it is time now for the University of Toledo to look ahead,” Sobecki said. “The next president should pledge to keep ownership of UTMC, and work with community partners, especially our labor unions to continue to improve the University of Toledo.”

“As we move forward, the community needs to have assurances that they will not be left in the dark,” Fedor said. “The community and the Save UTMC Coalition looks forward to being involved in this very important process for the future of Toledo and the region.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.  
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