AKRON -- University of Akron President Luis M. Proenza has announced a transition plan that will see him complete his presidency next year and take on a full-time faculty role.
The plan, announced at a regular meeting of the University's Board of Trustees this morning, calls for Proenza to complete his presidency on June 30, 2014, after more than 15 years of leading UA.
The Board unanimously approved the plan and Board Chair Richard W. Pogue announced the creation of a privately endowed Chair in Higher Education and the Economy, which Proenza will take on July 1, 2016. The Board says the chair will be funded with private donations.
"President Proenza has created a lasting imprint on this University, the City of Akron, and the entire region," said Pogue. "He truly defines what it means to be a transformative leader, taking this University from a commuter school to a landscape for learning that is producing new generations of innovative and entrepreneurial contributors to the region's economy and beyond. Luis has literally been the driving force behind what we call 'the energy of innovation,' that has earned national and international notice for our university."
Proenza, who came to UA at the end of 1998, is serving the longest continuous presidency at Ohio's public universities. Immediately following the completion of his presidency on June 30, 2014, he will begin a sabbatical he earned after serving as president for ten years.
"I am gratified by the Board's ongoing support and extraordinary recognition," said Proenza. "What we have built together over the last 15 years-together with staff and faculty and our students-is a vibrant university well-positioned for continued growth. Through research and teaching, innovation and education, and an unwavering focus on student success, this University is adding economic value to our communities and enriching lives. I look back with pride and look forward to contributing for many years to come, to expand the knowledge base, influence, impact and reputation of The University of Akron. Moreover, I look forward to my final year as president, pledging to the Board of Trustees and the University community my strong commitment to address the challenges and opportunities that will best position this university for new leadership."
Pogue indicated that a special meeting of the Board would be held in September to begin the search process for the next university president.