The Board of Trustees of The University of Akron (UA) is seeking nominations and expressions of interest for the position of President. The new President will guide the next chapters of success for this historic institution and lead the celebration of the university’s 150th anniversary in 2020.

The University of Akron is one of Ohio’s most influential regional public universities, conducting high quality research in focused areas of excellence, contributing to the vitality of the local economy, and providing a workforce highly trained in diverse disciplines. UA offers more than 20,000 students a wide variety of in-demand bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degree programs with a career-focused emphasis. UA brings together diverse disciplines in ways that provide students with life-long skills, internships and co-ops, opportunities for research, education abroad, on-campus student employment and service projects designed for diverse groups of learners, including full-time, part-time and online students, veterans, and adults returning to the classroom.

As a STEM-intensive institution, UA has strong connections with industries such as polymers, advanced materials, and engineering. UA students are enrolled across eight colleges, including Engineering, Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Applied Science and Technology, Education, Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, and Law.  In addition, UA offers the non-degree granting Williams Honors College and operates a branch campus (Wayne College) along with three other sites in Northeast Ohio. The university balances teaching and research in an academic environment supportive of a high-quality student experience, academic rigor, distinguished scholarship, and significant community engagement.

The Board of Trustees is seeking an experienced leader with the vision and leadership qualities to enhance its reputation and take it to higher levels of academic excellence and student success. The highly qualified and committed faculty and staff are proud of UA’s history and accomplishments in providing students with outstanding academic and life experiences. 

The new President will have a passion for the mission of public education and appreciate the important social and economic roles the university plays in the city, region and state. The ability to articulate the institution’s values will serve the President well as an advocate for the university at the state level and as a “friendraiser” and fundraiser with the university’s many and broadly-based constituents.

This President will arrive at a time when the campus is poised to invest in areas of opportunity to sustain UA’s mission and relevance in the face of changing higher education paradigms, and will lead specific initiatives aimed at a continuing transformation of campus thinking, practices and culture.

The Board of Trustees is seeking an experienced, forward-looking, and progressive leader who will be presented with the following opportunities for professional and personal fulfillment:

  • Serve as the leader of a campus that is prepared to take new strides forward in reputation and resources.
  • Collaborate regularly with a dedicated team of administrators, faculty, and staff in improving the design of the university and the delivery of high quality academic programs at affordable costs
  • Interact extensively with engaged students who are appreciative of UA’s academic and co-curricular programs and eager to apply these resources to their own growth and development
  • Work closely with the region’s leaders – government, private sector, academic, media, and community – in conveying UA’s commitment to improving the quality of life and economic well-being of the Greater Akron region and its citizens
  • Lead the celebration of UA’s 150th anniversary (2020) among its many stakeholders, including 170,000 alumni
  • Work and reside in a vibrant, transforming metropolitan area that provides high quality of life and a diversity of people, resources, and activities.

A full leadership profile may be accessed online at For fullest consideration, expressions of interest materials should be received by May 15, 2019. Those materials should include a letter addressing how the candidate’s experiences match the position requirements, a current c.v. and contact information for at least five references (references will not be contacted without the prior knowledge and approval of the candidate). Review of candidates will begin in June 2019. All of the deliberations of the Committee and the Board will be conducted in executive session, which is confidential. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and expressions of interest materials should be directed to Witt/Kieffer consultants John K. Thornburgh, Elizabeth K. Bohan, and Robert Smith, Ph.D. at

Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action

The University of Akron is an equal education and employment institution. It is the policy of this institution that there shall be no unlawful discrimination against any individual in employment or in its programs or activities at The University of Akron because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, genetic information, military status or status as a veteran. The University is also committed to the principles of affirmative action and acts in accordance with state and federal laws.