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Central State hires new president, fires one-sixth of faculty – Central State University’s John W. Garland


Fighting to overcome a political and financial
crisis that nearly forced the school to close this summer, Central
State University has hired a new president and terminated nineteen
faculty members.

John W. Garland, associate vice provost for intellectual property
and associate professor at the University of Virginia in
Charlottesville, will take over the presidency of Central State late
this month.

Garland, a 1971 graduate of Central State and a 1974 graduate of the
Ohio State University College of Law, served as general counsel at the
University of the District of Columbia in 1988-91 before taking a
position in Charlottesville. He said that he will lead a turnaround of
his undergraduate alma mater.

“I have a passion for this university,” he said. “I know what it can
do in terms of producing some of the finest leaders in the country.”

Central State has been run for more than a year by a temporary
management team led by consultant Dr. George Ayers, former president of
Chicago State University.

Fred Ransier, chairman of Central State board of trustees, was
Garland’s classmate at both Central State and Ohio State. Ransier’s
help in recruiting Garland prompted a fiery response from Dr. Graham
Matthews, the runner-up in the presidential search.

Matthews, the vice president for institutional research, assessment
and advancement at Dillard University in New Orleans, lashed out at the
selection process in a letter to Ohio Gov. George Voinovich. He charged
that the process was tainted by cronyism and nepotism and told the
governor he was shocked at the many unethical, immoral, unfair and
possibly illegal aspects of the search and selection process.

A spokesman for the governor said Voinovich supported the board’s
decision, and Ransier dismissed the complaints, saying the board’s
unanimous vote to hire Garland speaks for itself.

Garland will be taking over a school still struggling to balance its
books anti pay off previous debts. In late July, the CSU management
team terminated nineteen non-tenured faculty members – approximately
one-sixth of Central State full-time faculty – because of budget
constraints and a projected drop in enrollment. The university expects
about 1,200 students to enroll in September, down from 1,960 last fall.
The faculty layoffs will save about $835,000 a year from an annual
budget of $24.3 million.

COPYRIGHT 1997 Cox, Matthews & Associates

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