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Archive for June, 2014

UT law professor available to discuss Supreme Court’s labor union ruling

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 that home-care workers in Harris v. Quinn do not have to pay dues to public employees unions.

The case raised the broad question of whether public employees are required to pay dues to the union that is required to represent them.

UT law professor Joseph Slater is available today to discuss the ruling and its implications.

While specific unions in this case lost, Slater said it was a narrow loss that could be considered a relative win for unions because while the majority opinion indicated it might wish to change the law in this area to significantly restrict union rights generally, the actual holding of the case did not do so.

Media Coverage
WTOL 11 (July 1, 2014)

Reach Out and Read: UT Peds promote importance of early literacy

Research shows that the more words children hear directed at them by parents and caregivers, the more they learn. In addition, researchers have found that by age four, children in poverty hear 30 million fewer words than their higher-income peers. These dramatic gaps result in significant learning disadvantages that persist into adulthood. Numerous studies have shown that when pediatricians advise parents to read together and provide the necessary tools, parents read more and come to cherish this child-centered time, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills.

Reach Out and Read, mentioned recently in the New York Times, is a national initiative that aims to prepare America’s youngest children for success in school by partnering with doctors to encourage families to read together. The grant-funded program is locally coordinated and supported by The University of Toledo Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Mary Beth Wroblewski reads to a child.

Dr. Mary Beth Wroblewski reads to a child.

During the fourth annual Clinton Global Initiative America meeting, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a new collaboration between Too Small to Fail, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Scholastic Inc. and Reach Out and Read to raise awareness of the importance of early language development. The AAP is now promoting early literacy as an essential component of primary care visits. The partnership will ensure that doctors, parents and caregivers have the information and tools they need to promote reading children every day, starting in infancy. The effort takes a multi-pronged approach toward equipping parents with the best tools to ensure that their children are prepared to learn as they enter school.

“For 25 years, Reach Out and Read’s doctors and nurses have been incorporating literacy messaging into pediatric primary care nationwide by prescribing books to children at well-child checkups. We look forward to building on our model with these partners so that all children have the chance to start life with a strong language foundation to help them achieve future successes,” said Steven Dow, co-chair of the Board at Reach Out and Read.

“We have had families who have told us that the book they received at the doctor’s office is the first new book for their child,” said Lori LeGendre, program director for Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio. “By visiting their doctor for every well-child visit starting at six months, a family can build a library of 10 books to be loved and enjoyed over and over before their children start school.”

Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio takes place at 20 local medical offices, handing out more than 24,000 new books and doses of literacy advice each year. The local initiative is also looking to partner with local programs or additional doctors offices to promote awareness of the importance of early literacy to families in the community. Donations of new or gently used books are appreciated.

LeGendre also works with Reach Out and Read Ohio, providing program support for more than 135 sites across the state.

“Reach Out and Read is a three way win – children get books to call their own, parents get practical advice on how and why to use the books at home and doctors start each well care visit on a positive note with a beautiful book to present to the family and help to evaluate each child’s development,” LeGendre said.

Nationwide, Reach Out and Read’s 20,000 medical providers serve four million children and their families annually at 5,000 pediatric practices, health centers and hospitals with a focus on those that serve low-income communities.

For more information visit or contact LeGendre at or 419.383.4007.

UT law professor available to comment on pending Hobby Lobby decision

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. case, which looks at the issue of a corporation having the right to not comply with provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require it to provide contraceptive health insurance coverage for employees.



UT Professor of Law Lee J. Strang said the decision in this complex case concerning politically hot-button issues will have important implications on the free exercise of religion and how corporations operate.

“This case decides how religious people can participate in American business life,” said Strang, who specializes in constitutional law. “The tension in this case is to what extent can religious people bring their faith life and religious commitments into their business life and how that impacts others.”

The Greens, a Christian family who owns Hobby Lobby, is protesting the Health and Human Services Mandate, which they argue requires employers to go against their religious beliefs to provide health insurance with coverage of contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs.

The Greens claim the mandate violates the First Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits laws that substantially burden a person’s free exercise of his or her religion.

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, Strang says it would require potential employees and customers to be more informed about potential employers and company business practices.

“America is a quilt of different belief systems and the market could accommodate non-mainstream religious beliefs, but it would be on the corporations to give notice of those beliefs and for the employees and consumers to be knowledgeable about the variety of corporations’ religious-inspired business practices,” Strang said. “For example, a consumer wishing to buy a chicken sandwich needs to know that Chick-fil-A isn’t open on Sundays. Hobby Lobby has the potential to expand the range of religiously inspired business practices like Chick-fil-A’s.”

Strang is available to talk discuss the Supreme Court case and its implications.

Media Coverage
WTOL 11 and 13 ABC (July 1, 2014)
The Blade (July 1, 2014)

UT appoints College of Engineering Dean as interim president

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the UT College of Engineering, to serve as interim president beginning July 1, 2014.

The move comes following a decision by UT President Lloyd Jacobs to accept the invitation to be a Distinguished Fellow with the Council on Competitiveness, a global economic development non-profit organization based out of Washington, D.C.

Joseph Zerbey, chairman of the UT Board of Trustees, said the University is fortunate to have a leader like Naganathan to step in and guide the University during the months ahead.



“Dr. Naganathan is one of the University’s most respected individuals and has led and grown the College of Engineering for more than a decade. The college is one of only eight nationwide with a comprehensive co-op education system and the result is near-perfect job placement for a surging number of engineering graduates,” Zerbey said.

“His commitment to academics, research and philanthropic growth along with his partnerships across campuses and relationships throughout the community and country are among the many reasons the Board of Trustees has asked that he serve in this vital role,” Zerbey said, noting that Naganathan has raised more than $15 million for the College of Engineering during his time as dean.

“I’m honored by the trust placed in me by Chairman Zerbey and the Board of Trustees and excited to serve the University in a new capacity,” Naganathan said. “I’d like to thank Dr. Jacobs for his leadership and friendship during the last eight years. As interim president, I will do my very best to make sure that our University remains committed to excellence in academics, research, patient care, and community engagement through a synergistic engagement of our expertise in all of our campuses.

“We are an academic institution and we will be defined by the educational and research excellence of our faculty and the resulting success of our students,” Naganathan added. “We must maintain and grow our commitment to a strong educational foundation. Whether a student is in a professional school or studies humanities, social sciences and the arts, critical thinking and communications skills must be part of every graduate’s education.”

Naganathan, who has also been leading the search for the next dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences with committee co-chair Dr. Robert Mrak, chairman of the Department of Pathology, said the merger between UT and the Medical University of Ohio brought with it many collaborative opportunities between the Health Science and Main Campus colleges.

“As an example, the connections between the Colleges of Medicine and Engineering during the past eight years have energized many synergistic opportunities in the area of orthopedic biomechanics,” Naganathan said. “The UT Medical Center is a critical component of the University and going into this role knowing what outstanding colleagues I’ll be working with is something I’m very excited about.”

Dr. Kris Brickman, professor and chairman of Emergency Medicine, said he knows faculty, staff and students on the Health Science Campus are grateful for Jacobs’ leadership and that Naganathan would undoubtedly receive the same support.

“As the dean of one of the top Colleges of Engineering in the country, Dr. Naganathan has a proven track record of exceptional leadership skills,” said Brickman, who also serves as UTMC Chief of Staff and president of the UT Physicians Group.

“Those of us who have had the opportunity to work with him value his insights and commitment to advancing the educational mission of The University of Toledo. We look forward to working with him in our efforts to continue to advance our academic and clinical enterprises,” Brickman said.

Naganathan is the author and co-author of more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and national and international conference proceedings and as a principal and co-principal investigator has secured more than $6 million in sponsored research from outside agencies. He also has been awarded a U.S. patent on the use of piezoelectric devices in active suspension systems (US Patent 5,390,949). Naganathan’s work with industry includes conducting vibration analysis and control studies on heavy-duty truck powertrains for companies such as Dana and Eaton Corporations and as a design engineer with Ashok Leyland Motors.

“Nagi Naganathan is a very strong leader and in the time I’ve known him the difference he has made at The University of Toledo College of Engineering is clear,” said Dr. Stephen Director, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern University in Boston.

Director is one of 33 prominent engineering leaders from across the nation in the private sector and academia, also including Accenture, Owens Corning, Carnegie Mellon University and UCLA. Naganathan has organized and met with the group annually for the last decade to discuss the ever-evolving needs of employers and best practices to ensure UT is imparting needed skills as engineering students graduate.

“He has a strong sense of what is needed in higher education and has moved the college forward,” Director said. “His leadership has been key to increased enrollment and preparedness among the college’s students, the recruitment of outstanding faculty and the increase in external research funding during his tenure as dean.”

“For the last 10 years I’ve been so impressed as I’ve watched Nagi and his team attract more and more stellar students to the University of Toledo,” said Karl Ronn, managing director of Innovation Portfolio Partners in Palo Alto, CA and a former vice president of research and development for Procter and Gamble.

“The growth started with reaching out to high schools to build relationships early and getting them to reach for the stars,” said Ronn, who like Director is a member of Naganathan’s Visiting Advisory Board. “Then when they arrive at UT, his team works hard to make sure the students will succeed after college by giving them strong academics plus classes in entrepreneurship and public speaking. These are the kind of leaders we need.”

Naganathan has received a number of prestigious awards, including a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, America Society of Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Regional Faculty Advisor Award, Technical Society of Toledo/Toledo Society of Professional Engineers Engineer of the Year, Outstanding Teacher and Research Awards at UT, and Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirappalli, India.

In spring 2014, Naganathan was elected in a national ballot by his fellow deans of engineering for a two-year term on the American Society of Engineering Education Engineering Deans Council Executive Board. He also is a member of the international Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the World Association for Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education, Board of Directors of the Ohio Aerospace Institute, Executive Committee of the national Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders, and Rotary International.

Naganathan earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology at Tiruchirappalli (formerly known as Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirappalli), University of Madras, India, a master’s degree in mechanical and industrial engineering from Clarkson University, New York and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University.

Click here to download a photo of Naganathan.

Media Coverage
The Independent Collegian (June 23, 2014)
The Blade (June 23, 2014)
The Blade (June 24, 2014)

Board of Trustees Special Meeting June 23


Monday, June 23, 2014
Radisson Hotel, Faculty Club Room
2 p.m. Board of Trustees Special Meeting

This Special Board of Trustees meeting will be held to discuss and take action on the employment of public employees, inclusive of employment agreement(s). If necessary, an Executive Session will be held to discuss the employment of public employees.

Any questions may be directed to the University Communications Office by calling (419) 530-7832 or via email at

Joan A. Stasa
Secretary, Board of Trustees

UT President nominated for Council on Competitiveness Fellowship

University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs will step down effective June 30 after being nominated to serve with a global economic development non-profit organization based out of Washington, D.C.


“I am honored to have been nominated to be a Distinguished Fellow with the Council on Competitiveness. The Trustees of The University of Toledo and I have preliminarily agreed that, to allow me to avail myself of this unique opportunity, I will be granted a sabbatical leave beginning July 1, 2014 until I return as a professor of surgery in 2015,” Jacobs said.

“I have enjoyed the last eight years in my current role and the ten years Ola and I have spent in Toledo. I am enthusiastically looking forward to working with the Council on Competitiveness as a Distinguished Fellow during this sabbatical and perhaps beyond,” he said.

“I want to thank Dr. Jacobs for his service to The University of Toledo and for elevating this institution to new heights on the national stage,” said Joseph Zerbey, chairman of the UT Board of Trustees. “Given that success, it is easy to see why the Council on Competitiveness would look to him to put that expertise to work on a national and international scale.”

In appreciation of Dr. Jacobs’ many contributions to The University of Toledo, the $36 million Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center will be named in Jacobs’ honor, Zerbey said.

The Board will announce its appointment of an interim president at the board meeting scheduled for Monday, June 23.

Media Coverage
The Blade (June 20, 2014)
The Blade (June 21, 2014)

Law alumnus takes office as Ohio State Bar Association president

Martin E. Mohler, a 1973 graduate of The University of Toledo College of Law, begins his term as president of the Ohio State Bar Association on July 1. He was elected to become the OSBA president-elect at the OSBA’s annual convention last spring.

Mohler is a partner in the Toledo firm of Shindler, Neff, Holmes, Worline and Mohler, LLP. His general practice covers both criminal and civil law.

“Marty Mohler is the third Toledo Law grad to head the OSBA,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the College of Law. “We are very proud of him and our other graduates who serve at all levels of bar association and judicial leadership.”

Mohler is a former president of the Toledo Bar Association and a life member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference. He also is a fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation. He has been an active member of the Ohio State Bar Association, most recently having chaired the Government Affairs Committee of the OSBA Board of Governors.

Mohler has a history of service to the Toledo community. He volunteers at a local soup kitchen and serves on the Toledo Bar Association Pro Bono Board. He also chairs the Facility Governing Board for the Correctional Treatment Facility for Lucas County. In addition, he is a former member of the board of trustees of the Toledo Legal Aid Society and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality/Legal Aid of Western Ohio.

Mohler earned his bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University.

Media Coverage
The Blade (June 29, 2014)

Breaking It Down event to discuss Parkinson’s research

Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed in tens of thousands of Americans each year. The cause is unknown, but many health care professionals across the country are finding new ways to help prevent and treat the disease.

The Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center of The University of Toledo Medical Center presents Breaking It Down, an event discussing the advances in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, at The Woodlands at Sunset House.

The free event is Sunday, June 22 at 3 p.m. Those wishing to attend may RSVP to 419.724.1225 extension 2309.

Dr. Lawrence Elmer, director of the Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center, will review breakthroughs in the understanding of what causes Parkinson’s disease and the many options available to treat it.

Breaking It Down will also feature a smooth jazz performance by flutist Alexander Zonjic.

“I was fortunate enough to visit Sunset House with my friend Larry Burns of The University of Toledo. Once we saw the beautiful setting and how relaxing it is, we thought it would be a perfect location for a concert,” Zonjic said. “I believe there is a real therapeutic and healing effect to music. The jazz concert we will perform fits in perfectly with the atmosphere and mission of the event.”

The Gardner McMaster Parkinson Center is an inter-disciplinary organization dedicated to providing comprehensive, compassionate, and state of the art services to people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders MD and their families.

Media Coverage
NBC 24 (June 23, 2014)

As White House honors Maker Movement, UT holds celebration June 18

The University of Toledo will join the White House and universities across the country to recognize June 18 as a National Day of Making, a celebration of students, researchers, entrepreneurs and amateurs who work to innovate through physical creation.

While the White House will celebrate with its first Maker Faire, at The University of Toledo, faculty and students will demonstrate one of its 3-D printers, a 21st-century tool that is increasingly available to inventors that can be used to quickly create prototypes to test new ideas and speed innovation.

***Media Opportunity Today***
UT faculty and students will offer a 3-D printer demonstration and announce plans to provide increased access to the device for entrepreneurs in Toledo today, June 18, at 1 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Room 1084.

“The University of Toledo has joined more than 150 colleges and universities across the nation and made a commitment to President Obama that we will work to democratize access to many of the advanced tools needed to create some of tomorrow’s most exciting inventions,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the UT College of Engineering.

Naganathan said 3-D printing is a high-profile example of technology that UT is committed to exposing its students to.

“These tools will be ubiquitous in the years ahead, and it is essential our students get in on the leading edge of this technology now if we want to ensure the United States is leading the Maker Movement worldwide,” Naganathan said.

Dr. Matt Franchetti, UT assistant professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, said the Maker initiative aligns closely with the experiential learning that is a key part of UT’s engineering curriculum.

“We already have some students submitting Maker portfolios as they apply for admission, and the College of Engineering has two entrepreneurial groups students can join to further their skills and find mentor/mentee relationships between students,” Franchetti said, adding that the college is looking to expand access to the technology beyond the college to students across campus.

“While many of them are engineers, no one college or discipline holds the monopoly on the spirit to invent and create, and we’re excited to join with the White House to bring attention to a really positive nationwide initiative,” Franchetti said.

Media Coverage
13 ABC, WTOL 11 and NBC 24 (June 19, 2014)

CampMed: educating tomorrow’s physicians

The potential health care professionals of tomorrow will learn the tools of the trade and practice their clinical skills at The University of Toledo’s 17th annual CampMed program.

The 45 participants, who will be high school freshmen in schools across northwest Ohio this fall, will get a taste of medical school for two days learning CSI-style forensic science, experiencing what its like to suit up in surgical gear, touring a gross anatomy lab and more.

CampMed is a scholarship program at no cost to the students, most of whom are first generation-college, minority, rural and other underrepresented groups.

“It’s imperative to reach out to young people early to nurture their interests in science and discovery. Their dreams for the future, which for some might include becoming a doctor, are attainable and we want to show them there are people who want to help,” said Kathy Vasquez, director of the UT and Ohio Area Health Education Center (AHEC) programs and UT’s associate vice president for government relations.

“CampMed gives students the opportunity to learn first-hand what it’s like to be in the medical field before they even start high school. The participants really enjoy learning from current students in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences.”

The two-day CampMed program will be held Thursday, June 19 and Friday, June 20 on UT’s Health Science Campus.

*** Media Opportunity ***
The interactive suture lab from 2 – 3 p.m. Friday, in Health Education Building room 100, provides interactive photo and video opportunities of students engaged in a hands-on lesson.

The camp is sponsored by the UT AHEC program, which strives to improve the health of individuals and communities by developing the healthcare workforce. UT medical students serve as camp counselors. Camp participants will also interact with physicians and professors.

CampMed, which works to spark interest in the medical field for the students entering high school, began in 1998. The competitive program requires students to submit a letter of recommendation, a nomination from a science or math teacher or counselor, and a personal essay to be chosen to participate.

Media Coverage
The Blade (June 21, 2014)
NBC 24 (June 23, 2014)