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Archive for July, 2014

UT presidential search committee members named

University of Toledo Board of Trustees Chair Joseph Zerbey announced the members of the search committee that will recommend an unranked slate of presidential candidates to the Board for its selection.

Zerbey will serve as chair of the search committee and Board Vice Chair Sharon Speyer will serve as vice chair of the committee.

“This is a committee representing the broad diversity of The University of Toledo and the expansive impact it has on so many groups of people,” Zerbey said. “The committee includes students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors. It has representatives from colleges and departments across UT’s campuses and it reflects the University community in terms of ethnicity, viewpoint and professional experiences.”

Also serving on the committee will be:

  • Dave Morlock, executive vice president for finance and administration and chief executive officer of the UT Medical Center;
  • Dr. Karen Hoblet, president of the Faculty Senate and assistant professor of nursing;
  • Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics;
  • Dr. Johnnie Early, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences;
  • Dr. Ali Fatemi, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering;
  • Dr. Kris Brickman, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine;
  • Dr. Sonia Najjar, Hiss Endowed Professor of Diabetes Research in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology
  • Mike O’Brien, vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics;
  • Clayton Notestine, president of Student Government;
  • Connie Zouhary, vice chair of the UT Foundation Board and executive vice president of Buckenmeyer & King, CPA;
  • Bob Savage, Savage and Associates, former UT Board of Trustees member and a UT donor;
  • Susan Palmer, former UT Board of Trustees member and a UT donor;
  • George Chapman, former CEO of Health Care REIT, former MCO and UT Board of Trustees member and a UT donor;
  • Luis Santiago, chief, Toledo Fire and Rescue;
  • Greg Kopan, CEO of Beacon Financial, former chair of the UT Foundation and a member of the UT real estate committee;
  • Richard McQuade, former federal district judge, former UT Board of Trustees member, a UT donor and a holder of two UT degrees;
  • Chuck Sullivan, retired CEO of Interstate Bakeries, former chair of the UT Foundation Board of Trustees, a UT donor and holds a UT honorary degree;
  • Calvin Lawshe, former UT vice president for student affairs and former City of Toledo administrator.

“This is an incredibly dynamic and complex time for higher education and the health care industry and I have no doubt that the collective wisdom, expertise and points of view represented by this committee will help us find the man or woman who will be a great leader for UT in the years to come,” Zerbey said.

Media Coverage
The Blade (July 31, 2014)
The Blade (Aug. 1, 2014)

UT cardiologist named next medical dean

The new University of Toledo dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences won’t have to worry about getting to know the campus.

Interim President Nagi Naganathan announced today that Dr. Christopher Cooper, UT chair of the Department of Medicine, has been selected following a national search to lead the college, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.



“Dr. Cooper is one of our most dedicated clinicians, teachers and medical researchers. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have him in Toledo these last 20 years, and I am pleased that he has accepted my invitation to lead our College of Medicine and Life Sciences. Chris’ commitment to interdisciplinary innovations in education and research will serve our university well in the years to come,” Naganathan said.

Cooper, a cardiologist, joined the Medical College of Ohio in 1994 after completing an internship, his residency training and a cardiology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an internationally recognized hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

“I’m honored to accept this role because I know firsthand the hard-working and talented faculty and staff that make this College of Medicine a place that I have been proud to serve for the past two decades,” Cooper said. “I want to thank Dr. Naganathan and Interim Provost John Barrett for their confidence, and I am looking forward to working with the students, faculty and staff of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences to continue elevating this college, the UT Medical Center and the University.”

Cooper will report to Naganathan for all clinical matters and to Barrett for the college’s academic mission.

“Perhaps the only thing about Chris that is more impressive than his teaching and research excellence is the tremendous amount of respect his students and colleagues hold for him. As we continue to work to advance all colleges at UT, it is clear the College of Medicine and Life Sciences is in good hands,” Barrett said.

Cooper also will work closely with Dave Morlock, CEO of UT Medical Center.

“As the health-care industry evolves, it is more critical now than ever to have a close working relationship between the clinical and academic missions of the UT Medical Center,” Morlock said. “Dr. Cooper has one of the sharpest minds spanning those two worlds, and I’m excited to continue working with him now in this new role as dean.”

Naganathan also said he was deeply appreciative of Dr. Ron McGinnis for his service as the college’s interim dean since February.

“Ron has provided stable leadership at an important moment in the history of our institution. I’m profoundly thankful to him, and I look forward to his continued guidance and friendship,” Naganathan said.

Cooper was appointed interim chair of the Department of Medicine in 2012 and was named to the permanent post in April 2013. From 2002 to 2012, he served as director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and from 2008 to 2011, he also served as director of the UT Heart and Vascular Center.

A prolific researcher, Cooper has received more than $25 million from the government and industry. The principal investigator on a $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Cooper and his team announced results in late 2013 that could lead to fewer surgeries and lower costs for patients suffering from kidney-related high blood pressure. These results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

He is a Fellow at the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the American College of Physicians. Since 2012, he has served on the Board of Governors of the National American College of Cardiology and is president of the Ohio Chapter.

He has been named one of America’s Top Doctors seven times, one of the Best Doctors in America four times, is the author or co-author of 67 journal articles and six book chapters, and has participated in hundreds of invited lectures, seminars and symposia.

Cooper received his bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and his doctorate in medicine from the University of Cincinnati, where he graduated as the class valedictorian.

He and his wife, Lynn, have four children, Emily, Katherine, Johnathan and Peter.

Click here to download a photo of Cooper.

Media Coverage
The Blade (July 29, 2014)
The Blade (July 29, 2014)
The Blade (July 31, 2014)

Trustees approve 3-year agreement with CWA membership

The University of Toledo’s Board of Trustees approved today a three-year contract with the Communication Workers of America Local 4319. CWA members voted to approve the deal by a wide margin on July 11.

“This three-year agreement between CWA and UT embodies the philosophy of the positive, collaborative relationship that the new administration is committed to,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, UT’s interim president.

The term of the contract runs from Jan. 1, 2014 through the end of 2016. CWA employees will receive a 2.5 percent wage increase, which will be effective as of July 14, 2014 in the first year of the contract. They will receive a 1 percent wage increase in the second year, which begins Jan. 1, 2015.

The contract calls for a reopening of wage negotiations in year three and officials said the contract also includes a lump sum retroactive wage component.

“I know I speak for our Board of Trustees when I say that they and this administration are committed to working with all of our employees, including those represented by our four unions, to honor the critical role our faculty and staff play in making UT an outstanding University,” Naganathan said.

“It is the University’s hope that the CWA agreement helps pave the way for continued constructive dialogue across all bargaining units,” he said.

Erika D. White, vice president of CWA Local 4319 said that the work of the bargaining committee and membership were integral to solidifying a fair contract with the University.

“President Bob Hull and I both feel that the mutual respect from the UT administration and the team building CWA labor is a positive and powerful step in trailblazing a strong foundation in our community for the number one asset for both labor and UT — the students,” White said.

UT has 530 employees represented by the CWA who provide clerical, maintenance and custodial services, primarily on UT’s Main Campus. About 92 percent of CWA voters recommended approval.

Dave Morlock, executive vice president of finance and administration, said that the CWA has been a great partner and thanked members for their leadership in helping to move UT forward.

“Thank you to the CWA membership for its overwhelming support of this agreement and thank you to CWA leadership for partnering with us to advance The University of Toledo,” Morlock said.

Morlock and Naganathan also thanked Jovita Thomas-Williams, UT’s associate vice president for Human Resources and Talent Development, and her team for their work in helping achieve an agreement.

Thomas-Williams said that the total cost of the contract won’t be known until the salary negotiations in the third year are negotiated and additional fold-in costs such as retirement benefit increases and other items have been calculated. She estimated that the current cost of the wage increases for years one and two of the agreement to be approximately $615,000.

Media Coverage
The Blade (July 25, 2014)
The Blade (July 26, 2014)
The Independent Collegian (Sept. 17, 2014)

UT College of Business hosts fourth Technology Camp for high school students

Approximately 40 area high school students are immersing themselves into the vast possibilities of modern technology at the fourth annual Technology Camp presented by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI).

The camp began Wednesday and will continue through Friday with activities 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day in COBI’s Savage & Associates Business Complex on the UT Main Campus.

Students participating are from 25 Toledo, Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan high schools. They are creating their own apps, learning about modern business applications of technology, and actually building a computer. COBI provides the entire camp experience free of charge for the participants.

“The COBI Technology camp changes and expands every year to offer new activities for past and future campers.” said Terribeth Gordon-Moore, Senior Associate Dean for the College of Business and Innovation. “Our Technology Camp invites curious students into the world of technology where they will explore business technology and how it applies to their daily lives. They will also be able to explore both the power and the fun of information technology (IT). We know that some of the students will become so enthralled by this experience that they will decide to study IT.”

“Furthermore, the Savage & Associates Business Complex is the perfect location for Technology Camp because it is brimming with high-technology classrooms, lecture capture capabilities and action learning labs, all housed in an amazing, certified energy-efficient environment,” Dr. Gordon-Moore added.

“Computer technology is becoming an essential life skill for young people, and this Camp is an outstanding opportunity for them to immerse themselves in a technology learning experience at literally no cost to them.”

Corporate sponsors for the 2014 Camp are ASUS and Eaton Corporation.

Singer-songwriters Mike Posner, David Cook to perform at Music Fest 2014


Singer-songwriter Mike Posner known for his hit first single “Cooler Than Me” will headline Music Fest 2014 at The University of Toledo.

Posner, a native of Detroit, will be the final performer at the free outdoor music festival that will take place Friday, Aug. 29, on UT’s Main Campus. The 2014 event will run from 4 to 11:30 p.m. in a new location — the Rocket Hall parking lot on the southwest corner of the UT campus.

“I’m a Midwest boy,” Posner said. “I was born in Detroit in the dead of winter. Every show in the Midwest is a hometown show. It’s going to be a special one.”

Posner’s first single “Cooler Than Me” from his 2010 debut 31 Minutes to Takeoff hit No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. He also is the writer and producer behind Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” and Labrinth/Emeli Sande’s “Beneath Ur Beautiful.”

His upcoming disc, Pages, which will include his new single “On Top of the World,” is allowing the artist to give back because with every album sold, he will serve a meal to a hungry American child – one for one.

Joining Posner on the Music Fest 2014 stage will be 2008 “American Idol” winner David Cook.


Cook’s self-titled debut album produced two Top 20 singles — “Light On” and “Come Back to Me” — and sold more than 1 million copies.

His sophomore album, This Loud Morning, included the singles “The Last Goodbye” and “Fade into Me.”

Since his immediate success after winning the seventh season of the singing competition show, Cook has moved to Nashville to join the songwriting community there. He is self-producing material for a new album.

Stay tuned for future performer announcements for Music Fest 2014 and the complete lineup.

Make plans to be at the free annual event, which for the second year in a row The Independent Collegian has listed as the No. 1 student activity on campus.

For more information, visit or follow the event on Facebook at and Twitter at

Click links to download photos:
Mike Posner
David Cook
Music Fest 2014 logo

Media Coverage
The Independent Collegian (Aug. 19, 2014)

UT launches global leadership camp

The University of Toledo is launching Youth Nations, a week-long, global leadership experience geared towards high school students who are between their junior and senior year.

The event runs Sunday, July 20 through Friday, July 25.

A number of featured speakers will address Youth Nations participants.

Van Jones, co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire,” will present on Thursday, July 24 at 9 a.m. Jones is also the president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a national advocacy organization working towards a fairer economy. Andrew Jenks, award-winning filmmaker and face of MTV’s 2012 Presidential Election coverage, will speak on Tuesday, July 22 at 9 a.m.

Award-winning educator Dr. Clinton Longenecker will address event participants on Monday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m. Longenecker is UT’s Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence. Dr. Lakeesha Ransom, dean of the UT Jesup Scott Honors College, will present on Wednesday, July 23 at 9 a.m.

Each presentation will take place in Doermann Theater, located on the third floor of University Hall.

Youth Nations creates an opportunity for more than 130 high school students to learn about global issues including human trafficking, international cyber security, fuel sustainability and the global economy. Participants will work in groups to develop and present problem-solving plans, competing for UT scholarships.

“We’re trying to infuse in the students the idea that they can change the world by studying these global issues and then critically thinking about what steps are necessary to potentially solve them,” said Paulette Bongratz, UT enrollment specialist and Youth Nations coordinator.

In addition to leadership presentations and workshops, participants will experience life on UT’s campus including staying in the residence halls and spending time at the Rec Center.

“I have two major goals for Youth Nations. One is for the students to have an awesome memory to link to our campus and to see a lot of different aspects of the University and see what we have to offer,” Bongratz said. “The other goal is that they leave feeling empowered and ultimately make the choice to be involved in community service projects, to make a difference.”

For more information, visit

African-American Festival to be held July 19-20

The 10th annual African-American Festival, “Celebrating Our History, Health and Education,” will take place rain or shine Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20, on The University of Toledo Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation. 

The festival will offer a family-friendly atmosphere filled with entertainment from national recording artists and local talent. There also will be rides and activities for kids, as well as vendors, in addition to health information and screenings.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to welcome the community to the University,” said Dr. Shanda Gore, UT associate vice president for equity, diversity and community engagement and chief diversity officer. “Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation is a beautiful location, and the festival gives people the chance to come here, relax and listen to great music, eat good food, and enjoy the social, very family-oriented atmosphere.” 

For the past 10 years, the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union has hosted the celebration. Crowds have grown each year with a reported 15,000 attendees during the two-day event in 2013.

This year the jubilee will begin Friday, July 18, at 8 a.m. with a prayer breakfast at Abundant Life Ministries. Tickets are $10 per person and are on sale at the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, located at 1339 Dorr St.

The official kickoff will be a parade Saturday, July 19, at 10 a.m. with participation by Rocky and Rocksy and various individuals, groups, organizations and businesses from throughout the city. It will start at Dorr Street and Detroit Avenue and end at Nelson Grace Park.

Festival gates will open each day at 1 p.m., and performances will begin at 2 p.m.

The following entertainers will rock the stage Saturday, July 19: Steve P, Lady K and Band; Jay Rush Jennings; Five Deep Band; Michael Henderson; Ray, Goodman & Brown; and Heatwave.

Sunday, July 20, attendees can expect performances from the Rance Allen Group, Kalvin Hughes Urban Jazz Coalition, Friendship Baptist Church, Abundant Life Ministries Choir, Katrina Barnhill, and The Newson Family Singers.

Free health screenings, sponsored by UT’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement and the College of Medicine Diversity Office, will take place Saturday, July 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 20, from 2 to 6 p.m. Blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings will be available.

Children’s rides are free and sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

“For me, as chief diversity officer, community engagement is a UT core value and the event is one of our most important festivals that we host,” Gore said. “I find it very uplifting to go and to see so many people have a great time at UT while at the same time get their health taken care of. The health screenings have saved lives.”

Tickets may be purchased in advance at or at the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union.

For more information, contact the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union at 419.255.8876 or, or go to

Media Coverage
The Blade (July 17, 2014)
The Blade (July 17, 2014)
The Blade (July 19, 2014)
The Blade (July 20, 2014)
WTOL 11 and 13 ABC (July 24, 2014)

Annual Diamante Awards accepting nominations for 25th Anniversary

The Nomination Committee for the annual Diamante Awards is currently accepting nominations for this year’s 25th anniversary event through August 8th.2014 Diamante Logo

The Diamante Awards, hosted by The University of Toledo, will be held Friday, September 26 at Premier Banquet Hall during National Hispanic Heritage Month which is celebrated September 15 through October 15. Juana Bordas, winner of the 2014 International Latino Book Awards for her book “The Power of Latino Leadership” will be the keynote speaker.

Founded in 1989 by IMAGE of Northwest Ohio, a local Latino advocacy group, the Diamante Awards celebrate the profound and lasting influence that Latinos have on American history, values and culture.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievements and service to Latinos. The event also serves to raise scholarship funds for Latino youth seeking advanced degrees.

The Diamante Awards initiative is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between Bowling Green State University, Herzing University, Lourdes University, Owens Community College and The University of Toledo.

Nominations are open now through August 8 in the following categories:
Latino/Latina Youth Leadership: Recognizes a young person (individual) of Latino descent, between the ages of 16-21, that has made an impact within Northwest Ohio.
Latino/Latina Adult Leadership: Recognizes an adult of Latino descent, over age 21 that has demonstrated significant leadership in any area in Northwest Ohio.
Latino/Latina Adult Professional: Recognizes the contributions from professionals of Latino descent making a significant impact in their workplace or profession.
Corporation/Community Agency: This is the only “group” category. Recognizes and entity for supporting and making an impact within the Northwest Ohio community.
Friend of the Latino Community: Recognizes the contribution of an individual, of non-Latino descent, that is making an impact on the Latino community in Northwest Ohio.

Nominations can be completed online at They can also be downloaded and submitted manually. For more information, contact Alexis DeAnda Martinez at or 419.372.2678.

July UT Board of Trustees Meetings


Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Radisson Hotel, Faculty Club Room
7:30 a.m. Clinical Affairs Committee Meeting

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Driscoll Alumni Center, Board Room
5:30 p.m. Board of Trustees Social Dinner

Friday, July 25, 2014
Driscoll Alumni Center, Schmakel Room
10:00 a.m. Special Board of Trustees Meeting

A Special Board meeting will be held to take action on a naming opportunity for the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center; discuss and take action on the employment of public employees, inclusive of employment agreement(s); and, to discuss the employment of a public employee with Presidential Executive Search Firm Witt/Kieffer in Executive Session.

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

Interim provost names College of Engineering leader

A University of Toledo engineering faculty member for more than 30 years will serve as interim dean of the College of Engineering, a position vacated by the appointment of Dr. Nagi Naganathan to the interim presidency on July 1.

Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs John Barrett named Dr. Steven LeBlanc to serve as interim dean of the College of Engineering. LeBlanc, most recently the college’s executive associate dean for academic affairs, has been on the faculty at UT for 34 years and prior to that worked in the electric power industry.


“Steve is an outstanding leader and the perfect choice to continue leading the remarkable growth and success the College of Engineering has experienced,” Barrett said. “His broad experience across the college’s academic and co-op programs will ensure the college remains on the leading edge of education and research.”

“I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to continue to serve our talented students and dedicated faculty in this role,” LeBlanc said. “So many people are involved in creating a strong learning environment for students and I’m committed to maintaining the momentum this college has created.”

A chemical engineer, Leblanc joined the college in 1980. He led the department of Chemical Engineering from 1993 to 2003, at which time he joined the dean’s office to lead academic affairs. Prior to joining UT, LeBlanc spent three years as an engineer at Toledo Edison.

He is co-author of two textbooks, “Strategies for Creative Problem Solving,” which received the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Meriam/Wiley Distinguished Author Award, and “Process Systems Analysis and Control,” a chemical engineering textbook from McGraw-Hill.

He served as chemical engineering program chair for the 1992 National ASEE meeting and also served as the chair of the chemical engineering division of ASEE 1997-98. LeBlanc was co-chair of the ASEE National Chemical Engineering 2007 Summer School for faculty and received the Joseph J. Martin award from the Chemical Engineering Division of ASEE.

LeBlanc co-authored and served as a judge for the 2002 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) National Chemical Engineering Senior Design Contest Problem. He has been an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology program evaluator for chemical engineering programs for AIChE since 1998. He was a member of the Chemical Engineering Education Publication Board from 2005-2012. LeBlanc was named an AIChE Fellow in 2010.

He has received The University of Toledo Outstanding Teacher Award and the ASEE North Central Section Outstanding Teaching Award. He also has served as the chair of the campus beautification committee for the past 13 years. LeBlanc received his undergraduate chemical engineering degree from UT and a master’s and doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Media Coverage
The Blade (July 9, 2014)