On a shelf to the right of Cheryl Schrader’s desk at Wright State University sits a piece of Native American artwork depicting a “warrior woman.”
It’s a fitting metaphor for Schrader — Wright State’s first female president — who starts her job as the university faces battles on multiple fronts, both financial and legal ones.
Just before Schrader arrived, Wright State slashed $30.8 million from its 2018 budget in order to correct years of overspending. The university also faces multiple lawsuits over its canceled presidential debate and investigations into possible H-1B visa misuse that occurred around two years ago.
Schrader, who started Saturday at WSU, didn’t shy away from the university’s troubles in her first public address as the school’s leader.
“I know these last four months have been especially challenging for you and I must compliment you on your hard work, your fortitude and your progress,” she said. “While all of us would probably prefer to be on more sound financial footing at this time, I know that we can’t afford to dwell on the mistakes of the past…Rather we must learn from them and we must move forward.”
Schrader spoke to an audience of hundreds at a welcome reception in WSU’s student union atrium on Thursday.During her speech Schrader echoed statements of other WSU leaders and trustees, saying the university can no longer afford to be “everything to everyone.”
She told listeners that the university will undergo a program prioritization process in which officials will gauge the value of not just academic programs but operations and other services as well.
Thursday’s welcome ceremony was the culmination of nearly a year’s work for Doug Fecher, chairman of the WSU board of trustees who also led the university’s presidential search.
“I think she’s exactly what Wright State University needs so I’m very excited to have her finally start,” Fecher said. “Now the hard work begins.”
In her first week on campus, Schrader has started meeting with campus leaders to plot the course of her presidency. She allowed the Dayton Daily News to sit in on some of those meetings, including one with faculty senate president Travis Doom.
Read the entire story at daytondailynews.com