During her second week as president of Wright State University, Cheryl B. Schrader met with her counterparts at Sinclair College and the University of Dayton, sharing that she is a believer in forging strong partnerships.
On July 10, Schrader hosted Steven L. Johnson, chairman and CEO of Sinclair, in her office. Then on July 13, she met with University of Dayton President Eric Spina.
Schrader met with Miami University President Gregory Crawford in June and has future meetings scheduled with Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State Community College, and Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, president of Central State University.
In her meeting with Johnson, Schrader discussed her recent activities, including being introduced to members of the Ohio delegation, state leaders and lawmakers, local officials and other higher education leaders as part of various events.
“I think it is very important that we all work together,” said Schrader.
That theme was repeated during her meeting with Spina.
“I’m someone who really believes in partnerships,” Spina told Schrader, adding that it’s always good for the community when the two schools work together.
Spina discussed the University of Dayton’s commitment to be an anchor tenant in the Dayton Arcade, a historical, architecturally elegant complex built between 1902 and 1904 in the heart of Dayton’s central business district. The Arcade has been empty for more than 25 years. UD has partnered with The Entrepreneur Center to create the Arcade Innovation Hub and envisions placing university programs there as well as space and support for start-up companies at all stages of development.
Spina indicated he would welcome Wright State’s involvement.
“That’s exciting,” said Schrader. “We would be very interested in that.”
During Schrader’s meeting with Johnson, he explained that Sinclair is one of the largest community colleges in the nation, ranked in the 96th percentile. He also discussed how the Board of Trustees system works at Sinclair.
Johnson said 1,700 Sinclair students are preparing to transfer to Wright State, with 800 current double-degree students.
Schrader said it is important that students “don’t miss a beat” in transferring from Sinclair to Wright State and asked Johnson if it would make sense for Wright State to have a presence on the Sinclair campus.
Johnson appeared eager to pursue that idea as well as others to enhance the partnership between the two institutions. He said Sinclair and Wright State won a state award about 10 years ago for setting up an electronic transfer system.
“It just shows how we’ve worked together closely to be the first in Ohio to do some things,” he said.
Johnson said that from 2010 to 2012, Sinclair and Wright State held joint Cabinet and Board of Trustees meetings.
“I think that’s a good idea,” Schrader replied. “Let’s think about bringing that back.”
Schrader and Spina, who both have engineering backgrounds, shared their journeys to becoming presidents of major universities. Spina, former vice chancellor and provost of Syracuse University, earned his doctorate and master’s degree from Princeton University in mechanical and aerospace engineering. He started his second year as president this month.
Spina said he was looking for a place that values community-building and believes he and Schrader are on the same page when it comes to the importance of meeting local, state and global needs.
“I’m excited to welcome a fellow engineer here at Wright State,” he told Schrader.
“I think coming out of engineering gives you a different perspective,” said Schrader, adding that she is especially appreciative of student success, creativity, economic development and the power of partnerships.
Wright State became an independent institution in 1967 and spent the next 50 years growing into an innovative leader in affordable and accessible education. In 2017, it celebrates its 50th anniversary and sets the course for the next half century.