Alexis Wisler, Jamie Penwell and Natalie Cunningham contributed to this story
In a public session of the Wright State Student Government Association (SGA), Dr. Gary Dickstein, departing interim vice provost for Student Affairs, updated the members on the interim president and vice president of finance positions.
On Tuesday, Oct. 15, Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader, Wright State president announced she will be retiring.
Dickstein confirmed that Walt Branson, vice president for Finance and Operations and chief business officer, will also be stepping down from his position. The timeline of when Branson will step down has yet to be released.
Wright State University has yet to make an official statement about the departure of Branson. Spokesperson Seth Bauguess was unavailable for comment.
What we know:
Dickstein shared that Schrader will be present through December in a more ceremonial capacity until she transitions into a faculty role in the spring.
“She will be at commencement, I believe, and that will be her final act as president,” said Dickstein.
It was confirmed by Dickstein that Dr. Susan Edwards, Provost, will step into the role of interim president until a search is completed.
“Dr. Edwards will be the acting president – for how long, I do not know,” said Dickstein.
In the meeting, it was stated that Greg Sample, chief executive officer, and chief operating officer of the Double Bowler Properties Corporation, will possibly step in as interim vice president for Finance and Operations and chief business officer.
“I believe Greg Sample will be the interim chief business officer,” said Dickstein.
The Double Bowler Properties Corporation has been subject to public scrutiny over the years.
According to the Ohio Inspector General, Double Bowler was found to violate state law for improperly paying a former congressman for lobbying. Sample is the sole employee of Double Bowler.
Despite the news, Dickstein attempted to shed light on the situation.
“The good news is that I really believe none of this will impact you as students, at least in the short term. What it impacts is stuff that happens behind the scenes. In the short couple of years that President Schrader has been here, it’s been a really challenging time but if you think about it, she’s kind of going out on top. We made it basically through the really challenging financial [times]. Not that enrollment and financials are fantastic at the moment but they are a ton better than they were,” said Dickstein.
SGA President Ivan Mallett is thankful that Schrader did the job that she was asked to do. Moving forward, he is excited about how Edwards will take on the new role.
“Provost Edwards is going to do a great job. I look forward to working with her. Searches [for candidates] are always expensive, especially national searches, and given the reality of the situation that we’re in, we’re going to have to do a national search. I think we’re in a much better place financially that we’ll be able to stomach doing a national search a little bit better,” said Mallett.
“There are a lot of things she gets to be proud of, and rightfully so,” said Dickstein
Schrader is set to step down from the role of president effective Dec. 31. She will remain at Wright State among the faculty.
Additional information is expected at the Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 16.