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Published: Friday, 8/3/2001

The Editors: President says UT to focus on serving urban community

A top priority for the new administration at the University of Toledo will be to refocus its mission on serving the higher education needs of the community, Dr. Daniel Johnson, UT's new president, said yesterday during taping of The Editors television program.

“There is a strong argument for UT being one of the great universities among universities that specialize in urban higher education,” he said.

It must remain accessible and measure success by the value it adds to its students, he said.

Dr. Johnson joined UT as its 15th president on July 1, about a year after Dr. Vik Kapoor resigned following 17 tumultuous months in office. Previously, Dr. Johnson was provost at the University of Alaska at Anchorage.

He was questioned by Thomas Walton, vice president-editor of The Blade, and Marilou Johanek, a member of The Blade editorial board. The Editors will be broadcast at 9 tonight on WGTE-TV, Channel 30 and at 12:30 p.m. Sunday on WBGU-TV, Channel 27.

Other challenges facing the president include replacing state funds that have shifted away from higher education and holding the line on tuition and fees, which this year are up 9 percent at UT.

“We are going to need alternative sources of funding if we are going to be successful in keeping our student tuition low,” he said. “We have to keep tuition in check. I'm committed to working on that.”

Dr. Johnson said he is working to rebuild a faculty whose numbers were depleted in recent years as well as an administration that has numerous positions filled on an interim basis.

He said he hopes to boost morale and a feeling of goodwill among the faculty, the community, and the administration. “I think, in the end, they will find us a trustworthy administration,” he said.

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