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Published: Tuesday, 1/6/2009

BSGU board votes to keep current president


BOWLING GREEN - When Bowling Green State University interim president Carol Cartwright took the post last summer, her intention was to only stay for one year.

Instead, Ms. Cartwright, 67, has been appointed the university's 11th president and the first woman to lead the institution.

Ms. Cartwright said she changed her mind because the world is a different place than it was six months ago and continuity will help BGSU as it weathers a financial crisis and prepares for the future.

"I know through experience what it means to have stable leadership," she said.

Ms. Cartwright said the recent resignation of Provost Shirley Baugher, who announced she would leave last month because of family reasons, was a "tipping point" for her to accept the presidency to preserve stable leadership of BGSU.

The appointment takes effect immediately and she will serve through June, 2011. As president, she will be paid $375,000 a year.

The board voted 6-2 to offer the job to Ms. Cartwright.

The two dissenting trustees - David Levey and Fran Voll - said they are confident in Ms. Cartwright's leadership, but didn't want to abandon the national search for a new leader.

John Harbal, chairman of the BGSU Board of Trustees, said that Ms. Cartwright's experience as the president of an Ohio university and knowledge of BGSU made her a good fit for the permanent position.

The ongoing financial crisis, BGSU's recent enrollment declines, the university's ongoing strategic planning process, and where BGSU fits in with the University System of Ohio are important issues that Ms. Cartwright is well positioned to lead the institution through, he said.

"The easy way out was the national search," he said. "The tough decision was to change course in such a short period of time."

Ms. Cartwright is the former president of Kent State University and was named to the BGSU interim post last June.

She succeeded former President Sidney Ribeau, who left after 13 years to become president of Howard University in Washington.

Ms. Cartwright served as Kent State's president from 1991 to her formal retirement in June, 2006, and then stayed on until summer of 2007 to help her successor with the transition.

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