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UT trustees to consider ex-president for new post

Johnson named head of global initiatives


Dan Johnson

The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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The appointment of former University of Toledo President Dan Johnson as director of global initiatives for UT is to come before university trustees Monday.

Mr. Johnson, who was the university's president from 2001 to 2006, was named president emeritus and distinguished professor of public policy and economic development after UT's 2006 merger with the former Medical University of Ohio.

In 2008, he took a three-year leave of absence from UT to accept a job as provost, chief operating officer, and chief academic officer at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs said in a recent interview that putting Mr. Johnson in charge of global initiatives made sense.

"Having spent three years overseas, having been involved in universities and economic development for much of his career, this seems to be a perfect fit," he said. "My main expectation for him is to develop a clearer strategic plan in the area of global connections."

Dr. Jacobs said that with all of the initiatives under way, including the university's participation in Toledo Mayor Mike Bell's recent trip to China, there is plenty to do.

"We need to develop a clearer plan about where we're going to be, what we hope to accomplish at each geographic site, and I think Dan Johnson can accomplish this," he said, adding that it could be a multi-year project.

"If the world continues to go the way it's going, following that strategy, executing that strategy might take a significant amount of time," Dr. Jacobs said.

"I don't think the world will ever return to what it was when you and I were young … ," Dr. Jacobs said.

"The world is going to continue to shrink and get flatter. Great institutions are increasingly going to participate in a global marketplace. The University of Toledo is doing that and doing it successfully."

Mr. Johnson, 71, is to be paid $200,000 a year.

Dr. Jacobs said the former president's return to UT was natural.

"He is a tenured faculty member of the University of Toledo. He has a right to return," Dr. Jacobs said. "He's been on a leave of absence. This is not a rehire, this is not a double dipping. It is a return to his place of employment after his leave of absence, and it's important to find the best place he can contribute the most."

In 2006, when Mr. Johnson's presidential contract was terminated a year before it was to expire, UT trustees granted him a new contract with an annual salary of $254,616, a $35,000 housing allowance, local moving services, and a $10,000 car allowance in the first year.

Mr. Johnson also was paid $350,000 in longevity and merger bonuses, and his grandchildren were given the right to attend UT with full tuition and on-campus room and board.

Some of the contract stipulations changed in the second year, third year, and years thereafter.

According to an Oct. 10, 2008, letter to Mr. Johnson from Dr. Jacobs, the former president was to have the same title of president emeritus and distinguished university president of public policy and economic development upon his return to the university on Nov. 14, 2010. The letter was to serve as his new contract, with a salary of $200,000 a year, through June 30, 2012. Mr. Johnson did not return to the university as planned because he was at Zayed.

Mr. Johnson said last month that he enjoyed his time at Zayed University but did not want to sign on for another three years there.

"That was one of the reasons we didn't want to extend for another three-year contract. That would have been too much to ask of [UT] to hold my position," he said. "When I came back, I told President Jacobs I'd be glad to help him in any way I can. I wasn't seeking an administrative position by any stretch of the imagination."

Mr. Johnson said he primarily hoped to return to teaching and research, which he will be doing in addition to his role as director of global initiatives.

Although a news release issued by UT last month listed Mr. Johnson's appointment as part of a reorganization of Dr. Jacobs' senior management team, Dr. Jacobs said he had not decided whether Mr. Johnson would be part of that team, a group of a dozen or so leaders who work closely with him.

The other appointments, which are not on the agenda for Monday's 1 p.m. board of trustees meeting, include:

David Dabney, former interim senior vice president for finance and administration, is to be chief financial officer and vice president for finance.

Frank Calzonetti, former vice president for research administration, is to be vice president for governmental relations.

James Trempe, former senior director of research administration, is to be vice president for research.

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