The University of Toledo Innovation Enterprises chose a new chairman of its board of directors Wednesday, about a month after its previous leader abruptly resigned.
C. William Fall, a former chairman of the UT Board of Trustees, was named chairman of UTIE, pending the approval of the university’s trustees. He takes over for Rick Stansley, also a former UT Board of Trustees chairman.
Mr. Stansley resigned from the UTIE board and a $1,200-a-day salary at UT last month because he said he was offered an opportunity to buy a waste-removal operation in Flint, Mich.
The UTIE board also recommended separating the board chairman and chief executive officer position; Mr. Stansley had held both roles.
The university said UTIE had finished an unannounced, six-month reorganization process that “looked at the leadership, committee, and organization structures.”
Mr. Fall runs the William Fall Group, a real-estate appraisal company. He was appointed to the board in 2002 by then-Gov. Bob Taft; his term expired in 2011.
Mr. Fall called UTIE the university’s economic development arm and said the organization was in a maturation phase.
“We really see that mission and vision being continued, and frankly building on some of the good things we’ve done,” he said.
Board members disagreed Thursday about the impetus behind Wednesday's decision.
Mr. Fall said the board had conducted a “carefully planned” reorganization process over several months, and that splitting the chairman and CEO positions would have happened even if Mr. Stansley had not left.
But Joseph H. Zerbey IV, chairman of the UT board of trustees, said that he believed Mr. Stansley’s departure precipitated the decision. Mr. Zerbey, who also serves as an ex officio UTIE board member, called the separation of the chairman and CEO positions a good decision.
“I personally am a little uncomfortable with someone who runs an entity and chairs its board,” he said. “I think it’s asking for trouble.”
Mr. Zerbey spoke highly of Mr. Fall, and called him the “right guy at the right time.”
The UTIE board also recommended the creation of four new operating committees, according to a university announcement. Three of the committees would have oversight over a portfolio of investments.
Meanwhile, UTIE is without a chief executive. Mr. Fall said the board had a candidate in mind, but declined to identify him or her.
Faculty Senate President Linda Marie Rouillard said that the university should conduct a thorough review of UTIE's operations before the entity moves forward.
She also said it seems many of the same people hold multiple roles at UT. UTIE board members include include two former UT board chairmen — Mr. Fall and William Koester — and current chairman Mr. Zerbey. Mr. Stansley also is a former UT board chairman.
“There’s too much overlap and not enough checks and balances,” she said. “We see way too many players come back and play roles.”
Mr. Fall said having so many former university chairmen on the board was a good thing.
On Thursday, the UT board held a special, closed meeting to “consider the employment of a public employee.” It was the second time in three weeks the board held a closed meeting on that subject.
Mr. Zerbey, who is also president and general manager of The Blade, said he could not comment on what was discussed during the meeting.
Absent from both closed-door sessions was UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs. He said through a spokesman that he did not attend Thursday's meeting because he had a prior engagement.
Asked whether Dr. Jacobs believed board members discussed his employment during the meeting, the spokesman said the president “did not attend the meeting, therefore he does not believe it would be appropriate to comment on any topics the board discussed.”