Board of Regents chancellor resigns before term ends

Fingerhut speaks
  Fingerhuts response to resignation. Audio by Anna Staver.

Fingerhut speaks Fingerhut’s response to resignation. Audio by Anna Staver.

Anna Staver

Kasich speaks

Eric Fingerhut, Board of Regents chancellor, announced his resignation yesterday one year before the end of his five-year term.

“The governor and I were clear with each other when he took office that I was not going to serve a second term,” Fingerhut said in a phone interview.

The chancellor said once that decision was made, it was a matter of deciding when to leave office. He said he thought it would be best to leave after the new legislators had settled into their offices in Columbus but before Gov. John Kasich gave his budget to the legislature March 15.

“At that point it’s really important that he have a chancellor that’s not only going to see him through the budget process but through his administration, and I couldn’t commit to doing that,” Fingerhut said.

Provost Robert G. Frank said Kent State is looking forward to working with a new chancellor.

“Well, certainly the (former) chancellor has had strong views, and those views have brought with it an agenda,” Frank said. “And with this change in administration, there’ll be different possibilities for the university.”

If former Gov. Ted Strickland had been re-elected, Fingerhut said he would have stayed for the remainder of his term.

“It would have made sense to have stayed for five years out of an eight year administration, but it does not make as much sense to stay here for a year out of a four-year administration,” Fingerhut said.

Gov. Kasich said he wishes the chancellor well.

“Eric is a good man, I think he moved the ball forward as the chancellor,” Kasich said.

The two men spoke yesterday morning before Kasich and Fingerhut went public with the announcement.

“In this job, you kind of have to have your person that is going to buy into your agenda,” Kasich said. “I’ll have an announcement at some point here about how we are going to operate going forward.”

Last fall, Kent State failed to come to an agreement with Fingerhut about the bonds for university-wide renovations. Frank said the university is not rushing to submit a new proposal once the new chancellor is named.

“Well, not in the immediate future we wouldn’t propose it,” Frank said. “Not until we understand the implications of the budget and the considerations of the budget that are coming forward.”

Contact Anna Staver at [email protected]