Cartwright to fill in as BG’s interim president

Christina Stavale

Credit: DKS Editors

Just about a week ago, Carol Cartwright told anyone who asked how much she was enjoying retirement.

When the former president of Kent State retired from her 15-year tenure in June 2006, she said she didn’t think she’d ever work in a university’s administration again. But come July 21, she’ll take on the presidential role at a university once again – but this time, at Bowling Green, and only on an interim basis.

Bowling Green’s board of trustees named Cartwright interim president at its meeting June 6.

“She was a wonderful president,” Mike Marsh, chair of Bowling Green’s board of trustees, said of Cartwright’s time at Kent State. “The job she did there is something we’ve admired for a long time.”

Marsh said the university began gathering candidate names five weeks ago when its president, Sidney Ribeau, announced his resignation to become the president at Howard University.

“Our outgoing president has admired (Cartwright) as his favorite other president in Ohio,” Marsh said. “They had a pretty close relationship.”

Cartwright said her presidency at Kent State and Ribeau’s presidency at Bowling Green overlapped for 11 years. The four corner schools – Kent State, Bowling Green, Miami University and Ohio University- — have a lot in common, she said.

“It’s natural for those presidents to build some working relationships,” she said. “But I’ll have to become a Falcon instead of a Golden Flash.”

She said many of her experiences as president can carry over from one university to another, especially when they’re as similar as Kent State and Bowling Green.

“I know the Ohio people and policy issues in Ohio,” she said. “I’ve been following these issues out of retirement, and I’m interested in them.”

Marsh said he expects Cartwright will be in the position for about a year – until the university names a permanent president.

He said the board of trustees formed a search committee for this position the same day it named Cartwright interim president.

Cartwright, who said she is not interested in a permanent term, said she expects she will be involved minimally in Bowling Green’s presidential search.

“Any way they want me to be of assistance, I would be willing to help,” she said, “but that’s mainly the trustees’ responsibility.”

Among the usual presidential responsibilities like boosting enrollment and budget considerations, Cartwright said she will probably be involved a bit in working to establish centers of excellence at Bowling Green, in accordance with Chancellor of Higher Education Eric Fingerhut’s University System plan.

Between now and July 21, Cartwright said she will be making visits to Bowling Green and spending time with Ribeau.

“I very much admire what he has done,” she said. “I look forward to building on what he created.”

Contact editor Christina Stavale at [email protected].