Wright State president stepping down today

Wright State president David R. Hopkins is stepping down at the end of the day today.

In a letter sent to to university staff and students Friday morning, Hopkins said he will complete his service as president today, Friday March 17.

Hopkins was scheduled to retire June 30.

Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Bridges said Friday Hopkins’ was not pressured to leave the university, which is in the midst of a budget crisis.

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“As we discussed that, myself and vice chair Fecher with the president, he presented to us the fact that he felt it was in the best interest of the university for him to step down and for us to bring in an interim president in order to help the university make the transition and the board greatly appreciates that.”

Hopkins had been out of the office for past three weeks, Bridges. Earlier this week, Bridges and Vice Chair Doug Fecher met with Hopkins to discuss budget planning and issues.

“As discussion went on Dr. Hopkins offered, voluntarily, his resignation and the board has chosen to accept it,” Bridges said.

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Bridges praised Hopkins for his 12 years at the university, the last 10 as president, but said the board’s focus is the long-term financial health of the institution.

“During his tenure, Dr. Hopkins did a lot of great things. I don’t want that to get lost. However, over the last two years the university has exceeded its budget and we have to move on from here,” Bridges said.

Hopkins said he will assist incoming president Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader as she transitions to her new role on July 1.

Curtis L. McCray will service as interim president for the remainder of Hopkin’s term, according to Wright State spokeperson Seth Bauguess.

"(McCray’s) primary goal will be to remediate the budget and prepare the university for Dr. Schrader’s arrival to put her in the very best place that the university can for success,” said Bridges. “The university is an institution that’s larger than any of us. It will be here for decades to come.”

McCray served as a consultant with the university in their search for a new presdient.

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Bridges said there are hard decisions that will be made pertaining the university’s budget.

“There are realignments of the budget and that’s going to affect personnel, it’s going to affect programs. It’s up to someone from the university I leadership to decide what those are going to be. That will be subject to board approval but that’s not the board’s job to that, that’s the administration’s job to do that. In recognizing that has to be done, I believe Dr. Hopkins stepping down allows Dr. McCray to come in and work with university administrators,” Bridges said.

Hopkins thanked the Wright State community as he acknowledged challenges the university will face bringing the budget into alignment.

Hopkins will remain at Wright State in a faculty position teaching in the College of Education and Human Services. He will be paid an annual salary of $200,000.

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