Sean Fitzpatrick, new chairman of the Wright State board of trustees. FILE

Wright State trustees approve new board chairman

The trustees unanimously voted to approve Sean Fitzpatrick as chairman of the board Friday morning.

Fitzpatrick was not present at the meeting but in a statement that was read at the meeting, he said “Wright State is a tremendous asset in the state of Ohio. We have ambitious students, engaged faculty and strong leaders. Like the many students that are graduating this week, our future as a university is bright and our greatest accomplishments are ahead of us.”

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The outgoing chair is Douglas Fecher, who is also president and CEO of Wright-Patt Credit Union.

Fitzpatrick said in his statement that he wanted to thank Fecher for his leadership over the past two “very challenging” years.

Fitzpatrick joined LexixNexis in 2005 and is the managing director of North American research solutions at LexisNexis Legal & Professional. He was appointed in 2016, for a term ending June 30, 2025, according to Wright State’s website.

The vice chair of the board is now Stephanie Green, who was appointed to her term starting in 2017 and ending in 2026. Green is senior vice president and director of Fifth Third Private Banking – Central Ohio Region.

The trustees start their new leadership positions as the Fairborn-based university works to move past financial challenges.

Wright State officials learned this week that the university will avoid state fiscal watch, though school leaders warned the university has work to do before it’s financially in the clear.

Wright State received a score of 2.2 out of five in fiscal year 2018 on Ohio’s “Senate Bill 6” scores, the state’s way to measure every public college’s fiscal health, according to state documents. The rating from 0 to 5 is based on three parts: the schools reserve fund, its ability to service its debts and its income ratio.

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In fiscal year 2017, the university’s score was 0.8. Two consecutive years of a score below 1.75 puts universities on state fiscal watch, which requires strict oversight and a recovery plan submitted to the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

The university is now focusing on building the school up through initiatives like more online courses, especially for face-to-face classes that are wait listed. It’s also looking into new revenue sources by meeting with deans to grow revenue at the college and department level.

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