Rocket Nation Recovery Part 39 – In Part 6 the concept of being uncomfortable with the questions being raised about UToledo was discussed.

A prominent CEO prompted that post when they suggested business and government leaders were uncomfortable with the questions being raised. They were caught off guard. As “insiders”, if there was a crisis at UT they would have been the first to know. So, there is no need to talk about it in public.

Some have interpreted their silence as apathy. Others have suggested they do not care. It’s a safe bet that’s not true. Recently, the CEO mentioned above suggested that “local leaders are more shocked, confused, and fearful about the crisis than apathetic. They do not know what to do.”

Is it possible that local leaders and The Rocket Nation are going through a grieving process about the crisis?

People grieve differently. Some never get through the process and tragically remain stuck at one of the stages. Where are you – – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, or acceptance?

  1. Denial – in July/August, some experienced confusion and shock. Others were elated that legitimate questions were finally being publicly asked. Still others chose to avoid the questions.
  2. Anger – surprisingly only a few people were angry, frustrated, irritated and anxious. Mostly UT leaders and a few trustees.
  3. Bargaining – in September some people struggled to grasp the magnitude of the crisis. They shared their perspective and stories with family and friends. Some UT leaders lied to trustees suggesting everything is under control.
  4. Depression – in October some people felt overwhelmed and helpless. Some simply walked away. But others began to ask questions. In The Toledo Club, at Inverness, at games, in board meetings, in donor meetings, and even in UT trustee meetings. Even the Governor began to ask questions. Why are UT leaders struggling to gain control?
  5. Acceptance – In November, many people are no longer afraid to ask questions. After 4-years it’s obvious to business and government leaders that UT leaders efforts are not working. A few UT trustees are exploring options, holding one off meetings, and are negotiating to move on.

If you were a trustee, how would you respond to UT leaders forecast for two more years of enrollment declines, a rapid change in the student market, and continuing financial decline? As a trustee, would you support another dramatic spending cut to slow or stop the financial decline?

Or, after 4-years of enrollment, financial, and morale chaos would you support leadership change? Will UToledo be stronger or weaker in 18-months?

It’s ok to feel uncomfortable in a crisis. Please pray for thoughtful, compassionate accountability and urgent actions to revitalize The Rocket Nation.