Senior University of Akron officials apologized Wednesday for poor communication while carrying out plans to cut millions of dollars in spending and more than 200 jobs, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. Hundreds of protesters attended a board meeting where the apologies were made, but they were over communication, not the substance of the cuts.
A major complaint was that the university has continued to spend significantly on nonacademic functions, such as a football team that attracts few fans and a presidential home renovation that cost nearly $1 million. One symbol of that renovation's cost is a $556.40 olive jar (without olives) purchased for the president's bedroom. At Wednesday's protest, an alumnus, Wendy Duke, read her poem, “Ode to an Antique Jar,” with these words: “O Olive Jar! You are empty while I am sad. I cannot afford to fill thee with expensive imported olives. For I am still paying off my student loans ….” Protesters also brought olives to the meeting (above right) and posted photographs to social media.
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