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Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 @ 10:50 PM
FAIRBORN — Wright State University has weathered much criticism over the last several years.
But the men’s and women’s basketball teams put a positive spin on the university. Both were No. 1 seeds and played Tuesday in the Horizon League tournament championship.
Raider students, professors and alumni will tell you it’s been tough -- everything from this year’s 20-day faculty union strike, to cutting tens of millions of dollars from the school’s budget to eliminating hundreds of jobs.
But then the game of basketball found a way to unite a campus and bolster Raider pride.
“It was the first time ever that both the men and women’s teams were the No. 1 seed,” said Adam Hannen, a WSU grad student.
He said it’s a positive for the university, especially after a faculty strike in January and part of February.
“I think everything has kind of gone back to normal,” he said.
But now, a no confidence vote faces Wright State University’s board of trustees. The faculty senate listed eight reasons it has lost confidence, including ongoing financial problems, a federal Visa investigation and the recent strike.
“There’s a relief that that is all over and while it’s not the same because you had a strike in your past, I think a little bit more time will fix that,” said Wright State adjunct professor Paul Hannen.
Financial problems have tarnished the school for years. In 2017, trustees approved cutting almost $31 million from the budget. Then last summer, trustees approved $10 million more in cuts.
Paul Hannen said it will take time to rebuild the university’s image. But short-term, he said basketball gives the campus community something to rally behind.
“Well, certainly anything that’s a positive aspect helps,” he said.