Must Reads 2016: A year of highs and lows at Wright State


The Dayton Daily News is highlighting the best work of 2016 with the year-ending Must Reads campaign.

State officials investigated Wright State University’s relationship with a high-priced consultant. The consultant later sued the university. It was only one high-stakes storyline to come out of WSU in 2016. The university also backed out of hosting the first presidential debate, citing fundraising problems.

Here's a look at the year of highs and lows at Wright State.

» Complete Reading: Must Reads 2016

Jan. 23: "Wright State contract suspended pending probe"

Wright State University has suspended payments to economic development consultant Ron Wine while state authorities investigate whether the school’s contract with Wine violated state lobbying laws.

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April 9: "Hopkins weathers storms at Wright State"

In the past 12 months as Wright State University president, David Hopkins removed his provost and long-time general counsel, opened the books for a federal investigation into immigration visas and faced scrutiny over paying an outside consultant $1 million a year for economic development advice.

But he’s also had some unquestioned success, including helping secure perhaps the school’s biggest national accolade since its founding as an independent institution in 1967: being named the host university for the first presidential debate on Sept. 26.

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July 22: "Many factors broke Wright State’s debate dream"

As Wright State University gained worldwide attention in 2008 for providing the stage where presidential hopeful John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his running mate, WSU political science chair Donna Schlagheck had a bold idea.

Why couldn’t Wright State host a presidential debate?

The answer, it turns out, was that the university could try, but it wouldn’t be able to pull it off.

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Sept. 16: "Former consultant sues Wright State for $4.5M"

A former consultant for Wright State University who was the subject of a Dayton Daily News investigation into his contract with the university is suing the school for more than $4.5 million for compensation he says is still owed to him.

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Nov. 6: "Wright State, 6 other Ohio colleges ranked ‘best for vets’"

Wright State University has been recognized as one of the best four-year universities for veterans to attend.

Wright State ranked 125th on a list of best colleges in the Military Times, a publication for service members and their families. The Military Times surveyed more than 500 colleges for its annual ranking, according to WSU.

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Nov. 9: "Wright State will not see layoff savings until next year"

Wright State will not see much financial benefit from its recent layoffs until the end of 2017 because most people affected by cuts are still working at the university.

Of 23 positions being eliminated by WSU, 13 are unclassified salaried staffers who at a minimum have to be given at least two months’ notice before being laid off. The university is required to give a year’s notice to salaried employees who have worked 15 years or more.

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Nov. 15: "Wright State denies claims in $4.5M lawsuit"

Wright State University attorneys have responded to a pair of lawsuits brought by former consultant Ron Wine seeking $4.5 million that Wine claims he is owed by the school and its research arm for an informal deal he had with WSU administrators.

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Nov. 15: "Wright State faces another lawsuit by ex-tennis player"

Another former Wright State University men’s tennis player has sued the school in federal court for allegedly violating his due process rights during an investigation into sexual misconduct claims.

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