It's time for the University of Akron to fish or cut bait, as far as settling on an office leasing arrangement with the ACS Rubber Division. The university shouldn't let the division be the "one that got away."
The Rubber Division's status as a tenant at the university has been murky since 1997. UA has housed the division for decades at no charge. The association's leaders wanted to show their appreciation, and at the same time ensure the Rubber Division would remain on campus.
The idea was to give a $1 million donation to the school over a 10-year period to help fund an addition to the polymer engineering building, where the division offices would move.
Three years later, there's still no agreement, and no money has changed hands.
Instead, the lawyers came in and had fun pondering the legality of a non-university organization, staffed by university employees, leasing space on campus. The division decided to reorganize and eliminate the staff, which it funded but lacked management control over, and create a new management structure. The association threatened to move off campus if no agreement was made, meaning it would keep the $1 million, too.
That would be unfortunate. There's no better place for the division to call home than the campus of one of the world's top polymer universities, just as there's prestige and practical benefits for UA to be the landlord of the rubber industry's primary technical association.
The UA trustees should approve a deal by the Feb. 1 deadline the division has set. Division officers believe they will.
It just makes sense.