FAIRBORN — When asked by Gov. Mike DeWine to join the Wright State University Board of Trustees, it was pretty much a no-brainer for Andy Platt.
As a 2009 graduate, former athlete and ardent supporter it was a perfect match.
“I had a positive experience,” Platt said. “Privileged to serve for Wright State, a school that certainly does have some issues but has had a huge impact for me personally and professionally. I was certainly humbled and honored to really even be considered for such an important role.”
In addition to the athletic experience as a golfer, Wright State helped springboard Platt toward a successful career at Northwestern Mutual, where he is the managing director of its Beavercreek office.
“I’ve seen the benefits that Wright State can provide,” said Platt, who replaced Anuj Goyal on the board and will serve until June 30, 2028.
Now he wants to make sure WSU can continue to provide those same benefits for the next generation and beyond. Platt also hopes to help the university dig out of some financial and potential legal concerns after an inspector general report recently revealed possible wrongdoings regarding payments to a consultant and land acquisitions made by Double Bowler, a WSU-established non-profit.
“It’s pretty clear that there are some issues that need to be addressed,” Platt said. “It does seem that the last 12 months President (Cheryl) Schrader and the board have done a quality job of getting through some major financial issues. It does appear we are in a lot better position than we were a year ago.”
But that’s about as far as Platt will go, at least for now. Having started on July 1, he has had little time to get up to speed on things and admittedly has “a lot to learn.”
“I look forward to doing that,” he said. “I probably will know a lot more in the next 6-9 months.”
One thing he knows already is where Wright State stands in southwest Ohio.
“I do believe Wright State can continue to be a very important institution for the region and be a great place to be feeding quality students to different employers across the region,” Platt said. “We go to college to get a job that we couldn’t have gotten without going to college.”
In addition to helping keep Wright State maintain strong financial footing, Platt said the university has to deal with changing demographics of fewer students graduating from high school which is lowering enrollment at many universities, not just WSU.
A Sugarcreek Township resident, Platt thinks his financial background and age will be an asset for the board of trustees.
“I can really connect my experience,” he said. “It was 11 years ago I was on campus. I can be an ally for the students in a unique way maybe compared to some of the other board members.”