YSU's interim enrollment chief has strong ties to Youngstown.
By RON COLE
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A Youngstown native and former University of Akron administrator will temporarily lead Youngstown State University's efforts to increase enrollment.
Dr. Thomas J. Vukovich, who retired last year after a 28-year career at UA, has been named interim executive director of enrollment services at YSU.
YSU President David Sweet said Vukovich, a 1960 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, will replace Bassam Deeb, who left YSU last week to be vice president for student affairs at West Liberty State College in West Virginia.
"We're fortunate to be able to get him here," Sweet said about Vukovich. "He is committed to helping us out for the next six months, and then we'll see what goes beyond that."
His duties: Vukovich will oversee YSU's financial aid, registration and undergraduate admissions offices, which Sweet has targeted as the key offices to help turn around the university's chronic enrollment decline.
"He will assess where we are and what our needs are in that area, organizationally and personnel-wise," Sweet said. "He's hit the ground running."
YSU's enrollment dropped to 11,787 students last fall from 12,222 in 1999, the 10th decline in 11 years. Sweet has said he wants enrollment to increase 5 percent this fall.
His background: Vukovich, whose brother Joe is a judge in the 7th District Court of Appeals, taught at Liberty Junior High School and Stow High School before being hired at UA in 1972.
He was interim dean of University College, assistant vice president for student support services and assistant vice president for student affairs. He retired last year as associate provost for student and enrollment services.
Vukovich, who lives in Akron, said he is not interested in the YSU job permanently. His first duties will be to develop short- and long-range strategies to increase enrollment.
"I haven't assessed what the problem is," he said. "A lot of things are in place; there are a few that aren't.
Serious effort: "I think there seems to be an atmosphere on campus to have everyone seriously look at this and look at their particular operation and to see what they can do and what they haven't been doing, and what they can strengthen to improve enrollment."