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YSU Sweet selects finance chief



Published: Wed, June 6, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The university also announced the start of a new program to help prevent at-risk students from dropping out.

By RON COLE

VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Terry R. Ondreyka, associate vice president for finance at West Virginia University, will be Youngstown State University's new chief financial officer.

YSU President David Sweet said Ondreyka, who has 30 years' experience in higher education accounting and finance, will begin his new position of vice president for financial affairs Aug. 1.

"His background in fiscal affairs will be a tremendous asset as we work to stabilize YSU's financial position and meet the challenges presented by the state's decreasing aid," Sweet said.

Duties: Ondreyka will oversee YSU's budget, payroll, accounting, audit, investment and other fiscal functions, as well as state funding issues. YSU trustees created the position in December.

It is Sweet's first major administrative appointment since taking YSU's helm nearly a year ago. Sweet also is expected to name a new provost by July 1 to oversee the university's academic affairs.

"His depth of experience in public higher education will serve us well," said Dr. Betty Jo Licata, dean of YSU's business school. She chaired the campus committee that led the job search.

Background: Ondreyka is a native of the Akron area and received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Ohio University in 1971. He earned a master's degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University in 1978.

Before attending WVU in 1993, he was assistant vice president for business affairs and director of financial services at the University of Houston in Texas. He also has been director of accounting and budget at the University of Denver in Colorado and an accountant at the University of Michigan.

Retention: YSU also unveiled a plan Tuesday to help retain academically at-risk freshmen as part of an overall strategy to increase enrollment.

Students Taking Action to Realize Success will target 45 freshmen in the fall 2001 semester whose standardized test scores and high school grades suggest they may have problems achieving in college, said Dr. Cyndy Anderson, student affairs vice president.

The program funnels the students into remedial classes and mandatory tutoring and mentoring meetings the university hopes will prevent them from failing and dropping out, she said.

"Once we lose them, it's really hard getting them back in," she said.

"The students are going to be watched and mentored constantly. ... Anytime a student falls into problems, we will be there."

Sweet said retention is the key to helping boost enrollment. YSU's fall enrollment has dropped in 10 of the last 11 years. Sweet has set a goal to increase enrollment by 5 percent this fall.

Progress toward reaching that goal is both good and bad, according to a report by Bassam Deeb, executive director of enrollment management.

The good: Summer enrollment is up by about five students to 3,869.

The bad: Enrollment for the fall stands as 8,462 students as of Monday, about 250 less than this time last year.

"We have some work to do," Deeb said.

He said YSU will target about 2,000 former students who earned enough credits to reach senior status but left the university for one reason or another. Deeb said advisers and faculty will call each of those students.

"We need to find out how we can bring these people back," he said.




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