YSU Leaders list ways to better school

The plan will go before the university's trustees in March.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A campus movie theater, more visitor parking and attracting a more diverse faculty were among the suggestions a group of 80 community leaders developed to improve Youngstown State University.
The leaders, who included several Mahoning Valley businesspeople and educators, participated in the two-hour brainstorming session Monday in YSU's Kilcawley Center as part of the university's continuing strategic planning process.
The plan, which will go before university trustees in March, will outline YSU's goals through 2008, when the university celebrates its 100th anniversary. YSU President David Sweet gathered the leaders to get community input.
Participants were separated into small groups to discuss several issues facing YSU, including enrollment, academic programs, financial resources, marketing, student services and diversity.
Some ideas: Among the suggestions:
-- Improve the relationship between YSU and local schools.
-- Make the campus more visitor-friendly, including more and better visitor parking on campus. "Get more people on campus, all the time, anytime you can," said Dennis Clouse, YSU's director of planning and construction.
-- Increase use of technology to help students learn.
-- Develop a corridor between the university and downtown using green spaces and retail shops.
-- Improve the marketing of university academic programs and campus safety. "It is the safest campus in the state, but we need to get the word out," said Suzanne Fleming, coordinator of the Northeast Ohio Regional Leadership Task Force.
-- Develop a movie theater on campus. "There is only one movie theater in Youngstown, and it is X-rated," Clouse said.
YSU's 37-member strategic planning committee will review the suggestions and include them in the draft plan, said Dr. Bege Bowers, committee chairwoman.

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