Atwater is a finalist for president of two universities.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The dean of Youngstown State University's College of Arts and Sciences has accepted a new job in Illinois.
Dr. Robert Bolla said he will start June 1 as dean of graduate studies and vice provost for research at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. He said the new position will allow him to pursue his interest in research.
Bolla also stressed that the move is not a result of any ill will toward YSU.
"This has been a wonderful experience here," he said, praising the hard work and commitment of YSU faculty. "These folks are amazing."
Bolla added, "I've never met nicer people than in Northeast Ohio."
A university spokesman did not return calls to comment or to say when the university will start a search for Bolla's replacement.
Bolla came to YSU in 2002 from St. Louis University, where he served as biology department chairman. He said the move to Peoria will allow him to be closer to his son and daughter, who live in St. Louis.
Bolla also noted that he took the Bradley University job so he could have an opportunity to work on "Peoria NEXT," a project designed to make Peoria a hub of technological and scientific innovation. Bradley is a member of the Peoria "NEXT" project team.
He may not be the only administrator to announce plans to leave YSU this year, however.
Tony Atwater, YSU's provost and vice president of academic affairs, said he recently was notified that he is among the final candidates for president of both Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Texas A & amp;M University-Corpus Christi.
Atwater said he has long held "presidential aspirations" and that he has been working toward becoming a university president for the past 10 or 12 years.
Like Bolla, Atwater also stressed that he was not considering taking a new job because of any dissatisfaction with YSU.
Atwater said the universities most likely will narrow the number of finalists to three, and then announce who they expect to hire in mid-December.
Hired in 2001, Atwater is the first black provost in YSU's history. He came to YSU from Northern Kentucky University, where he had served as the dean of the college of professional studies and education.