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Controversial official to leave YSU



Published: Fri, September 1, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Habat will still earn his YSU salary through June 30.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- John L. Habat has accepted the post of interim executive vice president of finance and business services at Cuyahoga Community College and will leave Youngstown State University on Sept. 11.

The vice president of special projects and former vice president of administration and finance at YSU begins his new duties that same day.

The position runs through June 30, 2007, and the college will begin a national search for a permanent appointment in the spring. The salary for the post is about $137,000 a year.

A Cuyahoga spokesman said Habat was selected largely because of his familiarity with the Cleveland-area business community and his expertise in facilities and budget management.

He spent 14 years with the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, the last five as vice president, came to YSU in July 2000 and was appointed vice president of administration and finance in July 2002.

Center of controversy

Habat drew criticism from a YSU labor management panel set up to examine the causes of strikes by both faculty and classified employee unions a year ago, with the panel recommending that he no longer work for the university.

Dr. David C. Sweet, YSU president, didn't follow that recommendation but did direct Habat to work from his Cleveland-area home and worked out a contract settlement that changed his title to vice president of special projects as of July 1.

Habat's contract with YSU runs through June 30, 2007, and the settlement requires the university to pay his salary and benefits through Dec. 31 of this year and his salary only through June 30, 2007, even though he has found another job. His YSU salary is $148,000 a year.

Habat said he is excited about working at Tri-C, noting its open-admissions mission is similar to that of YSU and it serves a lot of first-generation college students while serving as a key to the revitalization of an urban center.

Habat said he feels "very blessed" to have worked at YSU for six years and is grateful and appreciative for Sweet's invitation to serve the university as it went through a very difficult set of issues.

"I appreciate the fact that the university was called upon to undergo change and that the people charged with bringing about that change are not the most popular at any given time," Habat said.

Accomplishments made during his tenure add to YSU's financial stability and integrity, improving its ability to serve the population and urban revitalization efforts, he said.

gwin@vindy.com




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