Search narrowed to four

The presidential search committee at Youngstown State University interviewed 11 candidates.



YOUNGSTOWN — A vice president at Youngstown State University is one of four finalists being considered for the job of university president.

The YSU Board of Trustees announced Wednesday that Cynthia Anderson, vice president for student affairs at YSU, is one of four candidates recommended by a presidential search committee.

The others are C. Jack Maynard, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State University; Cheryl J. Norton, president of Southern Connecticut State University; and Aaron Podolefsky, president of the University of Central Missouri.

The board will schedule campus interviews with all four in mid-January and expects to name a successor to David C. Sweet in February or early March, said Scott Schulick, board chairman.

Sweet, YSU’s sixth president, is retiring June 30, 2010, after serving 10 years as university president.

YSU has never had a woman president.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Anderson said after the announcement.

“This is not something 30 years ago I set my sights on. I always wanted to be a teacher. I’m already privileged and honored to be among the four candidates.”

She has served as vice president for student affairs for 14 years and said she was “nominated” for the post of president by about 350 people who urged her to consider seeking the appointment.

She said her department has had some tremendous successes during her tenure and that serving the students will continue to be a priority should she be named president.

Anderson, 59, had praise for her colleagues, saying, “Working together, we can continue to accomplish great things.”

“Mahoning Valley is a wonderful place to be,” Anderson said, adding that her entire career has been spent at YSU.

Schulick, who chaired the search committee, said the search consultants who aided in the process initially contacted about 300 people who had expressed interest or were nominated or recruited as potential candidates for the job.

The search committee was given a list of between 50 and 60 people to review and narrowed that list to 11 who were interviewed in Cleveland earlier this month, he said.

From that list, four finalists were selected and presented to the board, he said.

Here’s a quick look at the candidates from resume information provided by YSU:

U Anderson, a Fowler native, earned a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University, her master’s from Ohio State University and her doctorate in educational administration and student personnel services from the University of Akron.

She was a faculty member at YSU for 14 years before being named assistant provost for academic planning. She was named vice president for student affairs in 1995. Among other accomplishments, she initiated the Office of Student Diversity Programs and created student leadership programs.

U Maynard has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State University since 2004, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marshall University and his doctorate from West Virginia University.

He previously served as dean of the School of Education at Indiana and dean of Education and Human Services at the University of Michigan - Flint.

As provost, he has worked with strategic planning, designed and implemented a Distinctive Programs initiative to recognize and develop programs of excellence and designed and implemented the Promising Scholars Program and developed the Center for Public Service and Community Engagement.

U Norton was appointed as the 10th president of Southern Connecticut State University in 2004 and is the first woman to hold that post. She earned a bachelor’s degree and Phi Beta Kappa designation from Denison University and two master’s degrees and a doctorate in applied physiology from Columbia University.

She previously served as provost at Metropolitan State College of Denver where she spent 28 years as a faculty member and tenured full professor as well as serving in a variety of administrative positions. Under her leadership at Southern Connecticut, the school has experienced record enrollments of full-time students, a retention rate of 80 percent and its highest six-year graduation rate.

U Podolefsky became is the 14th president of the University of Central Missouri in 2005, and the university has garnered national recognition for academic quality and innovative sustainability efforts during his tenure.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University and two master’s and a doctorate with distinction in anthropology from SUNY Stony Brook.

He previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Northern Iowa,

Under his leadership, the university has set records for the highest quality first-year student class, highest graduation rate and the highest job placement rate (96.8 percent) in its history.

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