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Eight to be interviewed next week for YSU president

Published: Wed, April 3, 2013 @ 12:10 a.m.

SEE ALSO: YSU inks research agreement with S. Koren institute

By Denise Dick



Eight candidates for Youngstown State University president — including one of the finalists from the 2010 search — will be interviewed next week before the list is narrowed to those who will visit campus.

The 17-member search committee will interview the candidates, narrowed from the 57 applicants, April 12 and 13 at a hotel near the Pittsburgh International Airport.

From there, the list will be whittled to from three to five finalists who will visit campus beginning late this month. The board of trustees hopes to vote on the next president — YSU’s eighth — by June.

Cynthia E. Anderson, president since 2010, will retire July 1. Her 2013 salary is $400,000.

The eight semifinalists include two attorneys, three Ph.Ds, two doctors of education and a doctor of science. Although none is working in Ohio, two formerly had positions at Ohio universities, including one at YSU.

Dr. Sudershan Garg, chairman of the trustees, said the consultant from AGB Search of Washington, D.C., the search firm assisting in the presidential search, divided applicants into two sections — one that the consultant believed would be a good fit for YSU and the other he believed wouldn’t.

Some search committee members considered candidates from both lists while others concentrated on just the list suggested by the consultant.

Committee members then gave points to candidates based on qualifications and characteristics.

“If any individual received more than 8 [points], a majority ... they were immediately accepted,” Dr. Garg said.

For those who got less than the majority, the person or people who supported them had the opportunity to explain why they believed that candidate should be included. Those who didn’t vote for those candidates then had the opportunity to tell why they believed the candidate wasn’t the right person for the job, Dr. Garg said.

One of the eight, C. Jack Maynard, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, was a finalist in 2010.

Maynard also was a finalist for the Slippery Rock University president last year. That university chose Cheryl Norton, who also was a finalist for YSU president in 2010.

Another semifinalist, James E. McCollum, an attorney, is acting president of Millersville University of Pennsylvania and previously was executive director of the Inter-University Council of Ohio. From 1985 until 1996, he worked in various positions at YSU including assistant to the president.

William R. Decatur, who also has a law degree, works as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. He previously served as senior vice president for finance and administration at Ohio University and was a senior officer at the University of Toledo. He also was a finalist in 2010 for chief financial officer at the University of Akron.

Gerard Voland, who has a Ph.D., is the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Michigan-Flint. He was a finalist in 2008 for the YSU provost and vice president for academic affairs job. Ikram Khawaja was appointed to that post.

Randy Dunn, who has a doctorate in education, is the president of Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and formerly served as state superintendent for the Illinois Department of Education. Last month, the Murray State Board of Regents voted not to renew Dunn’s contract that expires next year. The decision has met opposition from Murray State’s Faculty Senate and Staff Congress.

Dunn had been a finalist last year for the presidential post at Missouri State University but withdrew.

Stacey Franklin Jones, the only woman and only minority semifinalist, has a doctorate of science and is corporate development senior adviser for Protech Global Solutions and DirectViz Solutions, both in Virginia. She had served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md.

James D. Moran III, who has a Ph.D., is vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in Harrisburg. He previously served as interim president at Edinboro University in Edinboro, Pa.

John F. Schwaller, who has a Ph.D., is president of the State University of New York at Potsdam in Potsdam, N.Y.


1YtownSports(306 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like most of these have been rejected elsewhere. Why are they on Y.S.U.'s list of finalists?

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2Attis(1134 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Nobody on the selection committee was thinking outside the box; instead they persist in using the same cookie cutters which brought YSU the last set of overpaid rotten presidential cookies; gonna be no different this time.

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3gfpalmer(16 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Here's some online info on the finalists:

William Decatur: ("Nine months after abruptly leaving Ohio University for a job in Rhode Island, Bill Decatur has been named a finalist for the top finance job at the University of Akron) http://weslowery.wordpress.com/2010/0...

Randy J. Dunn: ("MSU Regents Voted Against New Contract for Dunn Based on Individual Feelings and Experiences") http://wkms.org/post/msu-regents-vote... [on first read, it appears that the Regents went against the wishes of the faculty on this vote]

Stacey Franklin Jones: ("Life under provost 'Untenable' ") http://voices.washingtonpost.com/coll...

C. Jack Maynard: ("Richard “Biff” Williams will be replacing C. Jack Maynard as Indiana State University’s provost and vice president of academic affairs July 1.") The article does not say why Maynard is leaving. http://www.indianastatesman.com/news/...

James McCollum: ("McCollum served for 10 years as CEO of the inter-university council of Ohio, an education association representing the collective interests of the state’s public universities. For more than 20 years he was associated with Youngstown State University as presidential assistant, governmental relations officer, head of the university relations unit, and as a state assistant attorney general and university legal counsel.") http://blogs.millersville.edu/exchang...

James Moran III: ("The primary function of the Division is to facilitate student success and to assist universities to advance the economic, cultural and social viability of the Commonwealth.") [that's fine, but what about academic excellence?] http://www.passhe.edu/inside/director...

John F. Schwaller: ("In his resignation letter, Schwaller described SUNY Potsdam's financial situation as "stable, yet fragile." He went on, "we must capitalize on the shared services initiative with SUNY Canton, to find administrative efficiencies and strengthen our investment in the SUNY Potsdam student experience.") [might YSU be interested in "shared services" with Kent or others?] http://www.northcountrypublicradio.or...

Gerard Voland: Despite making many searches, nothing….

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4JoeFromHubbard(1806 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Isn't this process of choosing the next YSU president just a typical academic exercise?

Good in theory but almost useless in practice.

There are certainly qualified people within the university but we have to make an "educated," over budget approach to the selection. The costs will be born by the students.

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5Attis(1134 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, jfpalmer, for the background information on these candidates and their terribly dysfunctional behavior at previous higher ed institutions, especially that of Stacey Jones. With that kind of crash and burn record, it makes you wonder why anyone on the YSU search committee would include her among the finalists. But then PC thought and action are never based upon merit.

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6Spiderlegs(161 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Dunn: good fundraiser (even according to his critics) and succeeded in getting along with faculty. Rare combination these days. YSU needs this kind of person, especially given union activism at YSU.

Maynard: Clearly he wants this job. May deserve finalist status.

No on Stacey Franklin Jones: If faculty complained that loudly in her previous post, she won't fit in with the union-based faculty culture.

I like the idea of combining president and women's bb coach. Very clever. Maybe women's bb will get more respect for what they are doing.

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7DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Just cut to the chase and hire Jimmy Tressel already! Time to deep six the rest of these pointy-headed, merlot-sipping academicians.

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8MSUfan(1 comment)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

While MSU's Board of Regents voted not to renew Randy Dunn's contract, he remains popular with faculty and staff. The Board released their report a few days ago. It seems the Board's problem with Dunn is more of a personality conflict rather than his performance as president.

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9GoGoGuins(1 comment)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Dunn, at MSU, failed his most important responsibility--to the students. A student completed all the work for his degree, yet was denied his degree because of political reasons. MSU broke its implied contract with that student (do the work, get the sheepskin). Is it any wonder that many students are thinking twice about going there??? Dunn never investigated this horrible injustice.

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10kylerogers(1 comment)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

This search has been doomed ever since we hired that AGB firm. They are inexperienced in the search world, and they are clearly lazy. This looks like a list of people who just responded to the advertisements. If this is a list of people we paid that company to RECRUIT, we wasted the money. This is embarrassing. If we're going to spend the money, why don't we get a real firm. Instead we pinched pennies and hired this bargain-bin company that works with schools much lower-ranked than us. We are stuck in a perpetual cycle of mediocrity, so I guess it makes sense we'd hire a mediocre firm.

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11ysu3000(2 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

This is depressing. Why isn't there a provost from an Akron, a Kent, an O.U. or an equivalent school? Is this search a setup for one candidate, suppose to fail or is this the best we can get for YSU? The school's on a downward spiral. What's the guess on enrollment next year? Is there any one of these candidates who is going to pull it out? It didn't seem to take gfpalmer very long to find real concerns. Maybe he should start a search firm. I'm not optimistic.

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