By Denise Dick
All candidates who apply for the Youngstown State University presidency will be judged on a level playing field, YSU’s trustees chairman says.
“There will be a process, and all of the candidates will go through the same process,” said Dr. Sudershan Garg, board chairman.
That means if Jim Tressel applies — he hadn’t as of Friday — other candidates shouldn’t be afraid to pursue the job, thinking a decision already has been made, he said.
Trustees, who make up the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, met behind closed doors Friday to talk about the presidential search. The discussion included a telephone conference with Jamie P. Ferrare of AGB Search of Washington, D.C., who is leading the search for YSU’s ninth president.
The board took no action Friday.
Whoever is selected will be the university’s third president in four years. Cynthia E. Anderson retired last year after three years at the helm, and Randy J. Dunn resigned last month after only eight months on the job to become president of Southern Illinois University.
Almost immediately after Dunn announced his resignation, a group of community and business leaders launched a campaign to get Tressel, the former YSU and Ohio State football coach, named the new YSU president.
Tressel, who has worked at the University of Akron since 2012, applied in February to be that university’s next president. The application deadline for YSU’s top job is April 14. Tressel hasn’t said publicly whether he’s interested in the YSU job or if he plans to apply.
After the deadline, search committee members will review the applications, ranking candidates based on a list of 10 to 12 criteria. Those rankings will be tabulated, and based on those tabulations, six to eight candidates will be picked for interviews conducted either in person or via Skype.
From there, the board will select three finalists to bring to campus.
“We’d like to do it the first week of May when the faculty and the students are still here,” Garg said.
While on campus, the candidates will participate in forums with students, faculty and others from campus — similar to what happened during the last search.
Ikram Khawaja, interim president, plans to retire June 30, and Garg said the board hopes to have a new president in place before then.