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Jim Tressel seeks YSU presidency

Published: Sat, April 12, 2014 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Denise Dick



It’s official. Jim Tressel has applied to become Youngstown State University’s ninth president.

Tressel, former YSU and Ohio State football coach, applied Friday for the job, confirmed Jamie Ferrare, president of AGB Search, the firm leading the search for YSU’s next president. Monday is the application deadline.

Tressel, of Medina, who has worked since 2012 as executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron, also applied last month to be president at that university.

Tressel, through UA spokeswoman Eileen Korey, issued a statement Friday afternoon.

“I am respectful of the presidential search process underway at both Youngstown State University and the University of Akron,” it says. “Both university communities are a very meaningful part of my professional history. I feel grateful that people from both university communities have expressed interest in my application. I believe it’s appropriate that I not comment any further during this part of the process.”

His application letter for the YSU job wasn’t available.

Former YSU President Randy J. Dunn resigned last month after just eight months on the job to become president of Southern Illinois University. As soon as Dunn announced his resignation, a group of community and business leaders, led by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, launched a campaign to see Tressel named the new president.

“I am pleased to learn that Jim Tressel has applied to be president of YSU,” Ryan said in a statement. “Because of the departure of Dr. Dunn, YSU faces a unique situation, and I believe Jim Tressel would provide the kind of leadership needed by a major university. I urge both Youngstown State and the University of Akron to seriously consider his candidacy. It is vitally important for us to keep someone with his talent, experience and leadership skills in Northeast Ohio.”

Bruce Zoldan, president and chief executive officer of B.J. Alan Co., is one of those leaders.

“I feel he would be a great asset to the community and the university,” he said. “I’ve been in constant contact with Coach Tressel and I’ve been encouraging him to apply, and I’m happy he has chosen to apply.”

As far as whether Tressel is more interested in the YSU or the Akron presidency, Zoldan believes the former coach is attracted to both positions.

“In my mind if the offer was made from the board of trustees of YSU, in my opinion, he would accept the offer,” Zoldan said. “In my opinion, his heart is in the Valley. He has so many friends in the tri-county area who have encouraged him to apply.”

Zoldan said Akron could make Tressel an offer.

“I believe his heart is at YSU,” he said.

Dr. Sudershan Garg, chairman of the YSU trustees, said he’s happy the pool of candidates is growing.

“The more of a pool we have, the better the candidates,” he said. “Every candidate will be treated fairly and equally based on how they answer questions, how they perform in an interview, what kind of vision they have for the university and what plans they have to get us out of fiscal difficulty.”

Garg said he looks at the total pool, not one individual candidate.

After all of the applications are in, trustees will rank applications on a list of criteria to select candidates for initial interviews. From there, the list will be whittled to three finalists who will visit campus.


1Boardman_Jeff(46 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I believe Tressel is a lifelong Democrat, so I support his aspiration to become YSU President --- maybe he can clean this town up a bit and boot out some of the frackpot Tea Party scum that live in my Valley --- cleanin' out the trash, baby !!

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2valleyred(1095 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Boardman Jeff, that makes absolutely no sense. Oh yeah, he donated $1000 to the Republicans in the 2008 Presidential Election. http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB100014...

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3Attis(864 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

If a football coach with no real academic credentials and no substantial administrative experience can become the Prez of either university, then can a scholar PhD with no athletic knowledge and coaching experience become the football coach at either? Are the standards for football coaches higher than university presidents? If so, both institutions need to drop "university" from their names.

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4Photoman(994 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

For so many years I've heard, "You can't have it both ways". Apparently Mr. Tressel either believes we'll allow him to be exempt from that phrase or he has information that University of Akron is passing on naming him as their president due to his lack of qualifications for that particular position. He is a good man, a fine coach, a super fundraiser and more, however, he is not the person needed for this position.

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5tafy(69 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow! All of the previous posters have all the answers. I wonder if they all have submitted their applications for YSU president??

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6HonestAbe(270 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

....and on the seventh day of his presidency, Tressel will bring the steel mills back to Youngstown, and the good people of Youngstown will live happily ever after!

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7Knightcap(682 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't see why the people in this area would be against Coach Tressel on becoming president of YSU. So what if he's a football coach. Damn, you morons voted for a community organizer for the president of the United Sates.

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8gdog4766(1415 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah we needed four more year of economy crushing, job loss,warmongering lack of leadership. Oh I can't wait to read the talking point bs answers I'll get to this one. With that said Garg and his minions will never hire anybody but a yes person. Andersen did as told,screwed the students and workers(not her staff). And Dunn never pushed back on anything. Garg is a hardcore conservative who looks down on the workers and students. The university is all that matters to this board not the students. Charter schools and private colleges are all these scumbags want.

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9redvert(2048 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Knightcap, you are right on the money!

And Boardman_Jeff, look how well Ytown has done under the libitards for the last 50-60 years.

Ytown, AKA, "The armpit of Ohio"

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10gdog4766(1415 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah cause look what rescumlicans do for economies when in charge. Nine of the ten poorest states in this country and the poorest county in this country are red. Also right to work and at will. SCUM OF THE EARTH! But will probably dominate the midterm election because Americans are,getting dumber and dumber.

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11YtownSports(216 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Believe it or not, there's more to Jim Tressel than football. He has strong administrative skills & has always believed in strong academics. He also understands Youngstown far better than any outsider who might be hired.

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12thirtyninedollars(174 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The last person YSU needs is the former head coach back. The cult of Tressel thinks he can do no wrong as it is.
Maybe we'll see more athletes that should be in prison running the streets of ytown now with him running the whole college.

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13Seriouslee(92 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I get so tired of hearing about Tressel's excellent "administrative skills." Pretty easy to be an administrator when you have a huge budget and crazed fanaticism over the program you operate (football) or a lightweight position is created for you by starstruck trustees (U Akron).

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14kurtw(846 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Tressel is a classy guy. His heart belongs to Y-town (as we all know) but, he want's to "hedge his bets" a little- and pad his wallet a lot- and so, instead of just applying for the YSU Presidency and forgetting Akron, he's applying to both places at the same time- A Bidding War? Like I said: "Tressel is a (real) classy guy".

(Between You and me)- It's a "Dog and Pony Show". Nothing More. (Also, Between You and me)- I hope Akron get's the SOB. Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish.

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15kurtw(846 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Also, I love Boardman Jeff's comment that opened this thread: " maybe he (Tressel) can clean this town up a bit and boot out some of the frackpot Tea Party scum that live in my Valley --- cleanin' out the trash, baby !!"

Sounds like something Adolf Hitler might have said. In fact, he did say it- except he was talking about "Jews, Gypies, Communists,etc." Targets may change- "frackpot tea party scum"- but the rhetoric is the same. Heil Jeff!

P.S. (Between You and me). I don't think Jeff is real. I think he's a Vindicator Employee and the publishers are sponsoring him (or her?) to make incendiary remarks to boost activity on these threads. As we all know, the more people who visit Vindy.com- the more hits- the more advertisers are willing to pay for digital space. They know what they're doing- the family that owns the Vindicator didn't get rich by being dumb.

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16emceed(1 comment)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Once upon a time Universities were about academics and being institutions of higher learning. YSU has a chance to be just that but to begin they must use logic in selecting a president. I do not think selecting a former football coach will help turn the university to its role of a urban university and an institution of higher learning that focuses on preparing the work force of the next decades. The BOT needs to pay close attention to their job and remember the definition of University.

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