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33 people seek YSU presidency so far

Published: Tue, April 15, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

Trustees plan to narrow list to 8, then pick 3 finalists to visit campusSFlb





By Denise Dick



Thirty-three people applied to become Youngstown State University’s ninth president as of midday Monday, including some familiar faces.

More applications could come.

Besides former YSU and Ohio State football coach James Tressel, whose application has gotten the most attention, the list includes Martin Abraham, founding dean of YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; and Tony Atwater, who served as YSU provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2001 to 2005.

Atwater left YSU to become president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, serving there for five years. He then worked for a year as senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and was president of Norfolk State University from 2011 to 2013.

YSU trustees plan to narrow the list of applicants to about eight finalists for interviews either by telephone or Skype. From there, they’ll pick three to visit campus next month and meet with students, faculty, staff and the campus community similar to the forum format followed when trustees selected Randy J. Dunn as president last year.

Dunn resigned last month after eight months in office to become president of Southern Illinois University. Ikram Khawaja, provost and vice president for academic affairs, is serving as interim president and plans to retire June 30.

YSU trustees hope to have a new president selected by then.

Abraham applied for the president’s position last year, as did James E. McCollum of Millersville, Pa., another applicant this year.

McCollum, who was one of eight finalists in the 2013 search, is executive deputy to the president/chief of staff at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. From 1978 to 1996, he worked in various positions at YSU including executive director of university relations and assistant to the president of legal services.

Tressel, executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron, also applied last month to be president of that university. Two other YSU applicants, Ronald V. Bucci, interim vice president for professional and support services and administrative director of radiology/anesthesia/pain management at Akron Children’s Hospital; and Dr. Charles C. Canver, chief medical officer at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, Ill., also applied for the Akron presidency.

Shortly after Dunn’s resignation, a group of business and community leaders began urging trustees to name Tressel the new YSU president.

In his application letter, submitted Friday, the former coach wrote that by spending 38 years in higher education and two years as a vice president at UA, “along with feeling the extraordinary encouragement from the Youngstown State community, I feel prepared to assume the honor, privilege, and challenge of the presidency at Youngstown State University.”

He said the Mahoning Valley holds a special place in the hearts of his family.

“While admittedly this is a very busy time in my professional life, it seems only right to see if the time and fit is right for the Tressels at Youngstown State,” Tressel’s letter says.


1user(7 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Wake up people! Tressel acted improperly and illegally at OSU. That's not a person I want as YSU President. He has no acedemic requirements for the job. You want a "Great Fundraiser", hire a Hollywood celebrity...Tressel gets hired, I turn in my two YSU Degrees the next day...

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2user(7 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Mr. Traficant? Can we beam you aboard as YSU President????

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3YtownSports(248 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

To "User": The list has many qualified candidates. I would hope the choice would be someone familiar with the community and the university and how they work. Tressel IS a qualified candidate. The fact that he doesn't have a doctorate degree does not disqualify him. He has long been a strong advocate for strong academics. He has strong administrative skills. Did he screw up at OSU? You bet! Should that outweigh the good he did there...or did here in the 15 previous years? No, it should not. I hope he at least gets "a fair shake" and not have to deal with the short-sighted prejudice you exhibit.

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4user(7 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

YtownSports, your narrow tunnel vision is what's wrong with this area's mentallity of "Looking the other way...". I love Youngstown and have stayed here my entire life, but I'm ashamed of the constant hero worship of people who "screw up".

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5Seriouslee(127 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Amen user!

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6walter_sobchak(2007 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Blue Steel,
You point to many issues regarding Tressel and his football program at tOSU and YSU. Almost every point you raise though regards the personal behavior of the player, who is ultimately responsible for his actions. In fact, two of those arrests in Columbus were for public urination. Unless you know someone that has participated in big time college athletics, you really only have part of the story regarding the hypocrisy of the NCAA. Nowadays, these players know their way around the "institutional control" placed on the players by the universities. Most all of the violations you mention at tOSU were initiated by the school through self-reporting as they are usually the most ardent school in that regard. With the money these programs toss around combined with young men who came from poor backgrounds, anyone that does not acknowledge that problems are going to arise in professional college football is delusional. Why should it be a violation for a player to sell their property if it is rightfully theirs?

I would welcome have Jim Tressel as the leader of my alma mater. He has the organizational and leadership skills for the job, he is familiar with the university and its problems, and he is admired by many in the community that matter.

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7YtownSports(248 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

To User: I respect your feelings. However, may I point out that Jim Tressel is virtually the only person who has come through YSU in the last 25-30 years who had a vision, a plan to achieve that vision, and succeeded. Who else has galvananized the community and created a sense of pride to the degree he did? I won't be heartbroken if he doesn't get the job, but I suggest that it is your "tunnel vision" which keeps you from seeing the possibilities.

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8walter_sobchak(2007 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm sorry you don't quite get it about the professional football programs at the collegiate level. Since the athletic department budgets are based on the profits generated from football and men's basketball (at the gate, TV, and paraphernalia), it most certainly is all about winning games. Unfortunately, with the culture as it exists today, the conduct of athletes has deteriorated all over the country. There is only so much a coach and a university can do to control these idiotic young players. They are young and do stupid things. I would hate to be judged today about some of my worst days as a young adult. But, you can avoid taking a chance on some of these players and be a doormat in the conference. On balance, Tressel did build a program that was successful and relatively clean. IMHO, his lying about the tats was mostly to protect the football program and, subsequently, his own arse. The lying is a problem. If you want the alumni money to roll in, you need to win. To win, you need great players. Sometimes, to get great players, you make a deal with the devil. (see Clarrett) When dining with the devil, you bring a long spoon. Ask Pete Carroll.

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9papa1(697 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

to support tressel proves the mentality of the people in the valley. he succeeded at osu and ysu by lying and doing illegal things to enable success. Bertram writes a lot about the corruption in the valley. hiring tressel would add to the list of corruption in Youngstown. he wants to be president of ysu? it doesn't matter that he lied, cheated, and gave a black eye to one of the top football programs in the country. osu has never been charged with infractions like that. if there's 33 applicants for the job that means there are 32 more qualified than tressel.

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10thirtyninedollars(339 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

cult of tressel in full swing

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