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4 more apply to become YSU president

Published: Wed, April 16, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.

SEE ALSO: YSU Foundation exceeds $225M in assets

By Denise Dick



But wait, there’s more.

Four more candidates applied for the Youngstown State University presidency Monday, which was the deadline. That brings to 37 the number of applicants seeking the position.

Ronald Chordas, YSU associate provost for university outreach and executive director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies, joins Martin Abraham, founding dean of YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; and Daryl Mincey, chairman of the university’s chemistry department, as the internal candidates for the job.

Besides Chordas, the other three candidates released by the university Monday afternoon are Michael Grandillo of Tiffin, Ohio, former president of Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wis.; Gilbert L. Rochon of River Ridge, La., former president of Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala.; and Steven F. Siconolfi of Rockford, Ill., provost and vice president of academic affairs at Rockford University.

Besides Chordas, Abraham and Mincey, three other candidates also have YSU connections.

James Tressel, the applicant who has received the most media attention, is the former head football coach at YSU and Ohio State. He’s now executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron, where he also applied for the presidency. UA’s president is retiring June 30.

Tony Atwater served as YSU provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2001 to 2005. Since leaving YSU, he’s worked as president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and president of Norfolk State University in Virginia.

James McCollum, executive deputy to the president/chief of staff at Millersville University in Millersville, Pa., worked in several positions at YSU from 1978 to 1996 including executive director of university relations. He applied to be president last year and was one of eight finalists.

Whoever is selected will be the university’s third president in four years. The seventh president, Cynthia E. Anderson, retired in 2013 after three years at the helm.

YSU trustees picked Randy J. Dunn to replace her after a national search last year. After only eight months, Dunn stepped down to become president of Southern Illinois University. His last day was March 21.

Ikram Khawaja, YSU provost and vice president for academic affairs, has been serving as interim president since Dunn’s departure, but he plans to retire June 30.

Trustees who make up the search committee 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 in early May, officials have said. While on campus, the candidates will participate in forums with students, faculty and others from campus, following the same format used during the last search.

The plan is to have a new president chosen before Khawaja’s retirement.

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