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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.


1NoBS(2841 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Um, from 2013 to 2014 ISN'T "four years."

Nice math skills

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2Seriouslee(149 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Or, you could see it this way: "Carpetbaggers" might be truly visionary leaders who could see the university with fresh eyes and bring much needed change to a dysfunctional and deteriorating institution. The Tressel camp and local "icons" who support the "insider" mentality are part and parcel of an entrenched culture of cronyism, nepotism and pay-to-play politics, a mindset that has held the valley back for decades. The fact that so many unqualified candidates have applied for the presidency shows just how bad the reputation of the university is--in the real world of real universities, Deans, retired profs, charter school management execs, would not even think they have a chance at becoming president of a university, but this BOT is so ignorant of how real universities work, and has so badly damaged the reputation of YSU that these people probably have a good chance.

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3Seriouslee(149 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree Abe--but one has to take this back to the BOT. Why would you rush this search when you could appoint an interim and take the time to do it right? Then to publicly state that they want to do this as quickly and as cheaply as possible sends a pretty clear message to anyone who knows the field of higher ed that this is a sorry institution led by a clueless BOT.

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4Seriouslee(149 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I love all of this chatter about Tressel being a capable administrator--pretty easy when your department is revered and you don't really have to stay on budget. A capable administrator would have a deeper understanding of and greater respect for the rules of the body his department operates under (NCAA). His job at Akron is totally made-up fluff just to give him some administrative credentials. Look at some of the comments on Ohio.com from people who actually work with him at Akron--they'd love for him to leave for YSU.

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5kurtw(1828 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't understand it. Why don't they just promote somebody from within their own ranks to run the place? Isn't that the way- more often than not- it works in the private sector? Why are Universities any different? I have commented on this issue time and time again- until my poor fingers are black and blue- and no one has yet answered that question for me. Why this incredibly wasteful "dog and pony show" each time? It makes no sense to me.

Oh, by the way, I looked at the list of applicants carefuly- I studied it up and down and sideways- but I did not find the one name of the individual most qualified to run Y.S.U. and most representative of its ethos and culture. Alfred E. Neumann!

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6papa1(711 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

james tressel? seriously? in spite of what they think, that does not add to his qualifications. james, jim, jimmy, whatever, he's not qualified. even as more proof three ysu educators have thrown their hats in the ring, as if to say, "hell, if he's qualified, then I am over qualified."

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7RustOnMyBelt(172 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Many of these inflammatory posts appear to have possibly been written by authors who have a horse in this Presidential bid.....am I right? There are many who erroneously think that only candidates with a PhD beside their name are worthy of absolutely any consideration whatsoever for anyTHING.

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8Aware(255 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

This BOT has to go! They have proven their inability to choose wisely over and over! Having said that, I am for 'choosing from within'...My personal choice would be Dr. Mincey. No one is more loyal to YSU than Daryl. Tressel is a second choice - primarily because he can get the funds they need. The other folks do not compare.

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