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YSU faculty and staff lack confidence in trustees’ leadership

Published: Mon, August 4, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

Despite result, most find their work rewarding

By Denise Dick



Nearly 77 percent of Youngstown State University staff and 68 percent of full-time faculty surveyed find their work rewarding, but 67 percent of full-time faculty and 55 percent of staff who answered the survey doubt university trustees’ ability to lead.

For the part-time faculty, 84 percent of those who answered the survey either agree or strongly agree that their work at YSU is a rewarding experience. On the question of confidence in the trustees’ ability to lead, 34 percent of the part-time faculty respondents gave a neutral answer.

Ron Cole, YSU spokesman, said the survey was conducted internally early this year.

“It’s called for in the strategic plan — to create a baseline as we move forward,” he said.

Surveys will be done periodically to gauge “how we’re doing in moving the needle forward,” Cole said.

Carole Weimer, trustees chairwoman, said trustees received copies of the surveys, but there are no comments to shed light on what led the respondents to answer the way they did or suggestions from them.

“There is a disconnect between faculty and the board of trustees,” she said.

President Jim Tressel is working to bridge the gap between the faculty and the board in the coming year, Weimer said.

“I don’t know that the board knows exactly what a faculty member does,” she said. “We know they teach classes, but I’m not sure everyone understands as well their scholarly work.”

She believes the relationships between the board and the faculty and the board and the staff will improve with informal get-togethers. Tressel, during his first few weeks in office, has been inviting employee groups to such gatherings with him, she said.

Weimer also wonders if some of the lack of confidence in the board indicated on the survey stems from a lack of understanding of the board’s role.

Tressel is working to help create a closer understanding between the board and the faculty, Weimer said.

“You’ve been to our meetings and our committee meetings, and there’s not a lot of discussion per se about faculty,” she said.

Weimer said she can understand from the faculty’s perspective how they could feel disconnected from the board. Everyone looks at the shared-governance concept, but not everyone may agree on who the parties are who are involved in the sharing.

“My goal in the next year is to bridge that gap of the lack of communication between the board and faculty,” Weimer said.

The staff, faculty, board and administration all have a vested interest in the betterment of the institution, she said.

Cole pointed to answers indicating a high number of those surveyed who are proud to work at YSU.

“The vast majority of people find it rewarding to work here, they would recommend to others to work here and to attend here and the majority of the people are proud to work here,” the spokesman said.

About 68 percent of full-time faculty, 87 percent of part-time faculty and 79 percent of staff either agree or strongly agree with the statement “I am proud to work at YSU.”

About 68 percent of staff, 75 percent of part-time faculty and 58 percent of full-time faculty would recommend YSU to friends or family as a place to work.

More than 79 percent of staff, 83 percent of part-time faculty and 66 percent of full-time faculty would recommend the university to friends or family for higher education.

All three employee groups also report generally positive campus morale.


1Seriouslee(146 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

“I don’t know that the board knows exactly what a faculty member does,” she said. “We know they teach classes, but I’m not sure everyone understands as well their scholarly work.”

Really? And yet you make decisions that affect them? This explains the obvious contempt for faculty displayed by the BOT, a lack of respect no "get together" is going to fix. Geez.

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2steivo(540 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The only way the staff and faculty will believe the board has the ability to lead is if the board grants them higher and higher unsustainable annual raises in pay.

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3republicanRick(1542 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

gdog is always crying he wants more money, more money. What a greedy little spoiled man who hates life. His constant whining gets old.

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4WilliamP(70 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The Board hired a glorified gym teacher to run one of the few economic engines of the Valley. No one should have faith in them.

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5Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The chairwoman of the board says she doesn't understand what faculty do, especially their research? And this is not only a trustee, but the chairperson? Wow. What a bunch of idiots! People who don't understand scholarship in charge of a scholarly institute. Duh duh dumb!

I don't think Coach Tressel holding BBQs with the faculty is going to mend any bridges. I think the members of the board should come out of their hidey holes and do the work of figuring out what faculty do there if they don't understand already.

Maybe if they'd hired an academic to run the university, he or she would actually be able to understand what academics do, instead of assigning Coach Tressel the task of functioning as intermediary and reporting back his findings.

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6walter_sobchak(2418 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

If the BOT truly does not understand the job description of faculty members, then what is the BOT's "Academic Quality and Student Success Committee" doing. They should be aprising the board, as a whole, as to the faculty's purpose. Personally, I would be pissed at Weimer for making such a presumptuous comment. But, then again, I don't know what qualifies her to sit on the board. Come to think of it, since a majority of the board was appointed by either Gov. Taft or "Gov." Strickland, I probably should not expect much.

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7billdog1(4073 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Time to bring some new blood in to run things. These dinosaurs couldn't function in many other capacities. Really scary to think the president is a doctor

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8thirtyninedollars(569 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Completely agree with William P.

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9lemmingsfollowblindly(117 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Harry is over 90 years old.. been around almost as long as YSU 1908......

Wonder how much longer for him.........

depends on him .......
Depends on him????

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10republicanRick(1542 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Trustee Carol Weimer is the wife of Atty Weimer who is the right hand man to Bruce Zoldan, the fireworks king. Zoldan is a big political contributor. Guess how Carol Weimer got her appointment?

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11Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The majority of the board has been appointed by Republican governors. Do the math.

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12redeye1(5354 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Tigerlilly, I didn't know that Stricklin was a member of the GOP. So why don't you check before making a post
Your are just like GDOG , if you have a problem, you should just throw money at until it goes away. Typical liberturd thoughts instead of doing some kind work to solve problem without money.

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