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YSU president search plan to get underway soon

Published: Wed, February 19, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

youngstown state university

By Denise Dick



Youngstown State University trustees could meet as early as next week to begin the process to select a new university president.

Randy J. Dunn, president since July, announced this week that he has accepted the same job at Southern Illinois University. His resignation from YSU is effective Aug. 16.

“We’ll probably hire a search firm,” said Dr. Sudershan Garg, chairman of the YSU trustees.

He said the board probably would select AGB Search, the same executive search firm YSU employed in the search that resulted in Dunn’s selection.

Dr. Garg, a local oncologist, said since Dunn resigned after only seven months on the job, the firm may agree to do a second search for free.

“We would still have to pay for expenses,” he added.

With expenses including refreshments, dinners, campus visits and lodging for the three finalists as well as payments to the first, the university spent about $109,000 in the 2013 presidential search.

“I’ve already received one application,” Dr. Garg said which he said he would pass along to the search firm.

News that Dunn was in the running for another position caught trustees, and many others at the university, off guard.

Dr. Garg, however, said the university wants to end the relationship amicably. As required by his contract, Dun’s resignation gives 180 days’ notice. If the university names a successor and wants him to leave before then, he will.

Dunn’s contract also allowed trustees to terminate his employment with a majority vote and with one year’s severance pay.

Before coming to YSU, Dunn served six years as president of Murray State University in Kentucky. Before that, he was state superintendent of public instruction for Illinois and worked as a professor at SIU before that. He is an Illinois native.

Dunn told members of the media after announcing his departure that he would continue to work on initiatives and plans he started while he remains at YSU.

Among the things he plans to address is contract negotiations with unions representing university faculty and classified employees. Both unions’ contracts expire this year.


1northsideperson(366 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I am sure that a lame duck president being involved with negotiations will work out well for the employees. Totally sure of it.

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2NoBS(2836 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Let me get this straight. Dunn works here for seven months, HE decides to break his contract and leave, and he gets a severance package including a whole year's pay! And the trustees are fine with this!!

What's a half a million one way or the other? (salary plus cost of another search)

And the best part is, there are people out there whose hatred and envy of unions blinds them so much that their greatest concern is not the half-mil wasted, but the ethereal, unfounded chance that some union person might "get" something.

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3Seriouslee(149 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

What a fiasco--who in the world that is actually qualified has an application ready to go? One of the Board members or a current YSU administrator--either would be a disaster, and Garg thinks this is a good thing? Get rid of the BOT !

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4billdog1(5942 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

What about the other candidates in the last search? Why would you run back and pay anything after such a short amount a time? Check with your next best candidate and see if he/she is still interested, interview that candidate again, see were you stand before running out and spending more TAXPAYER funds. Just amazing. I'm sure this board don't run their business' or home finances this way.

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5ysupenguins_com(108 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

northsideperson ...that type comment is why there is no industry coming to Youngstown ...and probably never will be. Just simply complain about "the man" at any any all costs.

If the president is a "lame Duck" then HE lacks the power to negotiate. It is the best thing that could happen to a unionized worker. Dunn would want to move on negotiations sooner, rather than later. Furthermore he would not take a tough stand that may delay his departure to SIU.

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6Roger_Thornhill(1068 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Jim Tressel.

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7Attis(1134 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

The BOT has other options:
1. fire Dunn for cause and save the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars;
2. initiate legal action against Dunn for breach of contract and regain the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of squandered/stolen dollars;
3. replace the lawyers retained by YSU with competent ones and prevent the hemorrhaging of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in the future;
4. resign en masse and replace the entire BOT with competent members so as to prevent the hemorrhaging of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in the future.
Or, BOT, don't you give a damn about the taxpayers you have repeatedly ripped off with your utter incompetency?

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8kurtw(1828 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

You know what, I read all this and the only saving grace is that I've always considered myself pretty much of a "F--ck Up" but then when I see what these people do- highly esteemed members of the Community- Pillars of Society- I end up feeling better about myself! I would have known better than to screw up royally like the BOT did, I think most average Youngstowner's would have- IT'S CALLED COMMON SENSE.

You don't spent over 100 Grand to hire somebody to "Boost enrollment and raise Academic Standards" when that same individual was about to be let go (by Murray State) for NOT "significantly raising enrollment- 500 students over 4 years when he promised 4,000- and a nine point decline in academic standards" That's WHY Dunn's contract wasn't being renewed, Dr. Garg! He didn't do exactly what you were hiring him to do for- 340 Grand a Year. How Dumb can You Be? (And now they're getting ready to make the same mistake all over again- another expensive "Presidential Search"- another "Dog and Pony Show" I call it).

Also, before getting hired by Murray State- Dunn was a "Floater"- a Job-hopper- one job after another- of course- one exception- he did get hired by Rod Blago (one of Illinois most corrupt Governors)- hardly an endorsement.

Dr Garg's specialty is Oncology- which means he treats Cancers- he should look at the "Cancer" of Stupidity in himself and the other board members (the ones who voted for the "Weasel" Randy) and treat that- but I don't know if there's any cure for Stupidity- I think it's a Terminal Illness.

P.S. Also why is there this huge distinction between Universities and companies in the private sector? When large private companies- General Motors, Ford, General Electric, etc.- look for a CEO they often bring in somebody who has spent a lifetime in that company working their way up and believing in that company- that's the usual pattern and it works pretty well- you get somebody who understands that company and has loyalty to it. What's different about Universities? Why bring in an overpaid and disloyal "Carpetbagger" when you can elevate one of your own?

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9ECU(9 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Paul McFadden

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10kurtw(1828 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

There's got be a whole lot of people in this town- many of them Y.S.U Graduates- who can run the University a Hell of a Lot better (and for less money) than an overpaid, self-serving and Carpetbagging Weasel like Randy Dunn. He even looks like a Weasel- I thought so the first time I saw his picture in the paper.

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