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YSU LIVE | Tressel addresses standing-room crowd at Tod Hall



Published: Mon, May 5, 2014 @ 3:46 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN

Jim Tressel, one of three finalists for Youngstown State University

president, said he hasn't thought much about whether he would accept the YSU

presidency over that of the University of Akron — where he is also a

presidential finalist.

"I haven't been offered a position yet," he told reporters this afternoon.

But he doesn't expect he'll go back to coaching.

"I don't wake up in the morning and say, 'I wish I were still coaching,'" he

said.

Tressel said he has more important things to do -- "not that it's not

important."

In wide-ranging talks on campus today, he discussed points he believes would

strengthen YSU.

"The most impactful thing we can do from a financial standpoint is

retention," Tressel said. "Secondly, we've got to do a great job at

development, at fundraising."

He also believes it's a necessity to expand YSU's recruiting area.

International students on campus can help not only with numbers of students

on campus, but also with students' experiences, allowing students to be

around those from other countries.

The former football coach said he met with union leaders this morning and

was impressed with the leadership. He says from talking to people at YSU,

former President Randy Dunn put good plans in place during his tenure.

Faculty must be involved in collaborating with all parts of campus

involvement. Tressel touts a "culture of collaboration."

"You can't discount what another person wants," he said.

As for academics, he said picking a provost (the chief academic officer)

needs to involve all of the stakeholders — faculty, staff, others — and

taking into account the strengths of the president, he said.

He also believes students want a hybrid of distance and more traditional

types of higher education. He also says he wants the best instructor for a

course, whether full time or an adjunct. Most of the time the goal has to be

"to maximize full-time faculty" but not be afraid to use adjunct.

He noted that being at Youngstown State University shaped who he is. He told

members of the campus community this afternoon who packed into the Tod Hall

meeting room that "we don't brag enough about here."

About his qualifications, Tressel says there's a time and a place for

everything — and "this may be the time and the place for a non Ph.D.

"president."

He said the university shouldn't "get caught up in the number" when it comes

to enrollment but should concentrate on the whatever number is successful.

That comment came as he speak to a group of YSU students.

Jimmy Tancabel, a sophomore from Boardman, read Tressel’s curriculum vitae

before attending today’s meeting with the YSU president hopeful.

“I thought he had some different experience from what the other candidates

have,” he said.

Tancabel believes each of the three finalists would bring his or her own

strengths to the position.

He liked how Tressel talked about the importance of the relationship between

YSU and the Mahoning Valley and the need to develop ways to allow commuter

students to feel more ownership of the university.

Tancabel plans to attend the sessions for the other two finalists as well.

“I haven’t settled on any one candidate just yet,” he said.

Kurt Hess and Torrian Pace, both fifth-year seniors at Youngstown State

University and both football players, support Tressel as the next YSU

president.

They were among a group of students this morning who met and asked questions

of the presidential finalist this morning.

“I’ve met him a couple of times before and he’s so humble,” said Hess, a

native of Dayton.

Pace, who is from Chantilly, Va., likes how during Tressel’s coaching days,

he instructed his players in not only how to be successful on the field but

also in life.

Tressel began his campus visit today with an early morning meeting with the

faculty.

A meeting with the deans followed and meetings with union representatives

and the administrative team are planned as well as a campus tour and a tour

of the Pollock House, the university-owned presidential residence before a 2

p.m. forum with the campus community in the first-floor meeting room in Tod

Hall.

======

3 months of Dunn/YSU Prez/Tressel coverage here

/?nw> | Stories, letters, columns, etc.

======

Monday, 1:05 a.m.

Ex-coach to participate in campus forum today

By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

One of the city’s favorite sons returns to the campus where he spent 15

seasons as a football coach to make his play to become president of

Youngstown State University.

Jim Tressel, former head football coach at both YSU and Ohio State and now

executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron, is

one of three finalists for the YSU presidency. He’ll spend today on campus,

meeting with deans, faculty and the executive team before a 2 p.m. forum for

the campus community. The visit will conclude with a dinner with university

trustees.

“We’ll go more in depth with them on their vision for the university and see

whether their past experience will be helpful to YSU or not,” said Dr.

Sudershan Garg, chairman of the YSU trustees.

The other two finalists — Gary L. Miller, chancellor of the University of

North Carolina Wilmington; and Mary Cullinan, president and English

professor at Southern Oregon University — will visit campus Tuesday and

Wednesday, respectively.

During the forums, attendees will be able to complete surveys offering

feedback about the candidates. Garg said trustees will review those surveys

and take the input into consideration, but ultimately the board will make

the decision.

The board plans to meet Thursday, likely in executive session.

“I think there will be some decision made, but a decision doesn’t mean we’ll

have a president in place,” he said.

Trustees will give their choices in order to AGB Search, the firm that led

the presidential search.

“The search firm will talk with the candidate to see whether he or she is

still interested,” Garg said. “If he or she is still interested and YSU is

his or her choice, we’ll work out a contract. Only after a contract is

worked out will we make an announcement.”

He said terms of the contract will be similar to those in the contract with

former President Randy J. Dunn, who resigned in March after eight months on

the job to become president of Southern Illinois University.

“There will be a few areas that will be re-looked at in light of what

happened,” he said. “We don’t want what happened to happen again. There

should be some penalty for the president to leave without cause before a

certain amount of time.”

Tressel also is a finalist for the University of Akron presidency and gave

his pitch there last week, talking about the need to work together and to

increase recruitment, bolster retention and reduce student debt.

Trustees from both universities expect to select presidents this month. UA

President Luis Proenza is retiring June 30 to return to the classroom. Ikram

Khawaja, YSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, retires June

  1. Khawaja was appointed YSU’s interim president after Dunn’s resignation.

Miller is among the five candidates being considered for the presidency of

SUNY Buffalo State in New York. Cullinan, along with two other SOU

administrators, received no-confidence votes from faculty members in March.


Comments

1kurtw(846 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

With Tress on Campus speaking, it's a dead certainty, that if the Campus Police had a "BS sniffing" dog the poor thing would go "spastic" with sensory overload- the ASPCA would need to step in. Luckily for us Younstowner's, were used to BS- no amount of it fazes us a bit- we seem to thrive on it.

Suggest removal:

2DrRP5279(1 comment)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

A damn football coach for a university president? What are they thinking? Next time maybe a very successful Youngstown pimp or drug dealer. What credentials do any of them have? Well they were successful.

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3mrblue(974 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Popular--YES Proper credentials/background--NO

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4Attis(873 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Gotta love that self-serving statement from Tressel about this may be the time and place for a President without a Ph.D. Really? This may also be the time and place to get him a chauffeur without a driver's license; to hire a YSU plumber, electrician and carpenter without certification; employ a YSU chaplain without ordination; enroll students without a high school diploma; and retrain trustees without a clue. Oops. That last one already exists. Sorry.

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5RustOnMyBelt(114 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Let the record show that all previous posters hold a doctorate of one discipline or another and are resentful of those who do not.

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6tnmartin(218 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

ok,what ARE the "qualifications" for president of a university? And the duties and expectations?
Great record of scholarship is evidently not required in most places. What seem to be the requirements are an ability to raise money, to present a reasonable face to the world at large, and to oversee the management of the place. Especially raising money.
I will remind you that, for example, that Janet Napolitano, the current head of the University of California system, a much larger job, has a law degree, no Ph.D., and has the dubious "honor' of being one of the very worst of the lousy appointments of the current mis-Administration. If an utterly vile and worthless person such as her can achieve such a role, why can't he?
I'm a YSU alum. Am not ashamed of that. But "Penguin Tech" will probably in no time soon be regarded as a world-class institution of greatness. Not in my lifetime, anyway. Was a better place when the Bavarian House was still active.

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7Silence_Dogood(1333 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Hosanna.

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8JohnQPublic(5 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Can you smell this already? Tressel likes the "Dunn plan", so he'll run with that for, well, until that totally blows up. By then it will be time for his contract renewal and the BoTs will never admit their own mental limitations and rubber-stamp Jimmy until he wants to bail or retire. No need to have ideas or execute a plan when you simply ride on the vapid coattails of the most recent selfish past-president. Everything is great and there is a strong spirit of cooperation among the unions. He'll be tough on crime and lower your taxes. He is a GREAT GUY!!!

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9kurtw(846 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Why do you have to have a Phd degree to be an administrator? That's what a University President does- he administrates- he manages and runs the place and, by the way, paying somebody almost a half billion dollars a year to run a place the size of YSU strikes me as- I hate to use it- but the word "obscene" springs to mind.

Furthermore, think of the qualifications of some of our recent (US) Presidents- running an organization- the United States- a hell of a lot bigger- and, possibly, more important than Y.S.U. Ronald Reagan- ex-actor (b-grade) although he did run California for awhile- no Phd; our wonderful incumbent- Barack Hussein Obama- former community organizer- scant legislative experience- has a degree of some kind- no Phd; Harry S. Truman- ex-haberdasher, mayor and Kansas City ward heeler- no Phd- no college degree of any kind to my knowledge but a pretty great President just the same. All these men got hired by the people to run a large organization- some of them better than others- and nobody ever said to any of them- "Where's your graduate degree?" and, by the way, all these men got paid- and are being paid in Obama's case- less than the YSU President. Strikes me as a bit of an anomaly.

But, I know, a University President is supposed to be a great "fund raiser"- whatever that means- and so, maybe, looked at from that perspective, Jimbo may be our man after all- He's a First Rate Hustler and Con Artist- but I didn't know you needed a Phd Degree for that.

P.S. As far as the "fund raising" part is concerned- if people- alumni- want to give money to YSU they'll do it because they want to- they don't need- and they may not appreciate- being chased down by an ex-football coach with a shady past but with an undoubted gift for gab. One Jimbo is enough.

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10kurtw(846 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

None of this matters, because he's going to Akron anyway- I'm betting. Good for him, better for us: good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. (I wonder what Dr. Abraham is doing these days?)

Suggest removal:


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