By Denise Dick
Youngstown State University trustees meet this morning and are likely to select the university’s ninth president.
Though Jim Tressel was a finalist at both YSU and the University of Akron, UA passed over its executive vice president for student success and instead chose Scott Scarborough of the University of Toledo.
Scarborough, Toledo’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, was announced as that university’s 16th president at a news conference Thursday evening.
Hours earlier, YSU officials announced today’s 7:30 a.m. meeting, leading some to speculate that Tressel could be the university’s next president.
Scarborough’s term begins July 1. He will earn $450,000 annually. His contract is for five years.
“Dr. Scarborough clearly shares our vision for the University of Akron,” UA trustees Chairman Richard Pogue said in a news release. “We have confidence that he will help us advance our mission as a public research university committed to our students’ success, to creating new models for sustaining academic excellence, and to our role as a vital contributor to the regional economy.”
YSU trustees had a four-hour meeting Thursday of the presidential search advisory committee — made up of the trustees — that concluded without action.
“Hopefully we can reach some consensus” today, said Dr. Sudershan Garg, YSU trustees chairman.
Another meeting also is set for 6 p.m. Monday, but Garg said if trustees vote today, that meeting may not be necessary.
“There was a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of each candidate,” the chairman said about Thursday’s session. “The rest of it was the contract terms.”
After Randy J. Dunn resigned last month after eight months on the job, trustees are considering implementing a penalty for a president who leaves midterm without cause.
YSU’s other two finalists are Gary L. Miller, chancellor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Mary Cullinan, president of Southern Oregon University.
Miller also is a finalist in two other searches, president at the State University of New York at Buffalo and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
YSU’s three finalists completed their visits this week after meeting with constituent groups on campus.
One of those groups, leadership of three employee unions on campus, backed Tressel, the former head football coach at both YSU and Ohio State, for the job, saying he’s the candidate they believe would continue the environment of trust and open collaboration the union leaders worked to establish.
“We believe that Mr. Tressel’s commitment to these efforts will be honored throughout his presidency,” said the statement from the presidents of the unions representing faculty, professional and administrative staff and police.
Annette Burden, president of the YSU-Ohio Education Association, the faculty union, said this marks the first time that union presidents endorsed a particular presidential finalist. She declined to state reasons why they opted to endorse this time.
In the announcement about Scarborough’s appointment, Pogue praised Tressel for demonstrating “his dedication to this university and to our students and who has brought significant, positive change to our campus and outstanding accomplishments in the two years he has led the Division of Student Success.”