YOUNGSTOWN — Jim Tressel has tweeted his first comment after being named Youngstown State University’s ninth president.
"Excited about the opportunity at YSU! It’s all about student success. Going to miss all the wonderful Zips at UA," he wrote via Twitter.
Tressel was named president following a unanimous vote this morning by university trustees.
Tressel has accepted the offer in principal, said Dr. Sudershan Garg, trustees chairman, and contract terms must be negotiated.
“The future is bright for YSU if all of us work together,” he said.
Dr. Garg said the university’s attorneys looked into the show cause violation imposed on Tressel by the NCAA when he was head coach at Ohio State University and that shouldn’t have any bearing on his ability to perform as YSU president.
Nobody is perfect, the board chairman said.
“As long as you acknowledge it and move forward, you have to look at the positive aspects of the individual,” he said.
Tressel, the executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron, was a finalist for president at both YSU and UA. UA Thursday opted for another candidate, clearing the way for YSU.
Trustees voted unanimously for the former coach, who led both OSU and YSU to national championships in their respective divisions, to become the next president.
Dr. Garg said trustees believe Tressel is the best candidate for the job.
“Mr. Tressel has the personality and leadership skills, in addition to widespread community support, to dramatically raise YSU’s profile and prominence across Ohio and the nation,” he said.
Shortly after Randy J. Dunn, YSU’s short-term eighth president announced that he was leaving for another job, community, business and political leaders, led by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13th, of Howland, launched a campaign supporting Tressel for YSU president.
“This is a great day for the Mahoning Valley and Northeast Ohio,” Ryan said in a news release this morning. “I am happy to congratulate Jim Tressel on his selection as president of Youngstown State University. He is the right leader to guide YSU through the challenging times ahead. I couldn’t be more proud of the YSU Board of Trustees for their leadership. They have conducted themselves with professionalism, integrity and the boldness that this situation required.”
Following meetings with the three presidential finalists, the leadership of three YSU unions also endorsed Tressel’s candidacy.
The presidents of the unions representing the faculty, police and administrative and professional staff issued a statement this morning:
“The union presidents would like to welcome Mr. Tressel to YSU as our next university president,” it says. “We expect that he will be an excellent ambassador and an effective fundraiser for the University. We believe he has an understanding of the past, is in a position to evaluate the present, and will strive to create a future that brings us together as a well functioning, nationally recognized urban research institution. We look forward to the opportunity to work with Mr. Tressel in what we hope will be an exciting new beginning for YSU.”