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YSU’s hiring of Jim Tressel not in students’ best interests

Published: Fri, May 16, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

YSU’s hiring of Jim Tressel not in students’ best interests

As a graduate of Youngs- town State University, the hiring of Jim Tressel as president of the university has several meanings to me.

It shows that YSU is not to be taken seriously as an institution that promotes higher educational standards and the learning and prestige that come with that goal.

It demonstrates that the most important qualifications of the position are fundraising and public relations, not administrative experience or leadership in a higher education setting.

It means that the board of trustees does not function in the best interests of the school but rather takes its marching orders from the area’s “good-old-boy” network.

I read and listened to a lot of things Mr. Tressel said during the hiring process. Not once did I hear him relate his qualifications or experience to run a university with $300 million in assets, a $180 million annual budget, declining enrollment and over 1,000 employees represented by several different bargaining units. Perhaps he plans to hire a lot of helpers. He did say he has a large ego.

Coach Tressel used YSU and other stops as his steppingstone to coaching football at Ohio State. Why would he think a couple of years as vice president of Student Success at Akron is enough to prepare him for this enormous challenge?

Both the University of Akron and Kent State University have recently hired new presidents. Both have extensive experience in higher education. Neither was a football coach. I wonder why?

Timothy Ryan, Newton Falls


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