Is YSU’s Provost Abraham headed to Florida?


By Amanda Tonoli

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Martin Abraham, the provost at Youngstown State University, is a semifinalist for Florida Gulf Coast University’s president position in Fort Myers, Fla.

Abraham said, however, he has no interest in leaving YSU, and called the process “a learning experience.”

“This is a university that is seeking me,” he said. “I don’t know how it will affect me at YSU. Hopefully, at this stage, it won’t.”

Florida Gulf Coast is in southwest Florida with a student population of almost 15,000 who can obtain degrees from a college of arts and sciences, a college of education, a college of health professions and social work, the Lutgert College of Business and the U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering.

Chet Cooper, chairman of YSU’s Academic Senate, said his only response to recently discovering Abraham’s candidacy elsewhere was merely wishing him the best.

“I hope [the interviews] come out positive, and if they do, I’m sure he’ll do a great job,” Cooper said. “If things don’t work out, [Abraham] and I will continue to work together to make YSU a center for academic excellence.”

During the Nov. 2 Academic Senate meeting, the “campus climate survey” conducted last spring revealed Abraham was targeted as causing discontent in YSU’s full-time staff and faculty.

Abraham is part of the senior YSU leadership – that also includes President Jim Tressel and the board of trustees – who were said to not value, respect or trust faculty, staff or students.

The campus climate revealed survey respondents suggested leadership-improvement plans for all senior leadership, removing senior leadership based on faculty/staff input, and holding senior leadership accountable to campus policies, procedures and agreements.

Another suggestion for senior leadership was for them to institute monthly communication process for updates and changes before they’re implemented and attend training on shared governance – something members of staff and faculty have complained about a lack of for years.

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