Tressel for at least another year


By Amanda Tonoli

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown State University’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a one-year contract extension for President Jim Tressel.

The extension allows Tressel to work through June 30, 2020, at an annual salary of $300,000.

Dee Crawford, trustee chairwoman, said: “It encourages us and also encourages the entire campus community that [Tressel] is committed. I could not be more pleased as chair.”

Tressel was also encouraged.

“A lot of good things are happening and I’m just excited to be a part of it,” he said.

Tressel was named YSU’s ninth president in 2014 and signed a three-year contract through the end of June 2017. He then signed a new contract that included three separate additional one-year renewal options. Last fall, Tressel and the board agreed to the first one-year renewal option, extending the contract through June 2019.

“By every measure, President Tressel has excelled in leading YSU over the past four years,” Crawford said. “His vision and determination have resulted in unprecedented gains in many important areas of the university’s operations. We look forward to continuing that momentum.”

Under Tressel’s leadership, YSU’s full-time equivalent enrollment has increased for three consecutive academic years, freshmen enrollment is up 31 percent from four years ago, and Honors College enrollments have more than tripled. Freshman class standardized test scores and grade point averages are among the highest in the university’s history.

Residence halls are at capacity, as are two privately-financed student apartment complexes that have opened on campus in the last three years. In addition, a new Barnes and Noble student bookstore and Starbucks cafe have opened on campus, a new campus student health center will open next year and Wick Avenue (a major campus thoroughfare) has undergone significant upgrades.

A structural deficit in the university’s operating budget was corrected, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the university’s bond rating to A+, and the historic $100 million “We See Tomorrow” fundraising campaign has surpassed the $80 million mark. In addition, the university recently earned full re-accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and YSU faculty and staff earned a nine-year high in research and service grants.

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