So with the most intriguing of the three YSU president interviews in the rear mirror, I reached out to some of the most invested crowd of judges Monday for Jim Tressel — the YSU professors.
Much has been made of Tressel's lack of a Ph.D. Here's an opinion from one who does have one:
"I do not think that institutions award Ph. D.’s on how to be a successful higher ed president. My PhD suggested that I was the world’s foremost expert in an imperceptibly narrow area within the broad field of organic chemistry within the broader field of science. Yet my success in teaching was not a result of my Ph.D."
So with those thoughts, here are more thoughts from some professors — the audience who judged the most.
I also think they are whom Tressel likely judged the most to see where his better fit might be as I suspect that by this time next week, he will be deciding between two job offers.
Of the folks I spoke with after experiencing Tressel today, the theme was that they were impressed.
They were guarded at first and after seeing him deliver under pressure in his straightforward manner, they too were supporters.
Simplicity is key for me, so I am rooting for him. I am a fan of local folks, of folks familiar with the area, of those who are invested or at least committed to the valley, and he scores highly in that regard. Even before Dunn's debacle, I liked people who are more than a one and done.
The excitement, community congruity, and shared sentiment that Tressel creates is a collective wild card that the other two have a difficult time addressing.
Yes, how long will that stay if he is chosen and accepts? I say a long time.
What he did today was scout us out.
With the faculty, he is assessing our potential and his fit.
From his coaching style, we know he is a traditionalist.
I am concerned about his view of YSU as more of a vocational school than one that can hang with the likes of a KSU, Cincy, and OSU-league institution.
We are both.
We cannot ignore one in the pursuit of the other. How well he can deal with that duo simultaneously will be how I measure his success. I am fine with him being a nonPhD. We will have a provost, faculty senate, and the Board as resources for him. We know he motivates and makes good use of the talent around him. ...those are my thoughts, sorry they are scattered and not eloquence-challenged....
He was actually pretty decent at the professors meeting. Less impressive at the public gathering, but that could be due to lesser questions. Overall — we could do worse. Objectively, I'm sure he'll do fine.
It was much better than I expected, and I would not be scared anymore if he did get the job.
Great article Sunday on Jim Tressel and his candidacy as the next YSU president.
The University of Missouri seems to be enjoying its second successive non-PhD as president where both gentlemen came from successful business backgrounds.
I need not remind you that my PhD at one time suggested that I was the world’s foremost expert in an imperceptibly narrow area of organometallic chemistry within the broad field of organic chemistry within science. And that was in the mid-sixties. You get the idea. And my success in teaching was not a result of my Ph.D.
My first thought was negative when Tressel’s name surfaced.
But I understand that he still bleeds red and white and has been a long-time supporter of the campus. He in fact is a proven entity. I am not sure I can say the same for the board.
If he were to be appointed, pray for an outstanding and active provost.
All the best.
BS, YSU, 1960