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Bill Johnson could be hired as early as Tuesday as YSU president

YOUNGSTOWN – If both sides come to an agreement, the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees will vote Tuesday on a contract to hire U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson as the university’s next president – a move that has drawn objections and criticism from employees, alumni and students.

“We are still negotiating and if both parties agree on terms then we will have a contract that will need to be voted on by the board” Tuesday, Becky Rose, YSU spokeswoman, said Monday.

Neither YSU nor Johnson will confirm a deal is done.

But the board of trustees announced a news conference following Tuesday’s special 2 p.m. meeting “to discuss the presidential search process and the current status of the search,” according to a Monday media advisory from Rose.

Tuesday’s special meeting agenda lists “presidential search” under unfinished business.

The board voted 8-1 in favor of offering the president’s job to Johnson, R-Marietta, at an emergency meeting Thursday in a stunning move. The board had announced the meeting only two hours prior and have failed to disclose why it considered the offer to Johnson an emergency when plans have been to have a president in place by mid-2024.

A group of five alumni – including Ashley Orr, YSU’s only Rhodes Scholar – wrote a letter Saturday demanding the board rescind the offer, objecting to the board’s refusal to “incorporate the greater YSU community in its decision making” as it “flouts basic values of transparency, accountability and democratic participation.”

Read Tuesday’s print and online editions for the complete story.

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