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Bill Johnson to resign Jan. 21 from Congress, start as YSU president the next day

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson speaks to the media Nov. 21 after being named the next Youngstown State University president.

YOUNGSTOWN – Bill Johnson submitted his letter of resignation today to the U.S. House of Representatives, effective Jan. 21, and will start the next day as Youngstown State University president.

“With his contract indicating he would start prior to March 15, we are excited to have him on campus earlier than anticipated,” Michael Peterson, chairman of the YSU Board of Trustees wrote in a letter today. “Bill will continue to visit campus as often as his schedule allows to continue meeting with students, faculty and staff. Bill brings a commitment to advancing our institution’s mission and we eagerly anticipate the contributions he and his wife LeeAnn will make to our community.”

The YSU board of trustees voted 8-1 on Nov. 21 to hire Johnson, R-Canfield, after agreeing five days prior at a quickly called emergency meeting to offer him the job.

Molly Seals was the lone trustee to vote “no” on offering the job to Johnson and the hiring.

The decision was met with vocal criticism from faculty, students, alumni and donors who objected to the confidential search as well as the decision to hire Johnson because of his politics and lack of experience in higher education.

The YSU Academic Senate issued “no-confidence” resolutions Dec. 16 against the trustees and Johnson.

For more, read Wednesday’s print and online editions.

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