20 YSU Foundation Trustees Endorse Jim Tressel
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Twenty members of the Board of Trustees of the Youngstown State University Foundation -- including its chairman and vice chairman -- are endorsing Jim Tressel to become the next president of Youngstown State University.
Their endorsement comes in a letter dated Feb. 27 to Dr. Sudershan K. Garg, chairman of the YSU Board of Trustees. Copies were sent as well to the 10 other trustees as well as to the secretary to the board, Franklin S. Bennett Jr.
The YSU Foundation, an independent nonprofit corporation established in 1966, has 41 members on its board. With assets in excess of $200 million, it provides more than $4 million in scholarship annually for YSU students.
The letter is not written on YSU Foundation stationery, nor does it signify an endorsement by the foundation itself, signers tell The Business Journal.
States the letter, "Life teaches us that within obstacles lies opportunity. The sudden departure of Dr. Randy Dunn presents the opportunity to propel our university into a new dynamic and inspiring chapter. Jim would have the shortest learning curve of any individual appointed to the presidential post and would make an immediate positive impact on YSU's reputation and stature. We believe the appointment of Jim Tressel would create a direct correlation to increased enrollment and philanthropy."
YSU's board of trustees has scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday. The university provost, Ikram Khawaja, is expected to soon be named interim president with Dunn leaving the university as soon as exit terms can be arranged. Multiple sources confirm Tressel is interested in the position and is likely to apply and go through the formal search process that will be conducted, at no charge, by the same firm that found Dunn.
Dunn was hired two weeks ago by Southern Illinois University to become its next president. His resignation, after just seven months on the job, stunned the academic and business communities as well as the general public. Under the terms of his contract, he gave a 180-day notice.
The foundation chairman, Tom Fleming, and co-chairman, Garry Mrozek, signed the letter with their foundation titles.
"It is without hesitation we are writing you to endorse Jim Tressel as the next president of Youngstown State University," their letter begins. "There are many characteristics desired in a university president, a proven track record of leadership is at the top of the list. While other universities have courted Jim to be their president, most notably his undergraduate alma mater [the University of Akron], he would make the most impact at Youngstown State University.
"We all know Jim is a consensus builder and visionary with unparalleled organizational skills. One of this greatest strengths is his ability to produce a plan and communicate it with all constituencies. He is a progressive thinker and able to generate positive results."
Fleming and Mrozek's letter concludes by stating, "The following business leaders of the Mahoning Valley and members of the YSU Foundation Board of Trustees all personally endorse this correspondence:
- A. Gary Bitonte
- Raymond Briya
- Anthony Cafaro Sr.
- Domenic Constantini
- Alan Cope
- Rex Ferry
- Alfred Fleming
- Frank Hierro
- The Honorable Nathaniel Jones
- Carl Nunziato
- Robert O’Leary
- Anthony Payiavlas
- Richard Schiraldi
- Theodore Schmidt
- James Sisek
- Richard Thompson
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