Williamson College Dean Betty Jo Licata to Retire

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Williamson College of Administration, will retire at the end of the year, Youngstown State University announced Thursday.

Licata has led the business college for more 26 years. A nationwide search for her successor will begin soon, the university said.

“It has been a privilege to serve YSU and the Williamson College of Business Administration,” Licata said Wednesday in a letter to YSU President Jim Tressel and provost Brien Smith. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with so many dedicated professionals. Of course, it is working with our students that brings the greatest joy, and I will truly miss watching them grow and succeed.”

Licata arrived at Youngstown State in 1995 following work at Ohio University and Gannon University. She holds a doctorate in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic University.

As dean, she led the college’s effort to become accredited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International and the planning of Williamson Hall, the 110,000-square-foot building that now houses the college.

Under Licata’s leadership, Williamson College established the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, the Entrepreneurship Center, Center for Career Management, Student Services Center, Business Leaders Program and Student Leadership Council. She also spearheaded the expansion of the Ohio Small Business Development Center, Export Assistance Network and Procurement Technical Assistance Center, as well as its Global Learning Experiences program, Center of Excellence in International Business and the Williamson Center for International Business.

She also oversaw increased support from donors, including the Warren P. Williamson Jr. Family, the Beeghly Fellows Endowment, Schwebel Family Fellows Endowment, Zoldan-Yampolsky Family Executive Fellows Program, John Burgan Entrepreneurship Prize, Andrews Endowed Chair in Accounting and the Lariccia Family Endowed Professorships.

“It is the faculty and staff members of the WCBA, who individually and collectively, form the heart of the WCBA,” she wrote. “Their commitment to our students and their profession drives them to excel in their teaching, research and service to YSU and their profession.”

She has served as board chairwoman for the Youngstown Business Incubator, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Athena Award committee, and Mercy Health-Youngstown. 

Among her career awards are the Parker Henry Board Excellence Award from the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, the Dean of the Year Award from Beta Gamma Sigma, Advocate of the Year Award from the Ohio Small Business Development Centers and the Bronze Leadership Award from Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley.

“Dr. Licata elevated the Williamson College to new heights, recruiting talented faculty, establishing strong partnerships and producing graduates who have gone on to leadership positions across the business spectrum,” Tressel said in a statement. “She will be missed. We thank her and wish her well in retirement.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.