Cafaro Resigns from YSU Board of Trustees

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Capri Cafaro stepped down from the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees last month, nearly five years before the end of her nine-year term.

In a text message Friday morning, Cafaro confirmed that she informed YSU President Jim Tressel of her intent to step down from the board following an Oct. 25 special meeting concerning plans to address YSU’s enrollment decline. 

YSU spokesman Ron Cole confirmed that she sent a letter Oct. 27 to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Trustee Anita Hackstedde and Tressel resigning from the board.

Her resignation was “effective immediately,” she said in letter, a copy of which she sent to The Business Journal.

Cafaro, a professor at American University in Washington, D.C. and a Democratic former Ohio Senate minority leader who represented Trumbull County, was appointed in June 2017 to the board by then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Her term was set to end in June 2026.

“Due to my teaching schedule as well as two internationally based visiting fellowships, I do not believe I can give the time necessary to serve the board at the level the work deserves,” she wrote in her resignation letter. “I am honored to have been a part of the YSU Board since 2017 and remain committed to the success of the University.”  

Cafaro, in her text, acknowledged that she had “consistently raised questions and concerns about the administration’s approach to reorganizing academic programs” and that those concerns remain, but reiterated that her teaching and fellowship schedule prevented her from attending upcoming board meetings in person as required by the Ohio Revised Code.

“So, I thought it was most responsible to step down,” she remarked. 

“Senator Cafaro’s participation and insight as a member of the Board of Trustees has been invaluable and will be missed,” John Jakubek, chairman of the board of trustees, said in the YSU statement.” We thank her for her work and dedication to YSU and our students.”

A replacement will be appointed by DeWine. The governor’s office does not have a set time frame for naming a replacement but is “actively working on this and other board and commission vacancies,” DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said. 

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.