Johnson’s Term as YSU President to Begin Jan. 22

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson will begin his term as the 10th president of Youngstown State University on Jan. 22.

An email sent this afternoon to campus by Michael Peterson, YSU trustee chairman, on behalf of the trustees, said Johnson submitted his resignation from Congress today, effective at the end of the day Jan. 21.

“With his contract indicating he would start prior to March 15, 2024, we are excited to have him on campus earlier than anticipated,” Peterson’s email said. “In the meantime, Bill will continue to visit campus as often as his schedule allows to continue meeting with students, faculty and staff.”

Trustees voted 8-1 on Nov. 21 to approve a three-year contract with Johnson, a seven-term Republican U.S. congressman from Marietta. Trustee Molly Seals dissented.

Johnson will earn $410,000 his first year, with the opportunity to earn more if he meets certain metrics. Those metrics haven’t been publicly revealed.

The selection has been met with opposition from many across campus and the community, both because of the way the search was conducted and because of Johnson. Many have been critical of his conservative views and some of his votes, including a vote against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Previous YSU presidential searches were public, with the names of candidates disclosed and finalists visiting campus and meeting with people on campus.

None of that happened this time. Trustees said the search was closed because the search firm advised that open searches deter the best candidates.

Peterson’s Monday email to campus said Johnson “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.”

In it, he thanked personnel for their commitment to student success and for their dedication to YSU.

“We are excited about what the future holds,” the email said.

Pictured at top: U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson speaks during a press conference at YSU on Nov. 21, 2023.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.