YSU Establishes Committee to Begin Search for New President

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The search for a new Youngstown State University president is set to begin.

The YSU Board of Trustees held a special meeting Thursday to address a number of issues, including the search for a new president.

Trustees passed a resolution to establish the Board of Trustees Presidential Search Guidance Committee and set a time line for the search. Trustees Chuck George, Anita Hackstedde, Joe Kerola and Laura Lyden will serve on the committee, with George serving as the convener of the group and Trustee Molly Seals serving as an alternate.

The committee will recommend a search firm to the board in June, with the search beginning in summer. The committee, in consultation with the full board, will narrow the field of candidates to be considered as finalists. Campus constituencies, as well as a Finalist Consideration Committee composed of multiple constituencies, will provide input on the finalists as determined by the board. The board intends for the next president to begin in the role no later than fall 2024.

Jim Tressel, who came to Youngstown in 1986 as head football coach and guided the team to four national championships before moving on to Ohio State University, served 13 years as YSU’s ninth president before stepping down in February. ​​In October 2022, the board chose Helen Lafferty, a longtime professor and administrator at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, to serve as interim president.

At Thursday’s special meeting, trustees also approved a resolution to elect officers to the board, with the term of office beginning immediately after the special meeting. Three new officers were nominated and elected: Trustee Michael Peterson will serve as chair; George will serve as vice chair; and Hackstedde will serve as secretary.

The board also approved a resolution naming Jocelyne Kollay Linsalata to a three-year term as a national/global trustee. Linsalata is a Youngstown native, two-time graduate of YSU and a longtime member and former chair of the YSU Foundation. She also served as chair of the foundation’s “We See Tomorrow” fundraising campaign. She has provided significant philanthropic support to YSU and was a recipient of the Friend of the University Award and the Williamson College of Business Administration’s Outstanding Alumni Service Award.

The board also passed a resolution that provides guidance to the administration in proposing the budget for the 2024 fiscal year. As part of the board’s sustainability strategy, it directed the administration to include action steps in the fiscal year 2024 operating budget to enhance academic effectiveness and to base the fiscal year 2024 operating budget on the planning assumption of a declining enrollment.

“For a vibrant future-state, it must no longer be business as usual,” George said. “We must implement bold and innovative strategies and tactics to distinguish YSU in an increasingly hyper-competitive higher education future-state.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.