YSU Fall Enrollment Flat; Trustees OK Contract with Union

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University’s fall 2023 enrollment is flat compared with last year, university officials announced Wednesday morning.

Helen K. Lafferty, interim YSU president, reported enrollment at 10,993 during university trustees’ regular quarterly meeting.

Michael Sherman, vice president for student affairs, institutional effectiveness and board professional development, said that’s the head-count figure, not the full-time equivalent.

Trustees also approved a three-year contract with the 169-member Association of Classified Employees. The agreement, which calls for 2% pay raises each year, was approved by the union Monday and Tuesday.

ACE includes several jobs throughout the campus, including groundskeepers, maintenance repair personnel, the IT department, Maag Library and academic and business operations specialists.

“We are pleased with the hard work and dedication that both negotiating teams brought to the table,” Michael Peterson, YSU Board of Trustees chairman, said in a news release. “This agreement reflects our commitment to fostering a collaborative and supportive environment at YSU. It is a testament to the values we hold dear, including the centrality of students, excellence and innovation. This contract ensures that our dedicated staff members have the support they need to continue contributing to the success of our students. Together, we are building a brighter future for our university, our region and beyond.”

Melanie Leonard, ACE president and chief negotiator for the contract, said 128 union members voted, with 92, or about 73%, voting in favor of the pact.

“I think negotiations went very smoothly,” she said. “It was very amicable with the university. They listened to some of the concerns we had. We didn’t get everything we wanted, but overall we’re happy with it.”

The agreement also calls for a $1,000 cash bonus the first year and $500 cash bonuses in the second and third years. The university’s news release said contributions to health insurance premiums will remain the same the first year and increase 1% in the second and third years. The design of the health plan also will change starting in the second year.

The prior agreement expired Aug. 15, and negotiations began in June and continued through the summer.

Lafferty said in the news release that ACE members play a vital role in YSU’s success.

“Their continued hard work and dedication in every area across campus helps ensure YSU continues to thrive as an institution of opportunity,” she said. 

During trustee committee meetings Tuesday, Sherman talked about how YSU will ramp up marketing that’s aligned with enrollment strategy. 

“We’ll be using marketing in very strategic ways to help with enrollment,” he said.

The two newest trustees also were sworn in at Wednesday’s meeting.

Student Trustee Natalie Dando and National/Global Trustee Jocelyne Kollay Linsalata were appointed to the board over the summer, and Wednesday marked their first trustees meeting.

Pictured at top: National/Global Trustee Jocelyne Kollay Linsalata, left, is sworn in by Trustee Anita A. Hackstedde, board secretary.

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