YSU Foundation Shares Concerns about Presidential Search

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown State University Foundation would have preferred “a more inclusive [YSU presidential search] process that represented the university’s students, faculty, and staff, along with its donor base, supporters, and alumni.”

YSU trustees voted 8-1 to approve a three-year contract with U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6th, to be the 10th YSU president. The decision met with boos from many of those who attended the trustees’ meeting Nov. 21.

A statement Tuesday from the foundation, an independent, development and advancement partner with YSU, said it is expressing its concerns with its donors, friends, the YSU Board of Trustees and the YSU community at large.

“During the past few days many of these individuals have reached out to the YSU Foundation trustees to express their concerns and their reluctance to provide on-going support moving forward,” the statement said.

In an email Monday, five YSU alumni encouraged other alumni and the campus community to “tell the YSU Foundation that you will withhold financial support until the [YSU Board of Trustees] removes Johnson or he resigns and a transparent, public search involving university stakeholders is conducted.”

The email was sent to people who signed a petition last week opposing the trustees’ selection of Johnson. 

The YSU Foundation statement said that while it will always be the support organization for student scholarships and other educational enhancements, “the YSU Foundation believes that it is our responsibility, in the best interests of the University and community, to raise our concerns with the recent presidential search process and its effect upon the YSU Foundation’s exercise of its mission.”

It says the foundation will continue to focus on its mission as an independent, nonprofit organization that supports student scholarships, student development and career opportunities.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.