Youngstown State University President Cynthia Anderson on Tuesday delivered her final state of the university address.
Anderson drew laughter for many of the stories she recalled during more than 40 years with the YSU.
Anderson, the university’s first woman and alum to become the school’s president, announced she is retiring June 30 after three years as YSU’s president.
“There are no buildings named after me, no towers, no streets,” Anderson said. “I just want people to remember Cindy as a good and decent person whose career passion was to serve students the best way she could. What could be a better legacy than that?”
Anderson also addressed enrollment decline, the effects of which she said was minimized by cutbacks and changes to healthcare.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re diligent with our funds,” she said. “We know student involvement correlates with retention, higher grade point average and improved graduation rates.”
Under Anderson’s leadership the university budget was reduced by $2.5 million and efforts were made to attract and retain students. New academic programs were also created as well as a revitalization of student activities.
“That has put the university in a fantastic position for the future,” said Cory Okular, YSU student government president
Faculty and staff shared opinions about Anderson’s legacy saying she was a Penguin at heart, being a 1973 graduate and spending most of her career at the university.
“I think faculty, staff and students will always remember that she had a smile on her face, open arms to welcome people to campus and a pat on the back to tell people they did a great job and that she is proud of them,” said Erin Driscoll, director of student activities.
The university search committee charged with finding Anderson’s replacement narrowed the search to three candidates: Dr. Randy Dunn, Dr. James Moran III and Attorney William Decatur.
Anderson said she has no formal role in the process but will speak with the candidates.
“I will have the opportunity to tell each candidate that the greatest resource YSU has always had is the human resource,” Anderson said.