YSU Trustees Reach Deal with Dunn for President

Randy and Rhonda Dunn
YSU Trustees have approved a three-year contract with Randy Dunn to take over as president.

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The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously a month ago to hire Dr. Randy Dunn as the new university president.

On Wednesday, they announced a contract has been reached with Dunn, who will take over the helm from Dr. Cynthia Anderson on July 15. Her last day is June 30 after 34 years at the university, including three as president.

The three-year deal has a base salary of $375,000, which is fixed for the life of the contract. Dunn’s contract also includes travel expenses, a vehicle and a home at the Pollock House on Wick Avenue. The former Wick Pollock Inn was recently renovated to serve as the home of the university president.

Anderson will make $400,000 in her last year with YSU. Trustees approved a resolution to re-name the Anderson  Student Government Suite in Kilcawley Center.

Dr. Dunn comes to Youngstown after most recently serving as president of Murray State University in Kentucky since 2006. He said he is ready to hit the ground running.

“I could come in and say I”m going to do 100 things. When you try to accomplish 100 things, you accomplish nothing,” Dunn said.

Instead, he wants to narrow his focus on a few key areas.

“How are we doing in building enrollment? How are we doing in stabilizing the budget? What are we doing with regard to programs and services?,” Dunn said. “We’re going to look to continue progress, particularly in areas of enrollment, stabilizing revenue with the overall budget, and really focusing heavily on regional outreach, particularly economic development.”

He said so much of the president’s job goes beyond policies and budgets to public outreach, which means working hand-in-hand with the city and community.

“The way the city and the Valley has been involved in this reinvention of itself, the way is paved for wonderful things to happen here,” Dunn said.

His wife is Ronda Baker Dunn, educational recovery director for Commissioner Terry Holliday in the Kentucky Department of Education. They have four grown children.

He and Ronda plan to move into the Pollock House one week before Dunn starts his new job.

“We look forward to Dr. Dunn coming to Youngstown and YSU,” said Board of Trustees President Dr. Sudershan Garg in a news release. “Dr. Dunn’s vast and diverse experience and his tenacious and likeable personality will serve him and the university well in the years ahead.”

The Board of Trustees voted to make current provost, Dr. Ikram Khawaja, interim president from July 1 through July 14. He’ll assume the duties of YSU president for the two weeks between when Anderson retires and Dunn starts.

Dunn is the eighth president in the history of YSU. The others are:

  • Dr. Howard W. Jones (1931-1966)
  • Dr. Albert L. Pugsley (1966-1973)
  • Dr. John J. Coffelt (1973-1984)
  • Dr. Neil D. Humphrey (1984-1992)
  • Dr. Leslie H. Cochran (1992-2000)
  • Dr. David C. Sweet (2000-2010)
  • Dr. Cynthia Anderson (2010-2013)

 

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