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Monday marked the beginning of a new era at Youngstown State University as the eighth president took the reigns.
Faculty and students gathered outside Kilcawley Center on campus to learn the new president’s vision for the university.
“We’re doing some great things here,” said Dr. Randy Dunn, YSU’s new president.
Dunn spoke to the crowd, outlining some early focal points including enrollment, being good stewards of this region and raising the profile of YSU nationally, all aimed at better serving students.
“If you want to talk about the consumer of what we do, at the heart it is our students and at the core of everything, we exist in service to them,” said Dunn.
Student trustee Melissa Wasser feels students are eager to have a voice in the campus community.
“They want to be heard, and I think that Dr. Dunn, and especially with Ronda being more public and engaging the community with him, I think they’ll feel as if they have more of a voice now,” said Wasser.
YSUnity President Lisa Ronquillo already feels that way; Dr. Dunn specifically requested a meeting with some students Monday of which she was part of.
“It’s not just he’s here and we’re there, there are no walls. I feel like he’s a very reachable person and I think that’s important,” said Ronquillo.
Faculty also share the enthusiasm.
“The message he’s given us to this point has just been one that I think, to me, gives hope. I’m very optimistic about where we’re heading in the next few years,” said Matt O’Mansky, professor of anthropology.
“I’ve never seen such a collective feeling of excitement and anticipation and it’s wonderful, it’s invigorating,” added annual giving coordinator Jacci Johnson.
“The stock of goodwill for this place is amazing and as long as we have that, we’re going to get things accomplished that are important for the Valley,” said Dunn.
Dr. Dunn has wasted no time introducing himself to the campus community. He has already taped a message that is posted on YSU’s homepage. Also, he and his wife Ronda have spent time visiting some Valley dining hot-spots like MVR and the Elmton in Struthers.