YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Faced with looking for their third President in the past five years, trustees at Youngstown State University are hoping the search process will be less expensive than it’s been in the past.
Members of the Board and outgoing president Randy Dunn met Tuesday afternoon for a series of previously scheduled committee meetings on campus. On Monday night, just seven months after starting at YSU, Dunn confirmed he will be taking the president’s job at Southern Illinois University this summer.
YSU Trustees Chairman Dr. Sudershan Garg said trustees will be talking with the consulting firm that brought Dunn to town after finding a replacement.
“Because this president is leaving in less than one year, if they will do this for free and we have to pay only the expenses for it, which of course you have to do it,” Garg said.
Although the Board spent about $110,000 on the search that led to Dunn, administrators said they paid close to $250,000 on the process that eventually led to the hiring of Dunn’s predecessor, Cynthia Anderson, four years ago.
Garg said with a number of other high-ranking administrators already retiring this year, board members believe it is vital to keep Dunn as long as they can.
“The board did feel bad that he had decided to leave without any notification to any board member, including me, the chair, but we want to have an amicable relationship for the next six months,” Garg said.
He said the process of replacing Dunn will require the creation of another search committee, as well as hiring a consulting firm to help find viable candidates. Garg said it could take up to six months to hire Dunn’s replacement, but he already has received the first application.
“I already started getting the applications today, but I don’t act on those applications. They will be given to the search firm and they will review those applications, along with others who apply for it,” Garg said.
Reaction across campus to Dunn’s upcoming departure seems to be more of disappointment and regret than of anger. Even the presidents of YSU’s two largest unions, which both have contracts expiring in August, said they had hoped Dunn would have been staying here longer.
“I think he brought something to us that we haven’t had before and that there was the open door of communications,” said Connie Frisby, president of the union representing YSU’s classified employees.
“He’s actually acted as a conduit between us and the Board of Trustees, giving us a lot of positive input,” said Annette Burden, president of the YSU-OEA.