YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — As Youngstown State University Trustees meet for the third time this week, interest continues to swirl around one-time Penguin and Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel as a possible successor to the outgoing Randy Dunn as president.
Board members willing to talk about the issue stressed their choice needs to be the right one.
“My main concern and interest in serving on this board is to ensure that we do the right thing for the students, and to continue the legacy of the university,” said YSU Board of Trustees Member Dee Crawford.
This week, Congressman Tim Ryan sent a letter to the Board containing the names of nearly three dozen local community leaders, urging them to hire Tressel, who is now the Executive Vice President of Student Success at the University of Akron. He makes $210,000 per year overseeing various aspects of student life, from academic advising to financial aid to career services. Tressel has been there almost two years now and did not seek the president’s job at YSU when Dunn was hired.
Earlier this week, the Board’s Chairman said he wasn’t interested in any efforts to draft Tressel now.
“If Jim Tressel is interested, he should apply for it like anybody else, because we want to treat everybody very fairly,” said Board Chairman Sudershan Garg.
University of Akron Chief Communications Officer Eileen Korey said in an email that it would not be appropriate for Tressel or anyone else to comment on the issue at this time.
“I certainly don’t resent anybody trying to ask us to consider somebody, particularly leaders in the community,” said Board Member Harry Meshel. “I have a lot of respect for those folks who helped us run this university.”
Meshel said that no one, other than Tressel himself, knows if he is even interested in the job.
Among those adding their support to Tressel were Trumbull County’s three commissioners, who signed a letter Thursday morning supporting Tressel as Youngstown State University’s next president. The letter will be sent to the YSU Board of Trustees.