Dunn departing YSU on March 21

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown State University trustees went into executive session Wednesday afternoon to discuss terminating president Randy Dunn’s contract earlier than expected.

After just seven months on the job, Dunn announced two weeks ago that he would be leaving YSU to take the helm at Southern Illinois University, breaking his three-year contract with YSU.

Dunn originally was supposed to stay through Aug. 16 to fulfill his contractually required 180-day notice of resignation, but trustees decided Dunn’s last day now will be March 21. He will have 30 days after that to move out of the Pollock House presidential residence.

“This agreement allows all of us at the university to put this situation behind us and to concentrate on the future,” said Dr. Sudershan Garg, YSU Board of Trustees chairman, in a news release.

“I think we want to move forward. We want to put the old chapter behind us,” Garg said following Wednesday’s meeting.

Garg said the board recognized that it was best for YSU that Dunn leave the presidency as early as possible. The board and Dunn’s attorneys agreed to amend Dunn’s contract, allowing for his departure on March 21. Under the agreement, Dunn will be paid through March 21.He also will be provided with COBRA temporary health insurance coverage through June 30, unless he is eligible for other coverage prior to that date.

As per university policy, Dunn will be eligible to receive payment of unused vacation leave. There will be no other financial payouts, the news release stated.

Garg also announced that, as per university policy, Provost Ikram Khawaja will assume the presidency on an interim basis after Dunn’s departure. Khawaja, who himself is retiring June 30, is currently out of the country.

Khawaja served as interim president for two weeks prior to Dunn’s arrival on campus in July. He joined YSU’s faculty in 1968, served 17 years as chair of the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and also was director of faculty relations and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dunn will help with the transition. YSU will save money with the interim president,but a dollar amount remains unknown.

“We will have to work it out with him, but it won’t be the same amount,” Garg said.

He also said trustees are urging former YSU head football coach Jim Tressel to apply for the president’s job.

“Everyone has the question of if Jim Tressel will be the next president. We would like him to apply for the position. He could be a good president for YSU,” Garg said.

Last week, the board of trustees agreed to engage the services of AGB Search Inc. of Washington, D.C., to help direct a national search for the university’s next president. The board is also moving forward with a national search for a new provost, who is the university’s chief academic officer. The hope is that the presidential search will be completed first, in time for the president-elect to have input on the hiring of the new provost, the release stated.

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