YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mary Cullinan, the third and final candidate for the next president of Youngstown State University, gave a presentation to the public and media on Wednesday.
Cullinan emphasized her ability to form relationships with members of the university and government, as well as the priority she places on being present at the school. She has been the president at Southern Oregon University since 2006.
“Presidents don’t usually last that long,” Cullinan said, perhaps in reference to Randy Dunn, who was YSU’s president for about seven months. “Sometimes it’s shorter than that.” Cullinan also said she believes that a school president cannot accomplish anything in under five years.
Cullinan said that a consultant reached out to her to start the process of applying and that she wants to come to YSU because it is bigger than SOU and presents a lot of the same challenges she has faced there. Cullinan noted that at every university where she has been, she has started a center for faculty learning and that there is no one from SOU that she wants to bring with her as an employee to YSU.
“I have to be out in the community, I have to be making connections,” Cullinan said. “I can’t turn this over to somebody else.”
Cullinan addressed the media beginning at 1:30 p.m. and then took questions from students, faculty and community members beginning at 2 p.m. inside Tod Hall.
Cullinan also spent three years as provost at Stephen F. Austin University in Texas and worked with the California State University system.
Meanwhile, the school’s three unions representing university faculty, professional and administrative employees and police put their support behind current Akron Vice President for Student Success and former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel as the school’s next president.
A joint release issued by the three groups said, “We are confident that Mr. Tressel is the one candidate who will continue to build and nourish our efforts to establish an environment of trust, transparency, and open collaboration that we, as union leaders have worked hard to create.”
Tressel and Gary Miller visited the university on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Tressel stressed a “oneness” with the community and YSU. He also talked about student enrollment and the challenges of meeting the needs of a diverse student body and enticing out of state students.
Miller focused on research opportunities with YSU and branching out that potential to the community to provide relationships to bolster intern opportunities, funding, and business relationships with the university.
All three candidates are vying for the position vacated by Randy Dunn, who resigned after accepting a position as president of Southern Illinois University. His last day was March 21.