Youngstown State University’s Board of Trustees announced on Wednesday that only the 11 trustees will serve on the search committee for YSU’s next president.
YSU will work with AGB Search to tentatively narrow down possible choices to the finalists in May and will name a new president by June 30.
The university’s academic senate adjured the board to include a graduate student, undergraduate student, and a faculty representative from every college across campus.
Sudershan Garg, chair of the Board, said this decision to only include trustees in the committee was made to assure an efficient and economical search within this limited time frame.gt
“Due the financial difficulties facing the university, the board will be very prudent and spend only what is really necessary. The board has received a lot of interest from various [members] of YSU and the community at larger to serve on the subcommittee,” Garg said. “In interest of time, expediency and money, the board has decided that only the board members will serve on the subcommittee. I can assure everyone the process will be clean and honest, as it has been in the past.”
The goal of the search committee is to review the applicants found and narrowed down by AGB Search and pick a short list of finalists.
The size of the committee contrasts sharply with the past two search committees, but Garg said it is still larger than at other universities.
“In 2009 and 2010, I think we were about 24 members on the search committee, and last year we were 18 members on the search committee,” Garg said. “Search committees in some universities are only made up of three or four members of the board. This is what they did at [Southern Illinois University], where Dr. Randy Dunn was selected. They selected him and then presented to the full board, but we don’t want to have that small of a committee.”
With President Randy Dunn leaving on March 21 and Ikram Khawaja, the provost, to serve as interim president, the smaller search committees aims to cut the financial blow of another search.
“Last year, if you exclude the expense made to the search firm — it was $65,000 —, we probably spent close to $60,000 on top. Hopefully, since the committee is small, we may not spend more than $45,000 to $50,000 this year. At the same time, I do want to add, since Dr. Dunn is leaving on 21st of March, we are going to save close to $175,000 to $190,000.”
Melissa Wasser, student trustee on the Board, said students and faculty will still be able to voice their opinions during the two day site visit, where candidates come to YSU to meet with important individuals and hold public receptions.
“The finalists are going to be able to come in and talk to each one of these groups that represents campus organizations and groups, and some faculties and students, and they are going to be able to ask them questions on the spot and see how they respond and react,” Wasser said.
Eric Shehadi, a student trustee, said students will have a voice through himself and Wasser, and he is working on reaching out to students for their opinions on a new president.
“I am going to try to talk to as many students as possible. … At earlier stages, my job will be to get out and listen to what the students want. I have already started doing that. I sit somewhere for lunch with someone and say, ‘What do you think about Tressel?’” he said.
Shehadi said that in the later stages, once finalists are chosen and come to campus, his job will then be to “motivate as many students as possible.”