There are three finalists to be Youngstown State University’s next president: Mary Cullinan, Gary Miller and Jim Tressel.
But the most notable thing about the finalists is that the candidates from YSU aren’t there.
Martin Abraham, the Dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; Daryl Mincey, the chair of the chemistry department; and Ronald Chordas, associate provost for University Outreach, executive director of the Public Service Institute and the director of YSU Metro College applied and were all left off the list after the Board’s first trimming of the list from 33 applicants down to six.
After the debacle with Randy Dunn leaving, some felt that the next president should come from within.
There are obvious benefits to this. Abraham, Mincey and Chordas are familiar with the goings-on at YSU already. They know how things at this university work, what the faculty and staff and students are looking for from the administration.
We also have to consider that there are union negotiations coming up this summer. The next president will be on the job for a month or two before those kick up. With the atmosphere already tense, it isn’t the worst idea to at least consider someone from within YSU to help move through the process.
There’s also the comfort level. People at YSU campuses know who these candidates are. The trust between them and the university already exists.
We also have to consider what Abraham’s done over the past as the founding dean of STEM. The enrollment of his college has increased every year, STEM brings in 65 percent of outside funding to the university, STEM played a role in helping bring America Makes to Youngstown and the college has developed manufacturing initiatives.
It’s hard to doubt that Abraham was a strong candidate, at least in the terms of his credentials to lead YSU.
We aren’t saying that the finalists aren’t the best ones. Each one has qualifications that will help lead the university. But we were hoping that at least someone with an association to YSU — beyond just former football coach — would at least make it out of the first round.