In a statement through the University of Akron, Tressel — former head coach of both Youngstown State University and Ohio State University and current vice president of Strategic Engagement at the University of Akron — commented on his application.
“I am respectful of the presidential search process underway at both Youngstown State University and The University of Akron. Both university communities are a very meaningful part of my professional history. I feel grateful that people from both university communities have expressed interest in my application. I believe it’s appropriate that I not comment any further during this part of the process,” he said.
Tressel has received significant encouragement to apply for the position from the Youngstown community. Ohio State Representative Robert Hagan said he fully supports Tressel for the position.
“I’m glad. I think he has mastered the art of negotiations, and he knows very well how to play free agent. He did at YSU and at Akron, and I commend him for doing it the right way. I hope that the board of trustees does a better job of vetting those candidates than the last time, and they get a commitment from whoever it is,” Hagan said.
“Hopefully it will be Jim Tressel.”
Congressmen Tim Ryan echoed Hagan’s support in a press release sent out Friday.
“I am pleased to learn that Jim Tressel has applied to be President of YSU,” Ryan said. “Because of the departure of Dr. Dunn, YSU faces a unique situation, and I believe Jim Tressel would provide the kind of leadership needed by a major university. I urge both Youngstown State and the University of Akron to seriously consider his candidacy. It is vitally important for us to keep someone with his talent, experience and leadership skills in Northeast Ohio.”
Harry Meshel, a member of the YSU Board of Trustees, also spoke positively of Tressel’s application.
“I think it’s wonderful. [Tressel’s application is] a great addition to the list that we will probably have by the time we’re through,” he said. “The mystery is settled, and I think a lot of people will be happy about it.”
Meshel indicated that the presidential search committee will meet next week to review the applications. The Board hopes to appoint a new president before June.
Tressel has also applied to be president of The University of Akron.
Tressel is one of 33 candidates who have applied for the YSU presidency position. Martin Abraham, current dean of the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and Daryl Mincey, chair of the Chemistry Department, are other notable candidates.
“I think it is a real honor to be president of this institution. I think it is an institution of quality. A lot of people really do not understand how good of a school this is. I would certainly, as president, promote the value of this institution,” Mincey said. “I’ve been a chair of chemistry for 19 years. I’ve been a faculty member at YSU for 36. I believe I have a lot to offer as far as far as knowledge of the area — how the area needs to interact with the university and the university with the area.”
The application deadline for the presidency position at YSU is Monday, April 14.