Trustees Select New Dean, Approve New Degree Program

By Justin Wier

The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees approved the selection of Phyllis Paul to be dean of the College of Creative Arts and Communication during the University Affairs committee meeting.

Paul previously served as associate dean and director of graduate and undergraduate studies at the University of Oregon. In her role at YSU, she will receive a $145,000 salary.

During her campus visit in early May, Paul said she would like to increase interdisciplinary programs and solicit feedback from alumni. She also emphasized the College of Creative Arts and Communication’s role as the public face of the university.

“No slight to the other areas,” Paul said to faculty. “But they don’t offer the visceral things you do.”

The Academic and Student Affairs committee approved a new program offering a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Manufacturing Engineering.

Darrell Wallace, associate professor in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering, said mechanical and industrial engineering no longer address manufacturing. The new program would help YSU prepare students to meet a growing demand for manufacturing engineers in the regional economy. He said residents with manufacturing engineering degrees in the state of Ohio earn a median income of $84,000.

“It provides a really great opportunity for our students who will come out of this program, be highly sought after and be able to meet the standards of regional employers,” Wallace said.

Both Paul’s hiring and the new degree program need to be approved during the full board meeting on June 15.

The full board will also need to approve revisions to the student code of conduct. The changes add a fine system to help ensure compliance. Eddie Howard, associate vice president for student experience, said some students will shrug off academic probation.

“The goal [of the fine system] is to get them to understand that these things should not take place,” Howard said.

Gary Swegan, associate vice president for enrollment planning and management, provided an update on the outlook for fall enrollment.

While students registered for classes have only increased by one percent since this time last year, Swegan expects more students to attend orientation in June than last year.

“We’re going to continue to modestly grow that increase,” Swegan said. “I’m confident we’ll see some kind of enrollment increase.”

The number of students enrolled in the Honors College increased dramatically. Last year, the college registered 175 freshman for the start of fall semester. This year, they already have 178 registered, which is 79 more than this time last year.

Finally, the board received an update on the progress of the program review process. In response to a question from Trustee Leonard Schiavone, Provost Martin Abraham said programs could undergo changes following review.

He said they will have to look at how programs serve students and whether the university could afford them by arranging them into four quadrants: programs that do a good job and are cost-effective, programs that do a great job but aren’t cost effective, programs that don’t do a good job but are cost-effective and programs that don’t do a good job and aren’t cost-effective.

Programs falling into the final quadrant would be subject to removal.

“Once we get to the point that we can start putting those programs in those quadrants, then we can look at if we can afford to keep them,” Abraham said.

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