Is Tressel YSU’s hope?

Published 10:51 am Thursday, May 22, 2014

Many years have passed since Jim Tressel worked at Youngstown State University, but you wouldn’t have known it last week as he delved into the strengths of the urban institution and detailed the challenges that await him as the next president of the university.

Tressel’s comments to reporters after he signed a letter of understanding on the terms of his three-year contract made it clear that although he has been away, he never really severed his ties with Youngstown State and the Mahoning Valley.

He answered questions about the budget, the decline in student enrollment, the need to improve the retention and graduation rates and the importance of collaboration with the community and other colleges and universities in this part of the state.

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But it wasn’t just the former football coach’s words that were music to his many supporters’ ears — and gave his detractors pause.

Tressel’s decision to accept a salary of $300,000 — less than what the board of trustees of YSU had offered him — has resonated on and off campus….

While Tressel’s first public appearance as the next president of YSU — he formally begins his duties July 1 — was a hit, the real test of his abilities will come when he takes on the major challenges confronting the institution….

The new president’s supporters point to his proven record as a leader, a motivator and a bridge-builder. Tressel will need all those abilities and more as he charts a course for YSU that not only reverses the downward trend but builds for the future.


The (Youngstown) Vindicator