YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Three months after Jim Tressel announced his resignation as president of Youngstown State University, we now have an idea of how the YSU Board of Trustees will proceed with hiring his replacement.
It won’t happen for a while, possibly a year to a year and a half, because before there’s a permanent president, YSU will have an interim.
Tuesday afternoon, Tressel sat next to Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. John Jakubek listening to how YSU plans to use some recently acquired Boardman farmland. But earlier, the trustees discussed the process of replacing Tressel as president.
“Initially, we’re going to go with an interim president. We don’t have an exact timeframe how long that will last. We’ll see. But realistically, that may last for about a year, year and a half,” Dr. Jakubek said.
We asked Dr. Jakubek why there is a need for an interim president.
“Well, you know, right now, with the momentum that we have with the university and so forth, I think we’ll be a little more effective and efficient if we continue along that route as opposed to trying to bring in a president right away,” he said.
An interim president will be selected before the next Board of Trustees meeting in early December. The person will replace Tressel when he retires on February 1.
Dr. Jakubeck would not say if the interim would be someone already associated with YSU.
“We’re going to get somebody who we feel knows the mission of this university, knows about the strategic plan, buys into that,” Dr. Jakubek said.
After an interim president is selected, a national search firm will be hired to help pick the next permanent president.
“I swear some of the same potholes that were there are here,” Dr. Jakubek said.
The last time YSU picked a president in 2014, the finalists were all brought onto campus and participated in public forums, including Tressel. Dr. Jakubec expects a similar process this time.
Also, hiring an interim president could help bridge the gap between the legend of Jim Tressel and the next person.
“Yeah, it’s difficult from the standpoint that Jim was in this community for 16 years. He won four national championships. He knew the people. But we’re looking for somebody that’s going to be similar to Jim as far as being very vibrant, going to embrace the community, carry on the good work that we’re doing here,” Dr. Jakubek said.
Dr. Jakubek said a priority in the search will be getting a good group of candidates to pick from so they can carry on the great work that Tressel has done over the last eight and a half years.