Coronavirus Information

This website provides the latest information for students, employees and the public regarding YSU’s ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Latest 

In the News

Hand-washing stations installed on campus as YSU looks to Fall semester -Business Journal

YSU President Jim Tressel on What College will Look Like Come Fall - WFMJ

YSU intends full re-opening for Fall semester - YSU News Center

Press Pass: YSU Provost Dr. Brien Smith - WFMJ

YSU announces second phase of federal CARES Act grants for students - Mahoning Matters

3,500 YSU students eligible for $1,000 grants - WFMJ

Youngstown State celebrates graduating nurses ready to step onto the front lines - WKBN

Youngstown State forms focus groups to consider post-pandemic future - Mahoning Matters

Music students at Youngstown State create virtual ensemble - WKBN

YSU Transitions to Remote Instruction in Just 13 Days - Business Journal

YSU classes move online - The Vindicator

President Tressel on WFMJ

President Tressel on WKBN


Additional Resources

Return to Work on Campus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ohio Department of Health

Mahoning County Public Health

YSU Athletics Information

College of Graduate Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the category to get a list of questions; click on the question for the answer. For questions not included, please contact the Penguin Service Center hotline, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. 330.941.6000 or email

  • General

    • Is YSU closed?

      No, YSU is not closed. All on-campus courses for Summer semester are being delivered remotely. That means there are no face-to-face courses. As for Fall semester, YSU intends at this time to hold on-campus, face-to-face classes. More details to come.

    • As a student, can I still come to campus if there aren't any in-person classes?

      Minimizing the number of students on campus is a proactive step designed to prevent the spread of the disease and keep the campus community and region safe. All on-campus courses are being delivered remotely for the entirety of the Summer term. As a result, students will not need to come back to campus to complete the Summer semester.

  • Academics

    (classes, technology, advisement, tutoring)

    • What if my internet crashes?

      Technological issues are a legitimate concern and sometimes hard to avoid. This is another reason why working ahead is so important, it will give you a little time to get your work done or submitted if something goes wrong. Also, instead of working on an assignment in a web browser, work out of a Google Doc or Word document that you can periodically save. That way if something goes wrong when submitting or you lose internet, you will not have to start the assignment over.

    • What if I need help with my classes, is tutoring still available?

      The Center for Student Progress will be offering online support for all of the services offered, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m Monday – Thursday and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday for all summer sessions. For updates on all of these services as well as online learning support services visit the CSP online.

      • Academic Coaching: WebEx meetings to begin May 18. Coaches will send meeting invites to students. Students can also request academic coaching support online.
      • Tutoring: Online tutoring will be available in select courses. Click here to view the list. Information will be sent to students enrolled in courses for which we have tutoring available. New appointments are being accepted now and students may request an appointment online.
      • Disability Services: With online learning, there may be different accommodations needs, please contact the CSP/DS office at: 330-941-1372 or via email at: with questions and concerns.

      The Writing Center offers online support for writing assignments in any course through WCOnline. Students can upload documents to the "Distance Edu" tutor for asynchronous sessions, or they can schedule online, synchronous appointments:
      Mon - Thurs: 9 am - 3 pm
      Fri: 10 am - 1 pm
      Direct questions to

      The Math Assistance Center - For the 2020 summer semesters the Math Assistance Center will be offering support through online tutoring appointments. You can schedule a session online. To set up recurring sessions, contact the MAC at Over the summer support is being offered for math courses from MATH 1500 (Math for Placement) through MATH 3705 (Differential Equations) and all statistics courses offered by the department of Mathematics and Statistics.

      Visit the MAC online for additional resources

    • How is advisement working?

      Email your academic advisor or your department. Though there will be no in-person advising, advisors are setting up appointments over the phone or via video call.

    • How do I keep motivated, stay on track with assignments and due dates, and manage not having a “defined” schedule?

      If you find yourself losing steam, use the buddy system! Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, faculty member, or staff member who can help nudge you along and give you a pep talk when you need it.

      To stay on track, first, make sure to familiarize yourself with all revised syllabi for your courses. From there, figure out what works for you. You might want to keep a physical planner or a Google calendar, use sticky notes, or something else that keeps you on track. Also try to connect with peers in your class who can help remind you of upcoming assignments.

      Since you already had a class schedule, stick to that – study for each class at the time it was scheduled. Or, create a defined schedule for yourself! Decide what time you want to wake up, get dressed, get set up in your designated study space (not your bed!) and set aside so many hours each day to work on school. There are many free and premium web resources that can assist in getting organized.

  • Housing & Dining Information

    (Residence Halls, campus food services, etc.)

    • Are there available dining options on campus? If so, where?

      We are working hard to prepare our retail/dining facilities for a late July/early August opening. The changes will most likely affect your daily routine, but will encourage an appropriate amount of social distancing to keep you and your fellow Penguins safe.

      Please be advised that dining room capacities will be reduced. Floor markings and stanchions will help cue lines and expedite the ordering process. Following these, protocols will help to keep our campus community safe while having a quality experience.

      As you can imagine, we are changing the way we operate—adjusting menu selections, adapting service hours, and potentially limiting facility locations but our purpose—to provide quality service in a safe environment—is not changing. We are taking every precaution to ensure your safety and the safety of our associates. We are installing plexiglass guards, requiring additional handwashing, and encouraging that face covering to be worn. The hope is to provide an environment with less person-to-person contact, and to do so our operations, offerings, serving vessels/packing are all subject to change.

      We look forward to reopening, having you all back on campus, and meeting your dining needs. Stay safe, stay well, and please feel free to reach out to the Office of University Housing via email at with any questions or concerns.

    • Who do I contact if someone I know or I, myself, am in need of food, supplies and/or monetary assistance during this time?

      Students, faculty, staff, or anyone with knowledge that a member of our YSU community is dealing with an extenuating situation should continue to submit a "Person of Concern" form or visit the SOS website.

      Students in need of assistance with food/basic necessities may access the YSU Food Pantry, now located on the 2nd floor of Kilcawley Center (same lobby as the Penguin Xing desk), Monday - Friday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm (or by contacting Jacob Haskins at to schedule an alternate time). Non-perishable food items along with essential supplies such as hygiene products, laundry detergent, etc. will be available to students. Our goal is to assist a large number of students, for as long as possible. Therefore, our staff is also working on connecting local students with current community resources available to students and, often, their families.

      As this is new location, students should email Dr. Nicole Kent-Strollo at if they have concerns/suggestions or specific dietary needs.

      Students in need of additional financial assistance related to COVID-19, should submit a COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Application.

    • How can I help individuals in need of food, supplies and/or monetary assistance during this time?

      While we are not able to accept cash/checks, donations of goods may be dropped off at the Food Pantry Monday - Friday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. If this timeframe is not convenient, please contact Jacob Haskins at to coordinate a better time. If easier, you may also ship a donation directly from the distributor to Jacob’s attention (please email him first).

      Current needs include:

      • Toilet paper
      • Paper towels
      • Facial tissues
      • Hygiene products
        -hand sanitizer
        -feminine pads/tampons
      • Cleaning supplies
        -disinfecting wipes
        -dish soap
      • Microwavable soups/meals
      • Canned chicken/tuna
      • Canned fruit
      • Canned vegetables
      • Pasta/sauce
      • Rice
      • Cereal
      • Peanut Butter
      • Snacks
        -granola bars
        -individual servings of pretzels, etc.
      • Can openers

      Monetary donations can be made to the YSU Foundation's Penguin-to-Penguin Campaign. This important campaign supports our COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund and provides students with money for food, utilities, medicine, etc.

  • Campus Services Information

    (Kilcawley center, health center, maag library, Bookstore, etc.)

    • Can I still pick up my pay check?

      As of March 18, the Payroll Window in Jones Hall is closed indefinitely. All employees are strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit here. If you do not select direct deposit, your paper pay check will be mailed to your address on file the business day prior to payday.

    • Can I still go to Wick Primary Care?

      Mercy Health - Wick Primary Care at YSU is now Mercy Health's only flu location. Individuals with symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or body aches are directed to go to:

      Mercy Health Flu Locations
      Current hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday
      Mercy Health – Wick Primary Care
      330 Wick Ave
      Youngstown, OH

      As of March 25, in order to meet the needs of YSU students, Mercy Health has also transferred all student health services back to Wick Primary Care. As this site is still a flu clinic, it is critical that students call (330) 747-4660 first.

    • I am feeling anxious and worried, who can I turn to? What if I know someone else who might need help?

      Student Counseling Service
      We are still in uncertain times. Students may be struggling with managing anxiety and finding ways to move forward that are both emotionally and physically healthy. Student Counseling Services is open and available. We can provide strategies and offer encouragement through our free short-term, confidential, mental health counseling. We are not currently meeting with students in person however, services are available by telehealth, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. If you are in crisis or want to set up a counseling appointment, please call 330-941-3737.

      If you have a mental health emergency or crisis during non-business hours or over the weekend, call 330-941-3737 and after the brief message press 1 to have your call transferred to a mental health professional.

      Student Outreach and Support
      Individuals concerned about a member of the campus community should continue to submit a Person of Concern form as appropriate. Additional information regarding "red flags" and frequently asked questions can be found online.

  • Employee Information

    (returning to work on campus)

    • With Ohio opening back up, should I be coming back to work on campus?

      In order to comply with Governor DeWine’s directives to achieve social distancing and assist with preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, yet at the same time maintain our critical function and teach on-line, remote work is the most desired work arrangement for YSU employees for now. Safety and health guidelines for returning to campus have been developed and communicated to managers and supervisors. Managers and supervisors will be contacting their employees to advise them of their specific protocols and work schedules prior to their return date. Continue to work from home and please do not come to campus unless first contacted by your supervisor. Some employees however, may be required to work on campus to perform critical work. This is being done on a limited basis.

      Visit WORKING REMOTELY for more information.

    • Can I get into my building if I need to?

      While the buildings and campus remain OPEN, it has been decided to lock the exterior doors to campus buildings and have them remain locked in order to increase the safety for the building occupants who remain and to protect university assets. Individuals without a key may contact the YSU Police Dispatch at (330) 941-3527 to be admitted to their building.

    • As a student, can I still come to work?

      YSU is asking all employees, including student employees* to engage in remote work if possible, a detailed email was sent to all student employees. Supervisors will be in touch with job specific information. The University will continue to assess the situation as more information becomes available.

      *The only exception to this, as of today, are students whose position immediately impacts the physical well-being of other students and can only be carried out on campus, and students whose work involves continuing research that can only be conducted in a laboratory.

  • Office of Admission Information

    (orientation, campus tours, etc.)

    • I am supposed to be starting at YSU this Fall, how does all of this impact me?

      The university has announced that all summer orientation programs will be held in a virtual manner. 

      • All students can expect to receive information online in advance of their orientation date, as well as to participate live in portions of the program on the date they have registered for in our system.
      • The program will be engaging, interactive, and include ways to learn about campus and their classmates.
      • YSU is committed to making sure the Class of 2024 has a successful transition to campus and can integrate in to campus life as well as the classes before them.
      • Incoming students will be connected with an Orientation Leader and have a peer to help guide them throughout the entire summer.
  • Travel Information

    • Are YSU students still studying abroad?

      YSU had canceled all spring 2020 and proposed summer 2020 field courses to China, South Korea and Italy. The YSU International Programs Office has recalled all students studying anywhere overseas. All university-sponsored travel is suspended until further notice.

    • Is YSU allowing travel within the United States?

      All university-sponsored travel, domestic as well as international, is suspended until further notice, unless deemed mission critical and approved by a vice president or associate vice president.

  • Virus Information

    • What is COVID-19 coronavirus?

      COVID-19 coronavirus is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. With symptoms similar to the common cold and influenza, the coronavirus may present with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC believes that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or up to 14 days after exposure. At this time, the CDC considers this a serious public health concern but, based on current information, the immediate health risk from a coronavirus to the general American public is considered low. For additional information visit the CDC website.

    • How does COVID-19 coronavirus spread?

      COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. The CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

      The decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

      Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:

      • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
      • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
      • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

      Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

    • What is community spread?

      Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Campus Communications

  • July 1, 2020 (10:00 a.m.): Message from Provost Smith: Fall Semester Class Information

    Dear fellow Penguins:

    Hope you are well and having a refreshing, productive summer.

    We know there are a lot of questions about exactly what Fall semester classes at YSU will look like given the ongoing pandemic. While more information will be forthcoming regarding face coverings, classroom social distancing and other safety measures, today we wanted to touch base to provide an update specifically on what to expect regarding the delivery of your classes:

    • Deans, department chairs, faculty, and other experts are assessing every one of our nearly 4,000 Fall semester classes to determine the best and safest delivery method for each.
      • Determinations will be based on (1) quality instruction; (2) engagement with faculty; and (3) safe and healthy environments.
    • While traditional face-to-face classes are preferred, we also are considering virtual classes
      • These will be presented either (1) mostly remote; (2) a combination of virtual and face-to-face; or (3) fully online, off-campus remote courses.
    • By mid-July, we plan to have information to you on how each of your classes will be delivered for the start of Fall Semester on Aug. 17.
      • The current academic calendar and deadlines as previously published, will be followed.
    • Please also note that, while we have made structural adjustments to some academic departments, your majors and programs of study have NOT changed.

    We remain focused and committed to providing you the high-quality instruction that you have come to expect and in a manner that is safe and compliant with federal and state recommendations.

    Thank you for your continued patience. We’ll be in touch. Have a happy July 4th holiday.

    Go Penguins,

    Brien N. Smith

  • June 17, 2020 (10:30 a.m.): Message from President Tressel: Students Returning to Campus

    Greetings from campus,

    We hope everyone is having a productive and relaxing summer so far as we count down to the first day of Fall semester classes on Aug. 17. After a uniquely challenging Spring semester, we are looking forward to a safe and sound full return to campus for you and your classmates.

    Guided by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health, we have been hard at work over the last several weeks developing procedures and protocols to ensure everyone is safe and healthy here on campus. This includes rules related to social distancing, self-health assessments, contact tracing, flexible instructional methods and much more. When you return to campus you’ll find portable hand-washing stations (pictured), self-check temperature units and procedures for ensuring the regular cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, study lounges, hallways and bathrooms. We are doing all we can to make your return safe and successful.

    More details will be coming as the summer progresses. We are committed to ensuring that you have all of the information you need to feel comfortable in returning to campus.

    Please pay attention to your YSU email and social media throughout the summer for regular updates and the countdown to Fall 2020.

    Stay well and safe, and we’ll be in touch.

    Go Penguins,

    President Jim Tressel

    Countdown to Fall Semester

  • June 4, 2020 (10:45 a.m.): YSU trustees approve fiscal year 2021 budget plan

    Dear Fellow Penguins,

    As you all continue to work hard amidst the challenges and uncertainty that surround us, I wanted to make you aware of a news release that is being distributed today following the conclusion of two days' of meetings with our Board of Trustees.

    The news release, copied below, focuses on the Board of Trustees’ passage of the fiscal year 2021 operating budget. A full summary of the board’s meetings will be sent to campus on Friday morning.

    This is, as you know, a very difficult budget. The circumstances we face, as well as all other universities and colleges across the nation, are such that we’ve never experienced, prompting us to make budget decisions that are both painful yet necessary. We are confident that these extraordinary steps provide an opportunity for us to balance our budget while continuing to provide student success and excellence across the institution.

    I join our board chair, Anita Hackstedde, in thanking all of you for your understanding, your sacrifice and your continued commitment. Much more work is left to be done as we prepare for the start of the Fall semester and the safe return of students and employees to campus. I look forward to joining all of you to continue supporting our students and community.

    Go Penguins,

    James P. Tressel, President

    YSU trustees approve fiscal year 2021 budget plan
    Student success, affordability remain top focus, President Tressel says

    The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees approved today a fiscal year 2020-21 budget that projects a 15 percent decline in enrollment, a 20 percent decrease in state funding, salary reductions, furloughs, layoffs and a reorganization of the university’s academic operations.

    “This budget reflects the significant impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on our university, the economy and our students,” President Jim Tressel said. “While difficult, this plan also presents the opportunity for YSU to continue to offer a quality, affordable higher education that focuses on the success of our students and our community.”

    Anita Hackstedde, newly-elected chair of the YSU Board of Trustees, added: “While these are indeed uncertain times, we commend the university for putting together a responsible, albeit difficult, budget for this next fiscal year. We also commend our employees for their understanding, their sacrifice and their continued commitment to the university’s greater good.”

    The $157.9 million operating budget is $26.1 million less than last fiscal year. Major parts of the plan include:

    • Revenue:
      • A projected 15 percent decline in full-time equivalent student enrollment, largely due to uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. The projection, which would result in $15.1 million in lost tuition and fee revenue, is based on several variables, including new students who have applied and been admitted, as well as demographic trends.
      • A 20 percent or $8.8 million decrease in state appropriations, based on estimates from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
      • A 12 percent or $652,000 decrease in other revenue sources, largely due to losses in investment earnings.
      • Undergraduate tuition increases amounting to $82 per semester (2 percent) for continuing students and $189 per semester (4 percent) for incoming students, as permitted by state law. Even with the increases, YSU’s tuition is expected to remain the lowest among comprehensive public universities in Ohio.
    • Spending reductions totaling $24.6 million:
      • Salary reductions for management staff ranging from 2 to 15 percent.
      • Furloughs for all classified and professional administrative union staff, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in salaries.
      • The layoff of approximately 40 to 60 employees; and an additional 22 positions in Athletics.
      • Campus-wide reductions in operating budgets.
      • Restructuring of Academic Affairs, including the merger of the Beeghly College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences into the new Beeghly College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and Education. The restructuring results in elimination of one dean position and the consolidation of up to 18 academic departments. Charles Howell, formerly dean of the Beeghly College of Education, will serve as dean of the merged college.
      • Elimination of the administrative division of External Affairs, Government Relations and Economic Development.

    “We are confident that these extraordinary steps will help stabilize our budget and place us on a path back to more traditional revenue and expenditure scenarios moving forward,” said Neal McNally, vice president for Finance and Business Operations.

    Tressel added: “The past three months have illustrated the extraordinary people that make up our YSU community. Our students, faculty and IT staff pulled together to complete Spring semester in an amazing fashion. Our board and administration have worked tirelessly to plan for our new normal. Our faculty continue to plan for the creative, safe delivery of quality instruction in the Fall. Our ACE and APAS unions have selflessly taken compensation cuts, along with our administrative personnel, to minimize the inevitable layoffs that will be necessary to meet our budget realities. As we plan for the Fall, five focus groups consisting of 50 staff and faculty are working around the clock to assure that YSU will have a safe return to campus. Our people make us Y and proud!”

    Meanwhile, trustees also unanimously adopted the university’s Take Charge of Our Future Strategic Action Plan, including new mission, vision and value statements.

    The plan, under development for more than two years and guided by a team of faculty, staff and students, says YSU is “an institution of opportunity” that inspires individuals, enhances futures and enriches lives, focusing on the centrality of students, excellence and innovation, integrity and human dignity, collaboration and public engagement. The plan also includes specific actions related to student futures and lifelong learning, academic distinction and the discovery of knowledge, and collective impact with the region.

    “As we face the many unexpected pandemic-related challenges now before us, we are fortunate to have in place a strategic plan that emphasizes our foundational purpose and focuses our behavior toward important priorities,” said Brien Smith, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

    The board also approved the appointment of Jeffery B. Allen as the new dean of the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, effective July 15.

    Allen, chosen after a national search, is currently the founding dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. He previously spent 20 years on the faculty at Wright State University in Dayton, including associate dean of the School of Professional Psychology for four years.

  • May 28, 2020 (2:15 p.m.): Provost Smith: College restructuring plan

    Dear Fellow Penguins,

    I hope you and your family are doing well during these uncertain times.

    We wanted to fill you in on continuing discussions and upcoming actions regarding a significant college restructuring plan now under development within the Office of Academic Affairs.

    In response to serious financial challenges facing YSU, the university is examining a variety of avenues to balance our budget while also exploring opportunities to make the university more efficient and effective in our pursuit for student success. Earlier this week, YSU announced budget reductions impacting Intercollegiate Athletics and an agreement with classified and professional administrative unions for furloughs and lack-of-work layoffs. Earlier this spring, President Tressel announced that many administrators will have their pay cut by up to 15 percent. Like other units, Academic Affairs also needs to explore ways to assist in achieving a balanced budget.

    For the past several weeks, the Office of Academic Affairs has been working on a reorganization plan that focuses on making the Academic Division more efficient, agile and reflective of the university’s academic strengths today and into the future. I understand such restructuring has been discussed in the past. The purpose of the reorganization is to primarily find efficiencies that result in cost savings while also finding synergies and relationships among programs. This strategic realignment will not currently result in a reduction of programs but rather create pathways where programs can continue with the great work they are already doing.

    The initial plan was presented today to the chairs and the executive committee of the Academic Senate, as well as the negotiating team for the YSU-OEA faculty union. It will be further discussed at the Board of Trustees meetings next week.

    The new structure will be as follows:

    • The number of academic colleges will be reduced from six to five:
      • Bitonte College of Health and Human Services
      • College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
      • College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
      • Williamson College of Business Administration
      • Cliffe College of Creative Arts
      • A new College comprised of programs from the Beeghly College of Education and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
    • This reorganization will also result in a reduction and reorganization of departments and fewer department level administrators and staff. Specific programs that are moving at this time to different colleges are as follows:
      • Forensic Sciences from BCHHS to STEM
      • Journalism from CCCA to Education/Liberal Arts
      • Early Childhood Associate’s/Pre-K from BCHHS to Education/Liberal Arts
      • Economics from CLASS to WCBA
      • Communication from CCCA to WCBA
      • Center for Human Service Development from Education to BCHHS
      • Gerontology/Long Term Care Administration from CLASS to BCHHS
    • This reorganization assists in reaching our goal of reducing administrative costs within Academic Affairs and achieving our share of the balanced budget. The total projected savings of these organizational adjustments is estimated to be $1 million annually.

    We are acutely aware of the many uncertainties in these times, in our personal and professional lives, and that this plan only heightens that sense for many of us. Much work remains. We will do our best to keep everyone informed as we progress through this and other changes that lie ahead.


    Brien N. Smith
    Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

  • May 28, 2020 (8:00 a.m.): YSU Returning to Work on Campus

    Dear Fellow Penguins,

    Thank you again for all of your hard work over these last several months. It’s a trying time, and much more change is to come. But remember that the success of our students through this past semester and the semesters ahead is testament to your dedication. We appreciate your continued commitment.

    Today we are announcing that, with updated guidance on both the state and federal levels, we are moving into a new phase of our response to the coronavirus pandemic, a phase that still presents many uncertainties, yet also numerous opportunities. One of those opportunities is returning to campus to work.

    The Take Charge of Our Future Focus Group on Calendar Scenarios for a Safe YSU has met several times to develop guidelines for an ongoing resumption of full campus operations. The result is the “Youngstown State University Returning to Work on Campus” guide. In general, the guide:

    • Calls for the gradual and safe return to on-campus work for all employees over the course of the summer.
    • Implements procedures to ensure that campus facilities are prepared for the safe return of employees.
    • Puts into place health and safety steps for the return of employees.

    We encourage you to carefully review the guidelines on the new "YSU Returning to Work on Campus” webpage. Managers and supervisors are being briefed on the guidelines and will be in touch to talk with you about your specific return-to-campus-work plan.

    These guidelines provide practices we must all follow for our safe return to campus. They are fully aligned with instructions from the Governor, the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC. Given the uncertainties surrounding the ongoing pandemic, this document is also subject to change based on state and federal health guidelines. Revisions will be communicated promptly through the usual communications channels, including the new webpage.

    We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters. There’s no playbook for this, so there may be situations that we will need to re-evaluate and correct. We are in this together, and together we will strive to keep ourselves safe while continuing to work for the success of our students.


    President Jim Tressel
    Provost Brien Smith

  • May 18, 2020 (2:45 p.m.): Message from President Tressel to students

    “We Cannot Wait to be Together Again”

    It has been only nine days since our virtual commencement celebrating the amazing Class of 2020 and the fantastic work of our faculty, staff and students who met the challenge that COVID-19 brought us this past Spring Semester.

    Summer term begins today, and once again, the creativity and ingenuity of our faculty is called upon to deliver the needs of our students. While the campus remains nearly empty - witness photos of my lonely drive across campus today - we can feel the anticipation of that moment when we are all here together again.

    The Take Charge of Our Future Focus Groups are hard at work planning for a safe return to campus. Safety protocols, creative course delivery, social distancing, decreased density of classrooms, labs, dining halls, residence halls, Kilcawley Center, etc., are in the planning process. We will be ready for the anticipated arrival of the Class of 2024 on Aug. 14, and the beginning of Fall Semester classes on Aug. 17.

    Our loyal alumni, YSU believers, the YSU Foundation and the federal government have responded to the financial needs of our students during the pandemic. There are a number of financial opportunities for our continuing students, for incoming students joining us from high school and for students who are considering a transfer possibility as they plan for a more financially affordable place to study. Listed below are the wonderful opportunities to assist at this time:

    • The Penguin-to-Penguin COVID-19 Emergency Fund for students who encounter an unforeseen financial emergency or catastrophic event which would otherwise prevent them from continuing their education.
    • CARES Act grants
      • The YSU Penguins CARES Grant of up to $2,000 for students who were enrolled in an on-campus degree program in Spring Semester 2020 and who incurred pandemic-related expenses for housing, food, course materials, technology, healthcare and/or childcare.
      • The Penguins CARE Emergency Grant of $1,000 for students who received Federal Pell Grants during Spring Semester 2020.
    • Emergency COVID-19 Scholarship of up to $4,000 for transfer students, incoming freshmen and returning students. The funds will be awarded from the YSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. More details and application materials coming soon.

    Please also make sure that your peers are aware of these opportunities. It never hurts to see if you qualify. And, if you have a friend looking to transfer to a high quality, very affordable, caring university, please pass along this information.

    The Next 90 Days
    In order for us to be together again in mid-August, we need to do a great job in May, June and July. Continue your diligence in social distancing, wearing a mask, avoiding large groups and keeping our most vulnerable in mind. We will be ready to safely welcome you and provide the best New-YSU imaginable. Stay safe, be well, enjoy the summer and Go Penguins!

    James P. Tressel, President

  • May 5, 2020 (1:00 p.m.): Message from President Tressel to the campus community

    My thanks to the faculty members who have worked so hard during this remote teaching period. Our students continue to be our focus and the faculty have made sure that instruction was not interrupted.

    As we prepare to celebrate the accomplishments of our students via our virtual Spring Commencement on Saturday morning, I wanted to update all of you on additional discussions that have taken place involving the Board of Trustees, Tod Hall Leaders and the Take Charge of Our Future Focus Groups.

    I remain optimistic, in large part, due to the great work of our strategic planning team that has received outstanding input from our campus community over 18 months.

    It is imperative that we continue to keep our focus squarely on the three foundational principles in our ongoing strategic planning efforts:

    Student Futures and Lifelong Learning: Create environments that empower students to acquire intellectual and social capital to realize individual aspirations.

    Academic Distinction and Discovery of Knowledge: Foster the development of a community that will grow intellectually, socially, and ethically in which individuals put knowledge into practice.

    Collective Impact with the Region: Create deliberate, mutually beneficial, educational, civic, industry, and philanthropic partnerships that achieve equitable and innovative regional development.

    All decisions we make must be in line with these principles. Our goal is to thrive amidst this transition and take advantage of opportunities to emerge from this pandemic a healthier university for years to come.

    Return to work: Safety and health guidelines for returning to campus have been developed and communicated to managers and supervisors. Managers and supervisors will be contacting their employees to advise them of their specific protocols and work schedules prior to their return date (no earlier than May 11). Continue to work from home and please do not come to campus unless first contacted by your supervisor.

    Given the breadth of the issues before us, it is also imperative that, after careful consideration, we move as rapidly as possible to make decisions for the benefit of the short- and long-term future of the university. Therefore, we are announcing today these initial actions and other items under consideration:

    Reductions in administrative salaries: As President, I am taking a 15 percent salary reduction. In addition, over 100 other excluded personnel will be taking a temporary salary reduction between 2 percent and 10 percent based on their salary. Total initial savings approach $700,000.

    Increased healthcare contributions for excluded personnel: Contributions will increase from 15 percent to 20 percent in 2021.

    Personnel: Develop strategies for further reductions in personnel costs, including possible furloughs, layoffs and other actions.

    Divisional budgets: Review of divisional budgets with projections for reductions in both operating and personnel.

    Intercollegiate athletics: Review of budget with projections for reductions in both operating and personnel.

    Reorganization: Seek opportunities for re-structuring across the university.

    Hiring freeze: Any exceptions require my approval.

    Travel: All university-sponsored travel has been paused.

    Our promise to you: the health and safety of our students, employees and visitors will remain paramount; we will make decisions through a shared vision and understanding that all of us play important roles in the wellbeing of the university. Ultimately, the YSU Board of Trustees and the authority vested in I will make the very difficult decisions to take charge of our future in this pandemic moment.

    Be well, stay safe and Y and Proud!

    James P. Tressel, President

  • May 1, 2020 (5:30 p.m.): A message from Board Chair Dave Deibel

    On behalf of the entire YSU Board of Trustees, we send along our sincerest well wishes to all of you during these difficult times. We hope you, your family and friends are safe and healthy.

    Trustees met again today to discuss the significant impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the university and to explore the best ways to address the many challenges before us.

    Earlier this month, we asked President Tressel to develop a decision-making structure, aligned with our ongoing strategic planning initiatives, to help the university answer the many unprecedented questions that are before us. We believe that the Take Charge of Our Future Focus Groups formed by the president in response to our charge is a great first step. We thank members of the Focus Groups for their service, encourage their thoughtful consideration and look forward to their guidance.

    We have confidence that these Groups, under the leadership of President Tressel and with the support and input of everyone on campus, will help manage the university through a process that is going to require some very tough decisions. To help prepare the way for those decisions, the board today approved a new policy for utilizing cost-sharing measures for excluded employees.

    A few concluding thoughts.

    First, we’re not in this alone. All universities nationwide, as well as businesses of all shapes and sizes, are facing similar challenges. Through our active involvement with the Ohio Inter-University Council, we are working with colleagues at public universities across the state to develop best-practice solutions to these unprecedented circumstances.

    Second, while we’ve had our challenges related to the pandemic, as most universities of our kind have had, YSU comes into this crisis with many strengths and advantages that we believe will help us emerge even stronger.

    And lastly, in the midst of this horrible pandemic, it’s been inspiring to be reminded again of the impact YSU and our graduates have across the region – nurses and respiratory therapists treating coronavirus patients, teachers helping students with remote learning, counselors guiding patients through difficult mental health issues, and social workers assisting the elderly, homeless, abused and so many other vulnerable populations in this extraordinary moment in our history. Thanks to them and to all of you.

    We will get through this.

    Be well, stay safe and Go Penguins,

    Dave Deibel
    YSU Board of Trustees

  • April 30, 2020 (8:00 a.m.): Message from President Tressel to the campus community

    As we complete a semester unlike any other in Youngstown State University’s 112-year history, we want to take a moment to say thanks, to provide an update on the challenges we face and to reassure everyone that YSU remains “Y and Proud” today, tomorrow and into the future, even under these extraordinary circumstances.

    In less than four months, the world, the country and YSU have experienced a social and financial upheaval that’s quite unprecedented in modern history. It’s been a life-altering, unsettling, painful and devastating stretch. We also, however, have seen resilience, courage, creativity, determination and generosity, from one end of the country to the other, and right here at YSU.

    So, first, a resounding “thank you.” Thanks to those who dedicated so much effort to transition hundreds of our classes to remote instruction in less than two weeks. Thanks to our faculty and support staff for your patience, your flexibility and your unending commitment to your students and their success. Thanks to our community for donating more than $75,000 to our Penguin-to-Penguin fund for financially struggling students. And thanks, most of all, to our students for persevering in such a difficult environment, especially our seniors who we will honor this weekend at commencement and hope to have back on campus later this year to celebrate in person. The university’s collaborative response to this crisis has been no less than spectacular as we look onward to welcoming the Class of 2024 this Fall.

    While we’ve weathered the first jolts of this pandemic, we will need even greater strength and focus as we move through the Summer, into the Fall, and beyond. Frankly, we, and all of us in higher education and throughout the nation face a daunting task. Making it even more difficult is the great uncertainty about almost everything as we move forward.

    For YSU and countless other universities across the state and nation, a great and immediate concern is finances. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, YSU had implemented spending controls and resource allocations that placed us on track for a balanced budget for fiscal year 2020. The pandemic created several significant new financial challenges: a $2.2 million cut in state funding over the last three months of this fiscal year; a $3 million revenue loss via student fee refunds; and a $500,000 drop in the university’s investment income. On the other side of the ledger, YSU will receive $10.4 million through the federal CARES Act, half of which will be paid directly to students as financial assistance. The other half will be used to offset university costs. That infusion of $5.2 million should help mitigate risk of a deficit at the end of this fiscal year.

    As for FY 2021, the projections remain trying: an $8.7 million reduction in state funding, a loss of up to $1 million in investment income, and continued uncertainty in enrollment revenue. As a guideline, each percentage drop in FTE enrollment equals about $1.1 million in lost revenue. Housing, dining and parking revenue, totaling nearly $8 million annually, may also be threatened.

    It’s daunting, indeed, and yes, it will require painful choices and sacrifices across every area of the university in the weeks and months ahead. We have already had discussions with the leadership of our bargaining units about various cost management options, including employee furloughs and layoffs. Every area of the budget is under review. Discussions continue; no decisions have been made. We are all acutely aware that the decisions we make today will have a profound impact on the university for years to come.

    Those decisions will be guided, in part, by the five Take Charge of Our Future Focus Groups formed earlier this month. The Focus Groups, made up of more than 50 university faculty and staff, will address finances, course delivery, calendar scenarios and enrollment in a post-pandemic future. A fifth group will oversee the distribution of timely, accurate and transparent communications to campus and the community. These groups are already meeting and moving quickly to formulate recommendations on a broad range of issues.

    While it is important for us all to understand the severity of what we face, it’s equally critical that we recognize some factors that are in our advantage. For instance, since we’re already deep in the midst of a strategic planning process, we are ahead of the game when it comes to gathering input, studying efficiencies and exploring our future. Also, when you look at other institutions nationally, we are exceptionally affordable – something that could be even more advantageous moving forward. Another advantage: it’s likely that many students, maybe even some who are attending elsewhere now, will be looking to stay closer to home post-pandemic, a reality that could result in more students looking to attend YSU. We may also have some advantages in terms of housing. Since we are less of a residential campus than many other public universities, we are at less financial risk if on-campus living were to be affected by the pandemic. And finally, in that our online offerings are not yet developed to their full potential, we are optimistic of the possibilities of great expansion in online education.

    In addition to these advantages, there are numerous opportunities - to be more creative, more efficient, more attentive and more imaginative in thinking about the kind of university want to be. How we work will be different. How we gather will be different. How we teach, learn and experience college will be different. We may not have all of the answers at this point, but we do know that most every aspect of “doing college” will be different in some way, at YSU and across the nation.

    Finally, in times of uncertainty and anxiety, it’s good to remember our foundations. YSU traces its beginnings to 1908, a decade before the Spanish flu pandemic swept the world. Through two world wars, the Great Depression, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and, now, another pandemic, YSU has overcome and kept focused on its mission of teaching, service and scholarship to the greater Mahoning and Shenango valley region and beyond. As our history proves, and after what our students, faculty, staff and community have been able to accomplish over the past several weeks, I am more confident than ever that we are again up to the task.

    Thank you, stay well, and Go Penguins!

    James P. Tressel, President

  • April 24, 2020 (4:30 p.m.): CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Stay-at-home order

    Good afternoon,

    Hope everyone is well.

    I wanted to touch base regarding the university’s continued compliance with Gov. Mike DeWine’s mandated stay-at-home orders as Ohio and other states around the country begin to explore initial steps to re-open parts of the economy.

    Students, faculty and staff should continue to work remotely and not come to campus, unless their work has been deemed critical for university operations. Classes will continue to be delivered remotely through the Summer semester. Please remain away from campus until notified otherwise by the university.

    YSU is working with other universities across the state to establish safety and health guidelines for the possible return to campus if and when Gov. Mike DeWine lifts the stay-at-home order. At that time, strict rules and restrictions will be put into place, possibly including the cleaning and disinfecting of work areas, social distancing and temperature monitoring. The rules will likely be phased in across campus over several weeks. We are hopeful to have more information to share by the end of next week.

    Until then, stay safe and be well,

    Julie Gentile
    Office of Environmental Health and Occupational Safety

  • Click Here for Past Communications
    • April 19, 2020 (7:30 p.m.): Join us for Virtual Commencement

      This communication was sent to graduating seniors.

      On behalf of everyone at Youngstown State University, congratulations on completing your studies and receiving your degree. We commend you for your hard work and your extraordinary perseverance during this unprecedented semester.

      Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we will not be able to celebrate your graduation by gathering together in a traditional commencement ceremony. This commencement, like just about everything else this semester, will be different.

      We are in the process of planning a virtual graduation experience for 10 a.m. on May 9. More details will be forthcoming in your YSU email. The virtual event will include many of the elements of our regular commencement, concluding with the scrolling of the names of all graduates, the formal moving of the tassel and the singing of our alma mater.

      While nothing can replace us coming together to celebrate, we are hopeful that this virtual experience will provide an opportunity for you to share this special day with family and friends.

      Meanwhile, congratulations on a job well done. We are…Y and Proud!

      Go Penguins,

      Brien Smith
      Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

      For more information, visit the Commencement Website or email

      Note: As is the case with all commencements, diplomas will be mailed six to eight weeks after the graduation date. You will receive tracking information via your YSU email address when your diploma has been shipped.

    • April 9, 2020 (11:45 a.m.): Spring semester bill adjustments explained

      Hope this finds you, your family and friends healthy and well.

      By now, most students should have received notification regarding adjustments to your Spring semester bills due to changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The adjustments were detailed in President Tressel’s email to campus on March 30 and also are outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions portion of the university’s Coronavirus Information webpage. Now that the adjustments are out, we wanted to reiterate and explain in more detail the reasons for the adjustments, how they were calculated and what we are doing to address concerns we have heard.

      Reason: Since we have restricted students from the campus, classroom buildings, parking lots and other campus amenities, we felt it only fair to refund a portion of the fees intended to cover such costs. So, we have provided partial adjustments to transportation and health center fees, and - unlike many other universities - a partial adjustment of the general fee. In addition, the university has provided a partial adjustment of out-of-pocket room and board fees for students in university housing. Because instruction continues remotely, instructional fees and lab fees were not adjusted.

      Room and board, parking, health center fees: Since changes went into effect halfway through the semester, fees for parking, student health center and room and board in university housing were adjusted by 50 percent.

      General fees: 82 percent of the revenue generated from the general fee supports technology costs, student advising and other student services that remain accessible to students. The remainder of the general fee, 18 percent, goes for items such as campus facilities, parking lots, the rec center and other amenities, which are now not accessible. Therefore, the general fee was adjusted by 18 percent.

      Out of pocket: It’s important to note that refunds were provided only for fees paid out-of-pocket or via student and parent loans. So, for example, students were not refunded any portion of fees that were covered by financial aid or scholarships from the university, the YSU Foundation or another third party. The same for students who received a scholarship or award for room and board expenses: Refunds have been issued only for the portion of fees that were paid out-of-pocket or via student and parent loans.

      Balance due: Also note, if you have a balance due on your account, your refund was reduced by the amount owed.

      Concerns: Please note that, after some concerns were raised about the manner in which room and board adjustments were calculated, we are re-evaluating our methodology and hope to have those concerns and any other issues that may arise resolved by April 16.

      Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through these challenging times together.

      Stay healthy, be well, and Go Penguins!

      If you have any questions or concerns please email us at If you include your name, phone number and student ID number in the email a customer service staff member will reach out to you within 24-48 hours (Monday – Friday).

    • April 7, 2020 (3:00 p.m.): Message from the Pollock House

      Fellow Penguins,

      To heed Gov. DeWine’s “Stay at Home” mandate, we have asked our Communications team to do that – stay home and don’t come to the Pollock House today to produce our weekly Facebook/YouTube livestream. Instead, we’ll update you the old fashioned way – the written word.

      We hope you are staying well and working hard on your studies in these unprecedented times. So far, 2020 has certainly been a challenge for us all. With that, we bring you these 20 reminders/updates.

      1. Refunds: We talked last week at some length about plans to refund students for some of their costs for this Spring semester. Some housing refunds have already been processed, and the remaining ones are to be processed today, along with the partial refund of the general fee, parking fees and health center fees. Students set up for direct deposit can expect to receive the refund as early as Wednesday, though it may take a few days to post, depending upon your bank. For those not on direct deposit, checks will be mailed on Thursday. Questions to the Bursar’s Office at
      2. Questions: Speaking of which, the Penguin Service Center is ready to help find the answers to any questions you may have during this unique remote semester. Email
      3. Kudos to YOU, as well as our faculty and our IT staff, for the launch of our new remote teaching/learning environment. Please stay in touch with your faculty member – every one of them is committed to your success.
      4. Help! Need assistance with one of your classes? The Center for Student Progress is working remotely to help with tutors, academic coaches and a full slate of assistance. Visit the CSP online.
      5. More help! In this difficult, uncertain time, the professionals in the YSU Student Counseling Services are here to listen and help. Call 330-941-3737.
      6. Keep workin’: We are committed to ensuring that every one of our student employees who want to work, can work. Questions,
      7. Summer: Remote learning/teaching is being extended through the summer semester. Registration for both summer and fall is now open.
      8. Newbies. All orientation programs for new Penguins will be held in a virtual manner, without coming to campus, starting with the first orientation on May 27. Students will receive information online with instructions on how to participate. We look forward to “seeing” all of you. E-mail or call 330-941-2131.
      9. Financial aid. FA staff is available to answer questions and conduct appointments by phone. Here are the numbers: 330-718-0087, 330-718-9903, 330-718-0331, 330-718-0120 and 330-718-9812. Questions and general information specific to student and parent loans can be sent to (A detailed memo concerning FA will be emailed later this week.)
      10. Student Activities: Student Government election polls are open 8 a.m. Thursday, April 9, until 5 p.m. Friday, April 10. All currently registered students will receive an email notification and can vote online via the Penguin Portal. Watch the SGA Presidential Debate. ALSO, Student Activities is planning to celebrate the Annual Student Awards in a virtual setting on Thursday, April 30.
      11. Take a break from your studies and relax with a performance from the talented students and faculty via C3= Cliffe Creative Connections, a new virtual arts series.
      12. Take another break: On last week’s livestream, we asked viewers to share a song that has been their “go to” for these challenging times. Here they are. Enjoy!
      13. Y and Proud I: Gov. Mike DeWine gave a shout out to YSU on Friday, April 3, by wearing a YSU tie at his daily press conference and also in a CNN national interview. YSU grad, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, also proudly displayed a “Y” pin on her lab coat at the press conference. Go Penguins!
      14. Y and Proud II:  YSU is in the thick of the coronavirus fight as a team of faculty, working with physicians and nurses at Mercy Health Youngstown, have designed a filtration cartridge that could help address the shortage of personal protection equipment. Congrats to Darrell Wallace, Brian Vuksanovich and the rest of the team. The 3D-printed device is now under review by the National Institutes of Health’s Print Exchange. Keep up the good work.
      15. Y and Proud III: Congratulations to Dragana Crnjak, associate professor of Art, and Lit Youngstown on receiving a grant to install a mural along Andrews Avenue in downtown Youngstown. The mural, which will be designed by YSU students, will be an uplifting and beautiful thing to see once we are on the other side of this pandemic.
      16. Y and Proud IV: Students in our campus media took home 17 – that’s SEVENTEEN – awards in the national Society of Collegiate Journalists contest, including three students who captured first place prizes. And Jambar TV, which debuted just this past fall, earned first place in the Television News Show Overall Excellence category. Congrats to all.
      17. Y and Proud V:Congrats to senior Emily Henline, named a scholar in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, considered to be one of the most widely recognized and prestigious scholarships in the world. And also to junior Alexandra Ballow, selected for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, a premiere national award for undergraduate students in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering. Way to go!
      18. Y and Proud VI: Thanks to the dozens of people in our colleges, university divisions and academic programs who have donated thousands of gloves, masks, goggles, surgical gowns and ventilators to area health care agencies to assist in the ongoing battle against this COVID-19 foe.
      19. Y and Proud VII: A thousand thanks also to all of our alums who are “On the Frontlines” of this battle, including Nursing alums Kayleigh Sciulli, Kimmy Muccio, Jayme Ritchie and Gulay Toslu at Trumbull Regional Medical Center; YSU alum and respiratory manager at Mercy Health Steven Pavlak; and YSU alum Chelsea Freeman, now a social worker with the North Ridgeville City School District. These were the first individuals included in the new weekly “On the Frontlines” feature developed by our Division of University Relations.
      20. In conclusion: As we witness the dedication and persistence of healthcare workers, supply chain providers, scientists, government leaders and all of the millions around the world who are taking on the battle during this horrible pandemic, we also understand more than ever the power and importance of higher education. We will provide the scientists that create the vaccine, the workers that provide the care, and the thinkers that lead and solve the problems and create the solutions.

      Stay Strong…Work Hard…Together Penguins Will Fly!

      Go YSU,

      Ellen and Jim Tressel

    • April 3, 2020 (4:30 p.m.): Summer Courses Announcement

      Fellow Penguins,

      I hope you are well during these difficult times. We wanted to let you know that we have made the decision to continue to deliver all classes through remote learning during the summer terms.

      We will continue to evaluate how we can offer clinical experiences, practica, graduate research, and similar face-to-face experiences during the summer term and second summer semester. If you have questions about specific courses, please contact your department or your academic advisor.

      Registration for Summer classes will still open Monday, April 6 as scheduled.


      Brien N. Smith
      Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

    • March 30, 2020 (6:45 p.m.): Financial Questions Answered

      Fellow Penguins,

      Thank you all for your terrific efforts in adjusting to our remote teaching and learning environment. You, the faculty and our tireless IT staff have certainly made us all Y and Proud.

      There have been many very good questions recently relating to financial matters, particularly student refunds. After significant discussion with our Finance team and others, we have put together the following Q&A to help answer those questions.

      Thank you for your understanding. With continued diligence for social distancing over the next few months, we will get through this and be back together to enjoy the campus environment that so many have helped create.

      Stay well, be safe and Go Penguins,
      James P. Tressel, President

      1. Q: Will I receive a refund of my tuition and fees?
        A: Because YSU moved to remote instruction for the remainder of spring semester, you will receive a pro-rated refund of the general fee, health center fee and parking/transportation fee that appeared on your spring 2020 tuition bill. Because instruction continues remotely, there will not be a refund of the instructional fee or lab fees. 
      2. Q: If I am on a scholarship, will I get a refund?
        A: You will only be refunded a portion of fees that were paid out-of-pocket or via personal loans. Students cannot be refunded any portion of fees that were covered by financial aid from the University, the YSU Foundation or another third party.
      3. Q: How was my refund calculated?
        A: Because remote instruction began mid-way through the spring semester, your refund will reflect a pro-rated portion of the general fee, health center fee and parking/transportation fee that appeared on your spring 2020 tuition bill. (The details of the pro-rata calculation are under development.)
      4. Q: When will I receive my refund?
        A: It is our goal to issue refunds during the first week of April.
      5. Q: If I still owe a balance on my tuition bill, will I get a refund?
        A: If you have a balance due, your refund will be reduced by the amount owed.
      6. Q: Will I receive a room and board refund?
        A: If you lived in a YSU residence hall and have moved out of your room, you will receive a pro-rated refund of room and board in the same manner as the tuition refund described above.
      7. Q: If I received a scholarship or award that paid toward my housing, will I get a housing refund?
        A: You will only be refunded a portion of fees that were paid out-of-pocket or via personal loans. Students cannot be refunded any portion of fees that were covered by financial aid from the University, the YSU Foundation or another third party.
      8. Q: Will I receive a refund if I move out of my apartment-style housing?
        A: After consulting with our Housing office and our public-private partners, the decision has been made that we will be unable to refund and/or set aside our lease agreements, including Courtyard Apartments and other private apartments around campus, i.e. the Edge, Enclave and Flats.
        Unlike our university dormitory-style residences, campus apartments offer the privacy of bedrooms and bathrooms suitable in these times of social distancing. The biggest reality we face regarding our campus apartments is the significant investment, risk and debt that has accompanied the building of these facilities. YSU still has significant debt service on the Courtyard Apartments.
        In the early 2000s, our student body strongly encouraged the university to invest in apartment-style living that would create a more private, attractive and independent lifestyle. In addition, students living in such apartments would not need to purchase a meal plan, saving money.  Beginning in 2010, students requested even more apartment-living options and other campus amenities, which eventually resulted in the YSU Barnes and Noble bookstore, the new Chipotle restaurant and the new Mercy Health Clinic on Wick Avenue. We also sought outside investors for additional apartment projects, and we were fortunate that three such investors took the risk and invested heavily in building The Flats, Erie Terminal, The Edge and The Enclave apartments. Through their investments and belief in YSU, the campus has thrived and the downtown enhanced. As is the case all over the nation, these investors are unable to financially sustain if they were to consider refunds on their properties. While we are aware that his may create some individual hardships, for the good of the future of our campus, this is the direction we must take. Please keep in touch with your property managers if you have particular situations at hand.
    • March 26, 2020 (12:30 p.m.): Helping Penguin-to-Penguin

      Fellow Penguins,

      My thanks again to everyone for your hard work and perseverance in transitioning more than 2,500 of our face-to-face classes to fully online, in less than two weeks. Kudos to all for your part in allowing our students to continue to pursue success here at YSU during this difficult period.

      As all of you are keenly aware, many of our students face significant financial hardships and struggle mightily, even in good times. Those difficulties have only worsened during this time of global crisis. Many have lost their jobs and are having a hard time just meeting their basic needs.

      That’s why the YSU Foundation has started the Penguin-to-Penguin giving campaign to provide our most vulnerable students with up to $500 for housing, car repairs, medical bills, food, toiletries, etc.

      With your help and generosity, we hope to raise $50,000 in the next 90 days. Your contribution, of any size, is appreciated and will greatly assist the continued success of our neediest students.

      Please give online and encourage others to make a gift as well.

      Meanwhile, keep up the good work. We are all certainly Y and Proud of your commitment to our students during this period. Please keep safe, be well and – as always – Go Penguins,

      Jim Tressel


    • March 23, 2020 (11 a.m.): ITS Update


      YSU App Cloud
      YSU Information Technology Services (ITS) is pleased to announce that the majority of the software utilized in YSU Computer Labs is now available virtually in the new YSU App Cloud via Microsoft Azure with associated access instructions. If faculty discover that software needed for a course is not currently available, please enter an IT service request. We encourage students to address their needs with their instructor.

      Many commonly used applications such as the Office 365 suite, Blackboard and the Penguin Portal are accessible using your internet browser. Likewise, other software available directly for download to students’ personal computers are posted here.

      Users with work that requires a secure connection to the University (such as Banner Admin Pages) can utilize new VPN software called “Penguin Connect”.  Installation of the VPN software requires administrative (admin) privileges.  If you have a YSU provided device and do not have admin privileges, please contact the IT Service Desk for assistance.

        Finally, for some faculty and staff, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) may be needed to remotely log into their YSU desktop computer from a remote location for a similar experience to being in the office. Cases where this is required will need to have the new Penguin Connect VPN client installed as a prerequisite.

      Remote Learning Hardware Distribution

      Every faculty member, student or staff member who completed a Technology Needs Survey has been contacted via email to confirm their need. If you have not done so already, please respond to confirm. Additional communications will follow to arrange for pickup.

      IT Service Desk Hours

      Reminder: The IT Service Desk has instituted extended hours starting today, Monday, March 23. Until further notice, the IT Service Desk will be available seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Please either log a support request on-line or call 330-941-1595 to report any issues.

    • March 20, 2020 (4 p.m.): Students: You’ve got this, you are not alone!

      Dear YSU Student,

      As we approach the end of this extended spring break, we hope you are adjusting to the many changes we have had to respond to over the last couple weeks. Our faculty members, administrators and support staff have been working diligently around the clock to prepare for the remainder of Spring semester, which will be delivered online beginning Monday, March 23.

      What follows are messages gathered from your faculty and staff and administrators, who have spent a greater part of the past week thinking about you.

      You are not alone.  We are Penguins.  Penguins stick together.

      It’s okay to be unsure of how this will go.  That doesn’t mean it won’t go well!  It just means we’re unsure.  The past several weeks have been challenging for all - students, faculty, staff, as well as our families wherever they may be across the globe.

      We know this is not just about classes.  Many of our students are expressing fear of the unknown, disappointment in how their senior year will close, and a sense of isolation from their friends.  We will learn as we go how to stay connected. 

      Faculty, staff, and administrators understand that this is a big change for you.  We are listening to your concerns and have put into place at the institution, division and program levels resources to help you navigate our new reality. We know you need open lines of communication and continued support.  Academic Senate passed new policies in response to challenges and issues you may encounter. We are continuously assessing your feedback and working on ways to offer support.

      You’ve got this!  You are smart, strong, and supported.  You’re not alone.  And a big part of the success equation is you.  Preparation is foundational for your success Therefore, before online classes launch on Monday, we want you to review some practical advice, answers to frequently asked questions and tips you can do now to prepare for classes next week.

      Practical advice for right now

      1. Create the physical space where you will study and think about your ideal times for doing coursework.
      2. Schedule the time, and set it aside. It's okay to be a morning person, a night owl, or something in between - you do you!
      3. Click here to make sure your device is Blackboard compatible. While there, you can check out links and videos to help you navigate Blackboard if you have not used it extensively.
      4. Login to Blackboard and see what your faculty members have added. Click around and become familiar with how each course is arranged.
      5. Assess your software. Do you have the basic programs you will need to complete your courses?
      6. YSU offers Microsoft Office 365 at no charge to students. Click here for instructions to download. Adobe is offering free Creative Cloud access for a limited time due to the coronavirus. Click here for details on how to access.
      7. Decide how you want to organize your coursework (files on computer, Google Docs folders, etc.).
      8. Decide how you want to keep track of deadlines for assignments and dates for exams. There are a variety of technologies that can assist, but if you prefer using paper lists/a planner, that's AOK too!
      9. Find a study buddy! Seriously, do this. Motivation comes in waves, and if you are ever running low on it, sometimes you need a nudge from a friend to get you over the next hump. If you need help finding one, please reach out, and we will get you connected.
      10. Think of something you can do each day for you. Self-care is important and can take many forms (exercise, reading, journaling, etc.). Whatever you enjoy doing - make it a priority!

      From all of us at YSU, best wishes for a strong and healthy finish to the semester and the school year. We are committed to helping you succeed this semester and beyond. Continue to check the website and your emails for important updates. Don’t delay reaching out to your first line of assistance - faculty, advisors, and support system from the Divisions of Student Success and Student Experience. Continued wishes to you for good health and much success.


      Brien Smith, the Office of Academic Affairs and all of us here at YSU

    • March 20, 2020 (Noon): Information Technology Services (ITS) Update

      Information Technology Services (ITS) Update

      Loaner equipment
      Virtualization portfolio
      Free wireless

      YSU ITS hopes you all are doing well as we gear up to resume the Spring semester via remote instruction on Monday, March 23. We have three important announcements today:

      Loaner equipment
      In response to the remote learning needs of faculty, students and staff, YSU Information Technology Services is making a limited amount loaner equipment available as inventory allows. Four hundred laptops, along with a lesser number of headsets, webcams and mobile hotspots, will be available.

      An appointment-based "drive-up" process is being coordinated. Online reservations are necessary. If you have not filled out a technology needs survey and do not have what you need to teach, learn or work remotely, please complete the appropriate survey as soon as possible: Faculty Equipment Assessment / Student Device Survey / Staff Equipment Assessment. Survey respondents will be contacted by the IT Service Desk beginning this weekend to arrange an appointment for pickup.

      Virtualization portfolio
      IT Services and technology vendor partners have been tirelessly collaborating to create an application virtualization portfolio to replace access to specialized computer lab software. Our virtual environment is not expected to be ready for use until 8 a.m. Monday, March 23. In preparation for remote learning, please review the two virtual offerings: General VM Software / Engineering VM Software. Details regarding how to access this virtual environment will be forthcoming. If the software used in your specific course is not presented in either of these virtual environments, faculty should submit an IT Service Request. In addition, many application vendors are offering their software for free through the end of May/June. See these free vendor offerings. We would ask faculty to check this list before requesting virtual applications.

      Please also note that many phone/cable/internet service providers are offering free wireless to new student customers in a pledge to keep everyone connected. Check with your home/residence provider for eligibility. If you cannot connect to the internet, please pursue this option first as to save resources for those truly in need.

      It has recently been anounced that Spectrum is offering free broadband/wifi for 60 days to households with K-12 and college students who need to do their classwork at home and signup fees are waived. Individuals can call 1-844-488-8395 to sign up.

      For more details, please go to the ITS Learning Technology Game Plan.

      James A. Yukech
      AVP and CIO

    • March 19, 2020 (5:30 p.m.): YSU Academic Policy Adjustments

      Dear Students:

      We hope you are well during these difficult times. We have been working hard the last several days preparing for the re-launch of the spring semester via remote instruction, and we thank you for your continued patience.

      Recognizing that your success is our success, there have been discussions regarding adjustments to some academic policies (see below) that are responsive to the necessary and sudden changes in modes of instruction.

      This is particularly the case given students and faculty expressing concern about certain dates by which decisions need to be made regarding class continuation, manner of grading, and timeframe within which a course might be completed.

      We strongly encourage you to complete the course using the original grading method, within the timeframe of this semester, and to take advantage of resources available to you. We have encouraged faculty to interact with students as frequently as possible and as students express the need for support. Faculty have also been encouraged to be appropriately flexible, anticipate needed support by referring support services to students, and to provide a longer period of time to complete the requirements for a course as is prudent.

      Brien Smith, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs
      Jeanne Herman, university registrar

      Academic Policy Adjustments The events of the past few days in our country and throughout the world regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been and will continue to be extremely dynamic. The University is dedicated to student academic success during this difficult time. Academic Affairs in collaboration with the faculty represented by the Academic Senate Executive Committee has taken several measures that are directed towards the academic success of our students.

      The following policy adjustments have been made to provide additional support for students.

      Last day to drop a course and receive a W is April 24, 2020

      • Last day to drop with W for the full term, second 8 week and second 7 week has been moved to April 24, 2020
      • Student will be able to withdraw via the Penguin Portal
      • For help with registration changes please contact

      Last day to change grading option is April 24, 2020

      • Last day to change a grading option from traditional (letter grade) to credit no credit is Friday, April 24, 2020
      • No limit on how many courses can be changed to the credit/no credit option
      • Only courses required for the major will need to remain the traditional grade mode
      • All changes require approval from the University
      • Additional information on the approval process to follow

      Last day to complete an “I” for spring semester – December 14, 2020

      • Last day to complete an incomplete for spring has been moved from September 1 to December 14
      • The extention allows additional time for students to complete spring coursework
      • Check with your instructor to see if this may be an option
    • March 18, 2020 (6:45 p.m.): Coronavirus - campus update

      UPDATE - YSU Hotline

      The telephone numbers have changed for the hotline to get answers about the university's response to the coronavirus. Here are the new Penguin Service Center lines:

      Call 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, until further notice. Or email

      Buildings locked

      Since most employees are moving towards working remotely, exterior doors to campus buildings are being locked. While the buildings and campus remain OPEN, with fewer people in buildings, keeping them locked will increase the safety of the few people who may remain, and also protect university assets. Authorized individuals can be admitted through the YSU Police Dispatch, 330-941-3527.

      Maag Library

      YSU's Maag Library and the Curriculum Resource Center will close effective March 18 due to the coronavirus outbreak. We understand that this is a crucial time in the semester for many in the YSU community; library staff will continue to support research and teaching for faculty, students and staff online. For details, visit the Maag Library Guide to Online Services.

      Tutoring Services

      While all face-to-face tutoring has been suspended, the university is working to move tutoring services online. The Center for Student Progress will be offering online support for all of the services offered, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, beginning March 23. For updates on services as well as online learning support services, visit the CSP online.

      • Academic Coaching: WebEx meetings to begin March 23. Coaches will send meeting invites to students. Students can also request academic coaching support online.
      • Supplemental Instruction: All SI leaders will offer group facilitated study sessions. Students in classes served by SI will receive a link to join the study sessions starting Monday, March 23.
      • Tutoring: Tutors will also offer WebEx appointments. Students with scheduled appointments with a tutor will continue with those appointments starting Monday, March 23. More information will be sent out this week. New appointments are still being accepted, request an appointment online.
      • Disability Services: With online learning, there may be different accommodations needs, please contact the CSP at: 330-941-1372 or via email at: with questions and concerns.


      The Writing Center will be offering online services for the remainder of the semester through WCOnline. All previously existing face-to-face appointments were converted to online sessions. Students can schedule an online, synchronous appointment for 15-45 minutes during the Center's regular hours:
      Mon - Thurs: 9am-5pm
      Fri: 10am-1pm
      Sun: 4-7pm

      The Math Assistance Center is working to offer one-on-one and group tutoring sessions online for the remainder of the semester. The MAC will be in contact with students who currently have set appointments as information becomes available. Visit the MAC online for additional resources.

      Counseling Services

      Student Counseling Services is no longer meeting with students in person; however, services are available by phone at 330-941-3737, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you are in crisis or want to set up an Assessment and Referral phone appointment, please call. If you have a mental health emergency or crisis during non-business hours or over the weekend, call 330-941-3737 and after the brief message press 1 to speak with a mental health professional.

      Individuals concerned about a member of the campus community should continue to submit a Person of Concern form as appropriate. Additional information regarding "red flags" and frequently asked questions can be found online.

      ITS response

      Please note that YSU Information Technology Services is focused first and foremost on providing support and responding to issues which directly affect the university’s teaching mission. Please also note that, since ITS is experiencing a higher call volume than normal, you may also open a Service Request. Contact the IT Service Desk at 330-941-1595 for assistance.

      ITS resources

      ITS has a number of resources to help maintain connections with colleagues and students:

      • Blackboard. Blackboard and Blackboard Collaborate are primary resources to connect with your class.
      • WebEx Meetings and Teams for Remote Connectivity Resource. The YSU community has Cisco WebEx Meeting and Teams for remote connectivity. WebEx Meetings enables you to collaborate virtually with internal and external contacts. WebEx Teams has additional functionality and is preferred as a virtual workspace. Please see the WebEx article for instruction guides to download and use WebEx Meeting or WebEx Teams. Download WebEx Teams and Meetings now.
      • Adobe Software. Download the Adobe Creative Cloud applications to your personal device if needed. Please see Common question for Students & Teachers article from Adobe regarding this temporary option.
      • VPN. Securely access the YSU Network from you home device by following the instruction to connect using Penguin Connect.

      YSU Bookstore

      The YSU Bookstore is closed until further notice. Most bookstore services, such as buying books, returning rentals and ordering school spirit products, are still available online with free shipping options.

      In support of student success, YSU Bookstore has joined with VitalSource to provide free access to digital textbooks through the remainder of the Spring 2020 term. Students should visit and login or create an account with their YSU email address.

      Delivery Services

      YSU’s Delivery Services is suspending all mail and parcel deliveries across campus. Departments may send one individual (with a valid ID) to pick up mail and parcels, 8 a.m. to noon, Monday – Friday. During this time, you will be permitted to drop off any campus mail, outgoing metered mail or parcels (UPS/FedEx). Any changes will be communicated accordingly.

      Removing files, documents

      As employees work remotely, it may be necessary to take files, documents or other university property off campus. University General Counsel and the Office of Human Resources is informing managers/supervisors/AVPs/VPs that employees can do so with the following criteria:

      • They provide their manager/supervisor with a list/log of what they are removing.
      • They are informed that it is their responsibility to keep whatever they remove from campus secure and confidential.
      • The property will be returned when the employee is allowed to return to campus.
    • March 18, 2020 (12:30 p.m.): Work and Leave During the Coronavirus Emergency

      Hope everyone is holding up and staying well during these difficult times. As the world and nation continue to respond to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, YSU is implementing the following directives regarding Work and Leave During the Coronavirus Emergency. Our major focus remains the welfare of our students, employees and the entire campus community. As such, we are striving to empty the campus ASAP of all but only the most critical handful of employees, as per the information below. Please share these directives and please let us know if you have any questions.

      Thank you, and stay well,

      Cynthia A. Kravitz
      AVP of Human Resources

      Work and Leave During the Coronavirus Emergency

      It is the University’s goal to maintain the critical function of educating our students and to comply with Governor DeWine’s Executive Order and continuing directives regarding the Coronavirus Emergency.

      These measures are on a non-precedent setting basis and are subject to change. These measures are effective immediately. These measures are being instituted to continue everyone’s pay, continue teaching our classes on-line and to comply with the Governor’s directives.

      In order to comply with Governor DeWine’s directives to achieve social distancing and assist with preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, yet at the same time maintain our critical function and teach on-line, remote work is the most desired work arrangement for YSU employees for now. However, some employees may be required to work on campus to perform critical work. This should be done on a very limited basis. On campus work will need to be reviewed by the President, through the Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents.

      • These new work arrangements will be reviewed and approved on a weekly basis, as the circumstances change.
      • The amount of available work can increase or decrease depending on University needs and can vary between 0-40 hours per week at the discretion of the manager/supervisor. Employees may submit leave of any kind to supplement weeks with less than 40 hours work.
      • Employees remain responsible for electronically submitting their time sheets or leave reports through YSU Banner Portal.

      Supervisors/Managers Responsibilities
      Supervisors/Managers/Chairs/Deans should allow employees to work remotely, whenever possible for now. The following criteria may be considered:

      1. The employee must be readily accessible to the supervisor/manager via e-mail and telephone.
      2. The work/duties or project does not require the employee’s presence on campus.
      3. The employee has the necessary equipment in order to remotely perform their work.
      4. Supervisors/Managers/Chairs/Deans are responsible for establishing regular contact with their employees, and assigning and evaluating work on a weekly basis.
      5. In order for approval to be granted the work, duties or project must be meaningful. Meaningful work, duties, or projects (collectively called “meaningful work”) must meet one of the following criteria to be performed remotely:
      • Work that the employee would typically perform while on campus,
      • Work to maintain a necessary University function or service,
      • Work to assess a University function or service,
      • Work to improve a University function or service,
      • Work to improve an employee’s skills to be used for the benefit of the University.

      Employee Responsibilities

      1. Provide readily accessible contact information (telephone and e-mail),
      2. Have the necessary equipment to work remotely,
      3. Maintain the security and confidentiality of your work,
      4. Track the time spent and work accomplished on a daily basis.
      5. Adhere to all applicable YSU polices.
      6. Continue to electronically submit attendance and leave usage through the YSU BANNER PORTAL.

      2. USE OF LEAVE
      If no meaningful work can be done remotely, employees are encouraged to take accrued available leave. The employee may use any type of accrued leave available. Employees who do not wish to use leave can either: use unpaid leave or discuss with their supervisors whether different duties are available which qualify as meaningful work to be performed remotely during this time. Employees who enter unpaid leave status will have their healthcare insurance maintained by the University.

      Managers/Supervisors/Chairs/Dean are directed to use their management discretion and common sense in making these decisions and to consult with their Vice President/Provost or Associate Vice Presidents/President. Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents may contact Human Resources for guidance at or call 330-941-1529.

    • March 17, 2020 (6:00 p.m.): Coronavirus - campus update

      A message from Wick Primary Care to the YSU Community

      Mercy Health - Wick Primary Care at YSU is no longer accepting patients with symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, body aches, etc. Instead, they are directing anyone with these symptoms to one of their new triage locations (see below). However, in order to keep the YSU community and our local community as healthy as possible, before you go to either of the triage locations, you must call Wick Primary Care at 330-747-4660.

      Mercy Health Triage Locations
      Current hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. 7 days/week
      Eisenhower Primary Care
      7341 Eisenhower Dr.
      Youngstown, OH 44512
      Parkman Primary Care
      1455 Parkman Rd. NW
      Warren, OH 44485

      Payroll Window

      The Payroll Window in Jones Hall is closed indefinitely. All employees are strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit here. If you do not select direct deposit, your paper pay check will be mailed to your address on file the business day prior to payday.

      Maag Library

      YSU's Maag Library and the Curriculum Resource Center will close effective March 18 due to the coronavirus outbreak. We understand that this is a crucial time in the semester for many in the YSU community; library staff will continue to support research and teaching for faculty, students and staff online. For details, visit the Maag Library Guide to Online Services.

      Overview of modified library services:

      • Electronic Resources. All e-resources are available including databases, journals, e-books, digital collections, music and video streaming, etc.  These resources and more can be accessed through the library website.
      • Research Assistance. Librarians are available to assist with online research and to support teaching and digital scholarship via: a chat on the library website, Ask a Librarian email or phone appointment during the library’s normal operating hours.
      • Print Lending. All borrowing of physical items is suspended until further notice. This includes local materials, OhioLINK, SearchOhio, and Interlibrary Loan. This measure is necessary to prevent possible exposure to contaminated materials that circulate locally, statewide, nationwide, and globally.
      • Overdue Materials. Until the library reopens, please keep books and other materials previously checked-out. Rest assured that all fines and late fees accrued during this time will be waived.
      • Electronic Document Delivery. We will attempt to fulfill requests for articles or chapters of local materials that can be delivered directly to you electronically, including textbooks, following copyright guidelines.
      • Technology Support. The IT Service Desk will continue providing assistance online or by phone at 330-941-1595.
      • Laptops. IT Services and the Maag Library team are collaborating on developing a loaner pool of laptops and WiFi hotspots for distribution to faculty, staff and students.  As separate communication will be sent as soon as this service is ready. 

      We encourage you to visit the Maag Library website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for library information, resources and tutorials.

      Please count on us to help you with your scholarly and research needs as we all navigate through this time and move to online learning.

      Christine Adams and Ana Torres 
      Library Co-Directors

      Remote work questionnaire - STAFF

      As you know, with the constantly changing landscape of the coronavirus outbreak, YSU is developing business continuity plans to allow working remotely if needed. As part of that plan, YSU wants to make sure that everyone is able to work remotely if necessary. So, if you do not have personal access to Wifi, computing devices, audio/video capabilities, please complete this Staff Questionnaire.

      James A. Yukech
      AVP and CIO,

    • March 17, 2020 (8:00 a.m.): Spring Commencement 2020 - A Note from President Tressel

      Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we work through these difficult times and the spread of the coronavirus. As announced earlier, YSU will transition to a fully-remote mode of instruction starting March 23. This will allow students to progress in their studies and finish the semester, without coming to campus. It also will allow our seniors to continue their work toward graduation.

      The question then becomes: What about Spring Commencement on May 9? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending against group events of 50 or more people at least for the next two months. YSU's Spring Commencement regularly attracts in excess of 5,000 family members and friends. In light of the CDC's recommendations and the continued uncertainty of our current situation, it is in everyone's best interest that we postpone the Spring Commencement ceremony. Our hopes are that we can hold the ceremony later in the summer. We will keep you informed of those plans. In any case, graduates will still have their degrees conferred on May 9, and diplomas will be mailed a short time after.

      Thank you, in advance, for your understanding. Know that, while we are saddened by this action, we also are most proud of you, your hard work and your perseverance in these unprecedented times.

      Be well, we'll be in touch, and Go Penguins,

      James P. Tressel, President

    • March 13, 2020 (6:30 p.m.): Coronavirus - Update Spring Semester

      This has been a very challenging week for all of us. Your patience is so appreciated, and we would like to update everyone on the status of the Spring semester.

      Though we wish we were together, Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton, estimate that the spread of the coronavirus in Ohio is likely to peak between late-April and mid-May. Therefore, our plan is as follows:

      • All on-campus courses will be delivered remotely for the remainder of the Spring semester, starting March 23. That means face-to-face courses will not be given on campus the rest of this semester; instead, they will be offered via alternative delivery methods now under development. As a result, students will not need to come back to campus to complete the Spring semester. More details to come.
      • Schedule as follows:
        March 9-15, Spring Break.
        March 16-22, Spring Break extended. No classes, except for regular, fully online courses.
        March 23-end of semester, Spring semester classes resume. Instruction delivered remotely; students do not come to campus
      • Minimizing the number of students on campus for the rest of the semester is a proactive step designed to prevent the spread of the disease and keep the campus community and region safe. The university is currently establishing a fair and equitable way to offer refunds/credits for University House students in Cafaro, Lyden, Kilcawley, Wick and Weller. Please know that students who need to stay in housing will be accommodated. Additional information and move out instructions will follow via email for all students in these facilities.

      As the university continues to address this pandemic, our guiding principles remain the safety of the entire YSU community and region, as well as the continuity of delivering a high quality education to our students. Academic administrators, department chairs and faculty are working hard to develop coursework that will allow students to continue and finish their studies remotely and without coming to campus.

      As is the case with the coronavirus, these plans to resume and complete the semester are evolving. There are many questions, and we have been busy trying to answer most of them via email, social media and our Coronavirus Information webpage, including a growing list of Frequently Asked Questions. We will continue to do so. We ask that you closely monitor these resources for the latest updates.

      Thanks for your continued understanding and patience. TOGETHER, we will complete this semester, graduate our seniors and make sure all of our students progress. Be safe, and we will be in touch.

      Go Penguins,

      James P. Tressel, President

    • March 13, 2020 (8:40 a.m.): Coronavirus - Work & Leave Update

      On Thursday, the university emailed guidelines and directives for YSU employees during the coronavirus pandemic. Please note this additional guidance regarding working remotely:

      High Risk Individuals

      Employees who have underlying medical condition are advised to contact the Chief Human Resources Officer via e-mail at regarding working remotely or taking leave.

      Working Remotely

      Supervisors/managers and college deans, with the approval of the applicable Vice President or Provost or Associate Vice-President, may allow employees to work remotely. The following criteria should be considered when approving a remote working arrangement:

      1. The employee must be readily accessible to the supervisor via e-mail and telephone.
      2. The work/duties or project does not require the employee’s presence on campus.
      3. The employee has the necessary equipment to remotely perform their work at their home or at an alternative location.
      4. The type and nature of the work to be performed.*
      5. Employee family or personal needs.
      • Supervisors/managers and college deans will establish a system of regular contact with their employees.
      • Remote work arrangements will be reviewed and approved on a weekly basis by the supervisor/manager or college dean.
      • Employees remain responsible for electronically reporting their work/leave time via the YSU Banner Portal and must report any sick, vacation or other time utilized as if they were not working remotely.

      An employee may be required to work on campus based on the type and nature of the work, as determined by the manager/supervisor or college dean in consultation with the appropriate Vice President or Provost or Associate Vice President.


      All other employees may use accrued leave to remain off-campus. Employees who choose to remain off-campus must use accrued leave (employees may use sick, vacation or personal leave). Employees who have exhausted available leave will be on unpaid leave. Employees remain responsible for electronically reporting their work/leave time via the YSU Banner Portal.


      Employees who come to campus and are ill or otherwise have flu/cold-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, runny nose) should not be at work and cannot return to work until symptoms have resolved for 48 hours. Sick leave must be used for the time an employee is ill; if an employee has insufficient sick time, vacation or personal leave can be utilized. In the instance where an employee has no accrued time, the employee will be on unpaid leave. .

      For more information regarding the university’s response to the coronavirus, visit the Coronavirus Information webpage.

    • March 12, 2020 (5:00 p.m.): Coronavirus update - Post-Travel Requirements

      On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, Governor DeWine highly recommended that all higher education institution cancel or postpone university-sponsored travel. In addition, it was recommended to screen ALL students, faculty and staff returning from ANY international travel or cruise ships.

      As a member of the YSU community (faculty, staff or student) you are required to self-report information on ANY travel, domestic OR international (excluding within Ohio, Western Pennsylvania or Northern West Virginia) within the past 14 days and moving forward, to the university prior to returning to campus.

      If you are returning or have returned from international travel after March 6th, YSU is requiring that you complete the YSU Post Travel Screening form as soon as possible. You must complete the screening in order to return to campus.

      For more information regarding the university’s response to the coronavirus, visit the Coronavirus Information webpage.

    • March 12, 2020 (9:45 a.m.): Coronavirus update - Student Employment

      Student employment will operate as usual through the extended Spring Break period. Should a student employee choose not to report to work during this period, their absence will be considered excused without pay and their position will not be jeopardized. Any student choosing not to report to work should inform their supervisor. The University will continue to assess the situation as more information becomes available.

      For more information regarding the university’s response to the coronavirus, visit the Coronavirus Information webpage.

    • March 12, 2020 (9:00 a.m.): Coronavirus update - Employee Information
      Coronavirus Workplace Directives and Guidance for Employees

      In conjunction with Gov. Mike DeWine’s recommendations of March 10, 2020 regarding state universities and the coronavirus, Youngstown State University’s Office of Human Resources is putting in place the following workplace measures (Employees should continue to monitor their YSU e-mail for updated information and directives):


      All faculty are expected to come to campus and work with their department chairs, deans and the Office of Academic Affairs to ensure that they are prepared to conduct online instruction starting Monday, March 23, 2020.

      Part-Time Faculty

      Part-time faculty will be contacted by their department chair regarding preparation and provision of online instruction.

      All other Employees

      All employees are expected to come to campus and continue normal operations.

      High Risk Individuals

      Employees with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, may contact the Chief Human Resources Officer at regarding possible workplace accommodations.


      Employees who show signs of flu/cold-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough) should stay home, utilize sick leave, and not return to work until symptoms have resolved. Employees without sufficient sick leave will utilize vacation leave; employees without sufficient vacation leave will utilize leave without pay. You must inform your Manager/Supervisor of your need to use leave.

      However, if you have traveled to or through an international location in the last 14 days, regardless of whether the location has a Travel Health Notice:

      • Do not come to work.
      • Contact a health care provider.
      • You must provide written medical verification to the Office of Human Resources prior to returning to work.

      Managers/supervisors should send employees home if they are showing signs of illness (fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough). Employees sent home due to illness will submit sick time; if no sick time is available, then vacation may be used. If the employee has no sick or vacation time available, they should submit a request for leave without pay.

      Working Remotely

      The University is preparing plans for remote work (telecommuting) opportunities, where appropriate, during this time. More information regarding remote work will be available from Human Resources in the coming days.

      For more information regarding the university’s response to the coronavirus, visit the Coronavirus Information webpage.

    • March 12, 2020 (8 a.m.): Coronavirus update - Online Classes

      To clarify Tuesday’s note regarding the university’s response to the coronavirus and the extension of Spring Break through the end of next week:

      All of the university’s current, fully online classes will continue as scheduled on March 16.

      If you are enrolled in such a class, your instruction will proceed without interruption.  

      For the most updated information on university operations during the coronavirus outbreak, visit the Coronavirus Information webpage.

    • March 11, 2020 (3 p.m.): Coronavirus update - Student Information

      President Tressel announced on Tuesday several steps the university is taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on campus, including the extension of Spring Break through March 22. In response, the Division of Student Experience is providing the following additional guidance and information, especially for students:

      International Travelers

      • Students and others returning from CDC Level 3 warning countries are required to observe a 14-day period of self-quarantine and monitoring. During this period, you are not permitted to come to work, be on campus, or participate in any other campus or community activities. Students needing to self-quarantine will be required to return to their permanent home residence or self-quarantine in their off-campus apartments. Students who are required to self-monitor may contact the Division of Student Experience for assistance with meals at 330.941.3533.
      • Students who reside in the residence halls and are unable to return to a permanent residence should register via the online form so Housing staff members are aware of who is in the building.
      • Based on recommendations provided by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, students, faculty, and staff members who are returning from any international travel are required to be screened by a licensed healthcare provider within 24-48 hours of returning to campus.

      Campus Housing

      • University Housing and University Courtyards remain open. Students who are currently at home for Spring Break and are able to stay home are strongly encouraged to remain there. Students currently in the residence halls or apartments who are able to travel home are also strongly encouraged to do so. Students who need to return to their campus residence hall room or apartment to gather belongings before returning home are advised to minimize the length of their stay in the building by taking only the time necessary to pack those essential belongings.
        Due to the closure of many other campus services, we request that any student who must remain in the residence halls or apartments - because they have no other housing option - to register with us via the online form. This will allow us to ensure appropriate dining options for the coming weeks. (See updated schedule of dining options below.) We ask that students who stay on campus take deliberate care to minimize social contact with others, including limiting visits outside their room and limiting visitors to their room, to observe recommended hygiene practices, and to seek medical advice as soon as symptoms develop.
        Staffing patterns for all residence halls will be altered as many residence hall staff members are also students. Signs with updated information will be posted at each front desk. Students staying in the residence halls should use their residence hall front desk or the Housing Office (330.941.3547) as their primary point of contact for any issues that arise. YSUPD should be contacted for emergencies at 330.941.3527.
      • The University has been in communication with each of our housing partners (University Edge, Enclave, Flats at Wick, Erie Terminal, and Buechner Hall) to ensure they understand the recommendations made by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the CDC and have made the appropriate adjustments.

      Campus Dining

      • Adjustments for campus dining locations effective March 15 and until further notice:
        Christman Dining Commons (students on meal plans only):
        Monday – Thursday
        Breakfast: 7:30 am – 10:30 am
        Lunch: 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
        Dinner: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
        Breakfast: 7:30 am – 10:30 am
        Lunch: 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
        Dinner: 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm
        Saturday and Sunday
        Brunch: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
        Dinner: 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
        Dunkin Donuts:
        Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 1:30 pm
        Monday-Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
        Saturday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

      Other Facilities

      • The Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center remains closed through March 22. All programs are cancelled. Contact Ryan McNicholas with program questions. All faculty, staff, alumni, and affiliate memberships are extended based on university closure policy. Contact Amanda Reardon at with membership questions. Equipment reservations are suspended. Contact Joe Conroy with equipment questions.
      • All programs hosted by Kilcawley Center are cancelled through March 31, including all on-campus events hosted by student organizations, campus departments and sponsored events hosted by student organizations or campus departments. Additionally, all events booked by external off-campus groups are cancelled. The Center, however, remains open with modified hours, operating 8 a.m. through 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Questions or concerns, email Vaughn Myers.
      • Carl Nunziato Veterans Resource Center is closed through March 22.

      Student Services

      • Wick Primary Care remains open and will deliver health care services during the extended break period and throughout the coronavirus outbreak. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday.
      • Student Counseling Services remains open through March 22.  Counselors will be available for regularly scheduled Assessment and Referral appointments and crisis intervention for students on campus. 
      • For off-campus or ill students, we will provide referral services to appropriate community resources via phone.
      • After-hours, weekend and holiday crisis phone line continues as usual. However, all outreach and workshops offered in group settings are temporarily suspended. Questions or concerns, call 330.941.3737.
      • The Office of Student Outreach and Support continues to provide services for students during normal business hours. Access to the food pantry by appointment.
      • The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions remains open for normal business hours. Call each office first to determine if they can assist you via phone or email before visiting the office in-person.

      Student Leadership

      • Student Government Association funding for travel and events has been suspended until further notice. SGA elections will proceed as scheduled, with voting taking place online March 30 and 31. Student organization and club sport travel has been suspended. Student organizations who have off-campus events scheduled between now and March 30 should consult with Erin Driscoll at
      • All student organization events scheduled between now and March 31, 2020 are cancelled.

      For the most updated information on university operations during the coronavirus outbreak, visit the Coronavirus Information webpage.

      Mr. Eddie J. Howard, Jr.
      Vice President for Student Affairs

    • March 10, 2020 (6:25 p.m.): Coronavirus Announcement - Class Schedule

      To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on campus and to continue the important work of the university, especially our duty to ensure the success of our students, we are taking the following steps:

      • Spring Break will be extended an additional week for all students, through March 22. There will be no classes on campus. Students should not come to campus. Employees – faculty, staff and administration – should report to work as usual; the university will provide guidance related to social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene. (More detailed information for employees will be available soon.)
      • During this additional week of Spring Break, the university will finalize plans to initiate alternative instructional delivery methods that will allow most students to continue their education without coming to campus during the coronavirus outbreak. This step is in line with recommendations by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. (More detailed information will be available soon.)
      • All large, indoor campus events and gatherings are canceled through March 31.
      • All university-sponsored travel, domestic as well as international, is suspended until further notice, unless deemed mission critical and approved by a vice president or associate vice president. The university is in contact with those students and faculty now on study abroad trips and will work for their safe return.
      • The university has plans in place to address the needs of students residing on campus. Students are strongly encouraged to remain home or in their apartments and to practice appropriate social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures. (More detailed information will be available soon.)

      The university has been monitoring closely the coronavirus outbreak and providing regular updates. We have implemented our university Pandemic Response Plan, and our Pandemic Response Team has been meeting over the past several days. We continue to align our response with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as local, state and federal health agencies and recent recommendations from Gov. DeWine.

      While there are no cases of COVID-19 at YSU, there are at least three confirmed cases in Ohio. We anticipate more. While we know that the measures we are introducing today for YSU will cause disruption, our decisions are always guided with the safety of our campus community in mind. Your cooperation and collaboration is appreciated.

      We understand that there will be numerous questions related to these unprecedented actions. The situation is evolving quickly; therefore, all of these measures are subject to change. We will continue to monitor regularly and make adjustments as needed. Please stay connected to your university email and to the university’s Coronavirus Information website for the latest updates.

      We appreciate your understanding and continued cooperation during these difficult times. Thank you for all of your efforts to promote a safe and healthy campus community.

      James P. Tressel, President

    • March 10, 2020 (10:45 a.m.): CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Important travel information

      With the announcement of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state of Ohio, YSU remains in daily contact with local, state and federal health officials and continues to closely monitor the virus’s progress. The health and safety of the entire YSU community continues to be our top priority.

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working with state and local public health partners, has implemented new after-travel health precautions for Italy, South Korea and Iran as were previously enacted for travellers from China.

      While we are not currently aware of any members of the YSU community traveling in CDC Level 3 countries, please be aware of the following:

      • CDC has issued after-travel health precautions for individuals traveling from one of the Level 3 countries. Such individuals are being asked to stay home for a period of 14 days after returning to the United States.
      • As a result, any member of the YSU community who travels to or through China, South Korea, Iran, Italy or any other country that is elevated to a CDC Level 3 are required to self-report this information to the university prior to returning to campus and must stay home for 14 days and practice social distancing.

      YSU will continue to monitor developments both at home and abroad and communicate with the campus as needed.

      For the most up-to-date YSU information on the coronavirus, visit:

      If you have any questions regarding travel and re-entry to the United States, reach out to the International Programs Office or 330.941.2336.

    • March 5, 2020: Help prevent the spread of illnesses

      You can help prevent the spread of illnesses such as coronavirus and the flu: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

      As we prepare for spring break the Pandemic Response Team wanted to remind everyone that there are a number of preventive actions that each of us can take to help prevent the spread of numerous illnesses such as the coronavirus, the flu and other respiratory diseases.

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend:

      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
      • Stay home when you are sick.
      • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
      • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
      • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
        • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
        • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
        • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

      For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.

      For information on YSU's response for the coronavirus visit

      Red SyringeGet a Flu Shot

      As a reminder, seasonal influenza activity in the United States and in Ohio continues to be high.

      The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. Wick Primary Care at YSU still has flu vaccines available, and it’s not too late to get yours. Call 330.747.4660 for more information.

    • March 2, 2020: Coronavirus and Spring Break Travel

      As we approach spring break, we would like to call to your attention the widening outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus and the potential for those of you traveling internationally during YSU's Spring Break (March 7-15) to experience disruptions in your travel.

      In recent days, the CDC has raised travel advisory levels and issued travel health notices for several countries, including China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan. We encourage any student or employee with international travel plans this spring to monitor travel advisories via both the CDC and the U.S. Department of State. These websites provide guidance for your destination as well as for those countries you may plan to transit.

      Anyone traveling internationally should consider the very real possibility of additional travel warnings, new entry and exit control measures, and even quarantines implemented with very little notice during the coming weeks. These actions could severely impact your timely return to campus.

      To best support our campus community, we are asking anyone with international travel plans over spring break to share their travel itineraries with the university via an ONLINE FORM.

      If you have any questions regarding travel and re-entry to the U.S., we encourage you to reach out to the International Programs Office or 330.941.2336.

      YSU will continue to monitor developments both at home and abroad and communicate with the campus as needed.

    • Feb. 19, 2020: An update on University Sponsored Travel and the Coronavirus

      Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

      As international concerns grow regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), YSU continues to closely monitor the situation. As of Feb. 18, there have been no confirmed cases in the state of Ohio; the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk to the general public to be low.

      Nevertheless, the Department of State has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory, asking people not to travel to China. In response, YSU is issuing a temporary restriction for all university-sponsored travel to China.

      In addition, for personal travel, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. We strongly advise all students, faculty and staff to follow that recommendation and to avoid all nonessential travel to China.

      Currently, the United States has suspended entry of foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days. Additional measures have been implemented to monitor the health of those who are allowed entry (i.e., U.S. citizens, residents and family) who have been in China within 14 days.

      While COVID-19 is a serious concern, YSU students, faculty, and staff are more likely to contract the flu than COVID-19. As with all infectious diseases, basic precautions should be followed to prevent the spread of the disease, such as washing your hands often with soap and water, cover coughs and sneezes with your arm or tissue, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects, and stay at home if you are feeling ill (except to visit the doctor).

      More information on the Coronavirus is available on the following websites:

    • Jan. 28, 2020: A Message from the President about Coronavirus in China

      As many of you are aware in December 2019/January 2020 the Novel Coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province China. The administration of YSU is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all YSU faculty, staff and students. Because of this, we would like to share the following facts and precautions with the University community.

      To date, there are zero confirmed cases in the State of Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Health, the overall risk of acquiring the Novel Coronavirus in the US is low.

      The Ohio Department of Health recommends that individuals who have recently traveled to or from affected areas (e.g. Wuhan, China) and who experience symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty of breathing should seek immediate medical care by contacting Wick Primary Care at YSU (330) 747-4660 and avoid contact with others. Wick Primary Care is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday and 8 a.m. – Noon Saturday.

      There are currently no YSU-sponsored trips or research activities in the affected areas that would elevate the risk to the University community. We are continuing to monitor this evolving situation in partnership with local and state public health authorities. We will continue to provide information and updates as they become available.

      The Ohio Department of Health is providing a constantly updated resource for individuals and institutions regarding the Novel Coronavirus. Meanwhile, we are still in flu season, and these precautions are recommended for both the flu and Coronavirus:

      • The most effective means of protection is the same as those things that prevent illnesses such as the flu.
      • Wash Hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol based sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
      • Cover coughs/sneezes with your arm.
      • Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
      • Stay home when you are ill.

      James P. Tressel, President

Video Messages from President Jim Tressel

Past Messages

For Pete's Sake Logo

YSU’s Take Charge of Our Future Focus Groups continue to work for a safe return to our campuses this fall. We plan to resume in-person classes and residential living in August. We are working to ensure a safe experience for the entire YSU community.

"For Pete's Sake..." was established to help guide the return to campus activity. Everyone at YSU is encouraged to adhere to these guides to help ensure the safest environment possible.

Daily Health Assessment

Face Covering Information


Keep your distance

Hand Washing information

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

You can help prevent the spread of illnesses such as coronavirus and the flu: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory diseases, including:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact, especially with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Monitor Your Health.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. The CDC does offer specific guidance for travelers.