Board, Tressel agree to one-year contract extension

Headshot of YSU President Jim Tressel
Jim Tressel

The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees and President Jim Tressel agreed today to extend Tressel’s contract for another year through June 2020.
“By every measure, President Tressel has excelled in leading YSU over the past four years,” Trustee Chair Dee Crawford said. “His vision and determination have resulted in unprecedented gains in many important areas of the university’s operations. We look forward to continuing that momentum.”
Tressel said: “Much has been accomplished, and thanks certainly goes to the Board of Trustees, everyone here at YSU, our alumni and supporters. While challenges remain, we are committed to further advancing the university on behalf of our students and the community.”

Tressel was named YSU’s ninth president in 2014 and signed a three-year contract through the end of June 2017. He then signed a new contract that included three separate additional one-year renewal options. Last fall, Tressel and the board agreed to the first one-year renewal option, extending the contract through June 2019. Today, the parties agreed to the second one-year renewal option, extending the contract through June 2020.

The pact includes no pay increase. His annual salary will remain at $300,000.

Under Tressel’s leadership, YSU’s full-time equivalent enrollment has increased for three consecutive academic years, freshmen enrollment is up 31 percent from four years ago, and Honors College enrollments have more than tripled. Freshman class standardized test scores and grade point averages are among the highest in the university’s history. Residence halls are at capacity, as are two privately-financed student apartment complexes that have opened on campus in the last three years. In addition, a new Barnes & Noble student bookstore and Starbucks café have opened on campus, a new campus student health center will open next year and Wick Avenue (a major campus thoroughfare) has undergone significant upgrades. A structural deficit in the university’s operating budget was corrected, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the university’s bond rating to A+, and the historic $100 million “We See Tomorrow” fundraising campaign has surpassed the $80 million mark. In addition, the university recently earned full re-accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and YSU faculty and staff earned a nine-year high in research and service grants.

Prior to being named president at YSU, Tressel spent two years as executive vice president for Student Success at the University of Akron. He previously was head football coach at Ohio State University from 2001 to 2010, where his teams won the national championship in 2002 and seven Big Ten championships, and appeared in eight BCS post-season bowl games. He was head football coach at YSU from 1986 to 2000, where his teams won four Division I-AA national championships. He also was executive director of Athletics at YSU from 1994 to 2000. Tressel earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1975 and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Akron in 1977.