YSU Board of Trustees summary, June 6 and 7, 2018

Youngstown State University

Youngstown State University Board of Trustees
Thursday and Friday, June 6 and 7, 2018

The YSU Board of Trustees approved a fiscal year 2019 operating budget, a new tuition plan, and a new PhD, and appointed Joseph Mosca as new interim provost, during meetings this week in Tod Hall on campus. The board held committee meetings on Wednesday and Thursday morning and its regular quarterly meeting at noon on Thursday. The following is a summary of actions taken and reports presented. For more details, see the full texts of resolutions and policies.

Oath of Office
Charles T. George of Canfield took the oath of office as the newest member of the board. Gov. John Kasich appointed George, chief executive of Hapco Inc., Strangepresse and Triptech, to a nine-year term to replace Leonard Schiavone, whose term has expired.

President’s Report
President Jim Tressel noted that he is finishing his fourth year as president. He recognized the work of students, faculty, administration, staff, alumni and philanthropists. Four years ago, the university faced several challenges in the wake of significant leadership transitions over a short period. “Everyone seemed to roll up their sleeves and have done extraordinary work with what I believe is a very lean workforce,” he said. It’s been an honor and a joy, he said, to work with the campus community over the last four years.

Faculty Presentations
Ken Miller,
professor of Counseling, School Psychology and Educational Leadership in the Beeghly College of Education, talked with the board about his recently completed sabbatical in Bhutan in Southeast Asia. During the presentation, Miller wore the national attire or “uniform” for men in Bhutan. Miller said that, during his sabbatical, he participated in a clinical residency at the National Referral Hospital, a teaching fellowship at Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, conducted research, coauthored three grants, made 11 conference presentations and participated in a three-day Buddha conference. He also said he talked with representatives in Bhutan about establishing an educational partnership with YSU, including scholarships for students in Bhutan to attend YSU.

Doug Genna, assistant professor of Chemistry in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, talked with the board about his continuing research in meta-organic frameworks. The research has applications for water purification, especially contamination caused by drugs. He also talked about the four master students and 16 undergraduate students who have worked in his research lab, resulting in three peer-reviewed papers and two grants.

Student Presentations
Isebella Greathouse,
a Geography major in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, talked with the board about her journey overcoming homelessness, graduating from Salem High School, earning scholarships to enroll in YSU, having a child and making the Dean’s List. She hopes to be a weather reporter.

Briana Schreckengost, a senior Finance major with a minor in Nonprofit Leadership in the Williamson College of Business Administration, talked with the board about her three internships and her involvement in the WCBA Dare to Care Day and the Pay It Forward program.

Academic and Student Affairs

Approved a resolution to modify the policy on Student Travel to allow students in certain university-sponsored educational or sports programs/activities that are under the age of 18 to travel as part of their participation.

Approved a new PhD program in Health Sciences. The new program, designed to prepare graduates to be competent educators and to perform research, will be directed by Ken Learman, professor of Physical Therapy. A needs assessment indicated that nearly 75 percent of past Physical Therapy students and more than half of other health professional alumni were interested in applying to the program. “We already have a lot of people who are asking, ‘When you start, let me know; I want to sign up,’” Learman said. It will be YSU’s third doctoral-level programs, joining the doctor of Physical Therapy, the EdD in Educational Leadership and the PhD in Materials Science Engineering. Sal Sanders, dean of Graduate Studies, said the program still must earn the approvals of the Chancellor’s Council on Graduate Studies, the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education and then by the Higher Learning Commission.

Approved a list of candidates to be considered for honorary degrees.

Approved a resolution for tenure for Gregory Dillon, associate dean of the College of STEM. Dillon, who earned PhD and bachelor of Engineering degrees in Materials Engineering in from the University of Limerick, Ireland, was formerly associate director for Research and Technology Transfer in the School of Engineering at Penn State University Erie. He also was deputy Head of the Composite Materials Division of Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory from 2000 to 2012.

Approved the University Completion Plan, as required by state law. The plan outlines initiatives YSU has undertaken to improve student retention, persistence and completion, including increased admission standards, significant jumps in Honors College enrollments, higher freshman-to-sophomore retention rates, creation of a new associate provost position to oversee Student Success, hiring a director of First-Year Programs and increased tutoring. The plan also includes YSU’s participation in the new Ohio Strong Start to Finish project, designed to significantly increase the number of students completing gateway math and English courses as part of a guided pathway in the first year. Mike Sherman, special assistant to the president, and Claire Berardini, associate provost for Student Success, reported.

Approved a resolution of appreciation for recent program accreditations, including the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation for the Beeghly College of Education; the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences for the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Science; and the Committee on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education for the new master’s degree of Athletic Training program.

Gary Swegan, associate vice president for Enrollment Management, said YSU has received 10,207 applications for Fall 2018, the first time the university has surpassed the 10,000 mark. He also said all resident halls will be full, while Eddie Howard, vice president for Student Affairs, reported that the Courtyard, Enclave and Edge apartments will also be at capacity for the Fall semester. YSU’s FY 2019 operating budget assumes a 1.5 percent increase in enrollment for the Fall; Swegan said he feels “very comfortable” that the university will reach that mark.

“We’re still waiting” was the way Kevin Ball, associate provost, summarized the status of the re-accreditation review by the Higher Learning Commission. Ball said the university received the HLC review team’s final draft report this week. The HLC’s Institutional Actions Council will now review and take final action on the team’s report, most likely sometime in July. Ball said HLC cautions universities about sharing details of the review team’s report because the IAC has the authority to change recommendations; “That being said, if the IAC were to accept all of the team’s recommendations, we would be very pleased,” he said, adding, “There were no surprises for us as far as the team’s report.”

Institutional Engagement

Approved a resolution to revise the Development and Service Agreement with the YSU Foundation. The new agreement goes through June 30, 2020. The YSU Foundation Board of Trustees has already approved the agreement.

Approved a resolution accepting 1,242 members from WYSU, totaling $172,569 through the third quarter of FY 2018. The amount exceeds WYSU’s goal of $140,000.

Approved a resolution to modify the policy for the naming of university facilities, colleges and programs.

Approved a resolution to name the Dr. Louis N. Harris Respiratory Care Program in the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services. Harris founded, developed, implemented and directed the Respiratory Care Program from its inception in 1979 until his retirement in May 2008. He successfully attained national accreditation for the program and transitioned the program from a certificate to an associate’s degree and finally to a bachelor’s degree.  His leadership eventually led to a Master of Respiratory Care and a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Completion.

Ross Morrone, director of Marketing, reported on the university’s branding and marketing plan for 2018-19. The plan focuses on expanding the university’s reach outside the three-county local area and calls for broadening marketing efforts in cooperation with several campus departments.

Shawn Varso, university police chief, presented the updated Campus Emergency Management Plan. The plan outlines the university’s strategy to prepare to respond effectively and efficiently during and after a major emergency. The purpose of the plan is to maximize human safety and survival, minimize danger, preserve and protect property and critical infrastructure, provide for responsible communications during and after an emergency, and restore normal activities.

Paul McFadden, president of the YSU Foundation, reported that the “We See Tomorrow” fundraising campaign is now at $67.34 million. The goal is $100 million. McFadden said the campaign is ahead of schedule.

Finance and Facilities

Approved a resolution to modify the policy on budget transfers. Only minor, stylistics edits were made.

Approved a resolution to modify the policy on debt management. Only minor, formatting changes were made.

Approved a policy on the storage of electronic data. The policy addresses enhanced continuity of YSU business data. Risk of data loss and/or data security compromise is more prevalent for data stored locally on computers. The policy requires storage of YSU business data on YSU network-based storage, mitigating risks and facilitating better institutional data management.

Approved a resolution for changes to student tuition and fees for the 2018-19 academic year, including a freeze for continuing students and the new Penguin Promise guaranteed tuition program for new incoming students. Undergraduate full-time tuition will remain the same for all continuing students - $4,044 per semester for in-state students, $4,224 per semester for students living in the Affordable Tuition Advantage region, and $7,044 for students who live outside the region. YSU is projected to retain its standing as one of the most affordable universities in the state, nearly $1,500 below the annual state average and about $1,700 lower than the average among public universities in Northeast Ohio. Tuition for new incoming undergraduate students is set under the new Penguin Promise, which provides a guaranteed tuition rate for four consecutive academic years. Under the program, full-time undergraduate per semester tuition will be $4,450 for in-state students, $4,630 for students in the ATA region, and $7,450 for students outside the region. Those rates will remain the same for four consecutive years. Tuition for master’s degree students will increase $103 per semester, while doctoral-level tuition goes up $309 per semester. The resolution also includes a new mandatory $34-per-semester student fee for the new Student Health Center, a partnership with Mercy Health that will be housed in a new building on Lincoln Avenue. The fee was approved by a majority of students in a referendum in the spring semester. Eddie Howard, vice president for Student Affairs, said the center will significantly expand health services for students, including psychiatric care. It’s “a game-changer for our students,” he said. Howard also noted that the new center will likely not open until January; therefore, the fee for the Fall semester will be only $17 per student. Meanwhile, Tressel said that, due to board decisions over the past 20 to 25 years not to raise tuition when it was allowed to by the state, YSU is always behind, in terms of revenue, with other Ohio public universities, which raised tuition when they were allowed. “That’s why we’re behind in revenue,” he said. “We didn’t stay in step.”

Approved the university’s fiscal year 2019 operating budget. The $181.75 million budget represents an increase of $5.6 million or 3.2 percent from the previous fiscal year. The budget assumes a 1.5 percent increase in enrollment, no change in undergraduate tuition rates for continuing students, a 6 percent increase in undergraduate tuition for incoming students as part of the Penguin Promise tuition guarantee program, a 1.2 percent or $502,000 increase in state funding and an increase in investment earnings. On the spending side, the budget includes a 2.5 percent salary increase for faculty and a 2 percent wage increase for classified staff, as well as a $3.5 million bump in spending on non-athletics scholarships. Neal McNally, vice president for Finance and Business Operations, said the increased scholarship budget line is the biggest single investment in the general fund budget. As the university enrolls better-prepared incoming students, more of them qualify for merit-based university scholarships, which increases costs in the budget, McNally said. He said the university is exploring ways to manage the merit-based scholarships moving forward. Trustee Ted Roberts noted that the scholarship total of $11 million in the general fund budget, plus $5 million in athletic scholarships, amounts to about 10 percent of the university’s overall budget.

Approved an interfund transfer of $650,000 from the Housing Plant Reserve for roof replacements at Lyden and Cafaro houses and Christman Dining Hall.

Rich White, director of Facility Planning, updated the board on physical plant construction on campus, including work in Beeghly Center, Ward Beecher Hall, Jones Hall, the Lincoln Building, and the Wick and Fifth avenue parking decks. In addition, White and John Hyden, associate vice president for University Facilities, presented a report detailing deferred maintenance on campus. The report shows that the university, via state capital funds, has spent $36.7 million since 2012 on deferred maintenance. 

University Affairs

Approved personnel actions for staff and coaching positions in Intercollegiate Athletics, including five appointments, two separations, one reclassification and nine salary adjustments.

Approved awarding the President’s Leadership Merit Award to Kevin Ball, associate provost for Academic Programs and Planning, for leading the university’s Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Process. “An extraordinary job well done,” Tressel said. Also approved a resolution of appreciation to Hillary Fuhrman, director of Assessment; Joe Palardy, professor of Economics and coordinator of General Education Requirements; and Tysa Egleton, director and associate registrar of Registration, Records and the Penguin Service Center, for their leadership in the HLC process.

Approved the recruitment of an associate vice president and chief human resources officer. Kevin Reynolds, former chief human resources officer, retired in March; Al Boggs is the interim chief resources officer.

Approved the appointment of John Hyden, executive director of University Facilities, to the position of associate vice president of University Facilities. McNally said updating the job description and title recognizes the importance of the position and its responsibilities. McNally noted that Hyden oversees 85 employees, a $12 million annual operating budget and $6 million in capital projects annually. 

Approved the appointment of Joe Mosca, dean of the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Mosca joined the YSU faculty in 1989 and has served as dean of the Bitonte College since 2009. He came to YSU as an assistant professor of social work, moving to associate professor in 1996 and professor in 2003. He served as assistant to the dean of the Bitonte College from 1996 to 2003, was chair of the Department of Social Work from 2001 to 2007, and was associate dean of the college from 2007 until his appointment as dean in 2009.

Approved the recruitment of a provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Tressel said the search process will take six months to a year to complete.

Approved a resolution to confer emeritus status on the following retired administrators: Lenora Greene, assistant director of the English Language Institute; Cathy Mumaw, lead instruction specialist for the Rich Center for Autism; Maureen Reardon, coordinator of Social Work internships; Mike Repetski, manager of Technology Maintenance Services; and Mary Lou Weingart, senior academic advisor in the College of Creative Arts and Communication.

Approved a resolution to confer emeritus status on following retired faculty: Christine Cobb, professor of Theater and Dance; and Dennis Morawski, associate professor and chair of Social Work.

Approved personnel actions from Jan. 1 through April 15, 2018, including 10 appointments, 10 separations, 10 reclassifications, seven promotions, two transfers, and eight salary adjustments/position audits.

Ray Beirsdorder, professor of Environmental and Geological Science, addressed the board about concerns he has regarding university policy and procedures related to the university taking positions on political ballot issues and candidates.

Elaine Jacobs, associate director of Athletics, briefs reviewed for board members NCAA rules that apply to them. Board Chair Dee Crawford said to fellow trustees: “If you have a question, please call – better to be safe than sorry.” President Tressel added: “If in doubt, don’t.”


The board appointed Mahoning Valley native Eric A. Spiegel, past president and chief executive of Siemens USA, as the university’s first national/global trustee. Members of the YSU Board of Trustees are appointed by the governor for nine-year terms. In December 2017, the board agreed to amend its bylaws to create the position of national/global trustee. National/global trustees are appointed by the board on the basis of success in their field, state or national prominence, ability to advocate for higher education, and their ability to offer advice to the board and university president. They are appointed to three-year terms and do not have voting privileges. Spiegel, whose term will run through June 30, 2021, is a native of Poland, Ohio, and graduate of Poland Seminary High School. In 2013, he was on campus to announce an in-kind grant for $440 million in state-of-the-art product lifecycle management software and training from Siemens to YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. He received an honorary doctorate of Business Administration from YSU in May 2015, serving as the keynote speaker at spring commencement. He is currently special advisor to General Atlantic in New York, chair of CLEAResult in Austin, Texas, director of Dover Corp. in Chicago, and director of Liberty Mutual Insurance in Boston. He previously was president and chief executive of Siemens USA, the largest subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse conglomerate in electronics and electrical engineering with nearly 400,000 employees in 190 countries. Prior to Siemens, he served in key global leadership roles at Booz Allen Hamilton and Booz & Co., a global leader for energy, chemicals and power practice.

President Tressel announced the following students, employees, retirees or others with connections to YSU have passed away:

Edward Jennings, brother of Dee Crawford, board chair.
Kathy Kougl professor emeritus, Communication.
Edwin Bishop, professor, Physics and Astronomy.
Neil Humphrey, president, 1984-1992.
Ahalya Krishnan, professor emeritus, Psychology.
Frederick "Fred" Blue, professor emeritus, History.

Board Officers
Trustees elected the following officers for 2018-19:

  • Dee Crawford, chair
  • Dave Deibel, vice chair.
  • Franklin Bennett, secretary.

The board approved committee appointments for 2018-19.

The board set the following meeting dates and times:

  • 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018
  • 10 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018
  • 10 a.m., Thursday, March 7, 2018