Board of trustees says farewell to two

After 11 years of combined service, two members of the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees leave vacancies at the angular desk in Tod Hall.

Millicent S. Counts, whose tenure as a trustee spanned nine years, spent most of her time advocating for the Youngstown Early College. She said this is one of her fondest memories of her rewarding time as a trustee.

“[YEC] has been a model in the nation’s quest for education reform,” Counts said.

In the future, Counts said she will press for education equality for minorities and economically disadvantaged youth, and will always remain a YSU supporter and a “proud Penguin.”

“She has been a dedicated board member,” Sudershan Garg, chairman of the board, said before passing a resolution of appreciation in Counts’ honor.

Student trustee Ryan Meditz also saw his tenure come to an end.

“The biggest thing I took out of this is seeing the back-end operations of the university,” Meditz said.

Garg highlighted Meditz’s attendance of trustee meetings while juggling extracurricular activities and maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Throughout tense faculty union contract negotiations, Meditz said he felt caught in the middle of a dispute.

“There were a couple situations where I’d hear professors make comments, but [they] were very understanding that I am a student [first],” Meditz said.

Finally, the board nominated its officers for the next fiscal year. Should the nominations be accepted in June, Garg will remain the chairman, John Jakubek will remain as vice chairman and Franklin Bennett will keep his position as secretary.

Regarding his vision for next year, Garg said, “The economy is improving, but the future is uncertain.”

Garg added that the university must work on improving minority graduation rates, increase graduate enrollment and “enhance our image as an urban research university.”

The board will reconvene in June, when it will review the 2013 fiscal budget. Proposals of a 3.5 percent tuition increase and a mandatory transportation fee for students with more than five credit hours have already been discussed with clear intentions of their inclusion.