Though Youngstown State University President Randy Dunn was initially expected to stay with the university until Aug.16, an email received from Dunn stated that he could be departing by the end of March.
“I think there is a very strong likelihood that I will be vacating the YSU presidency sometime within the next month or so — probably by the end of March and once Provost [Ikram] Khawaja returns to campus,” Dunn said in an email.
Sudershan Garg, the chair of the YSU Board of Trustees said he “thinks this may be true.”
“I think he would leave on a date at the end of March. … It could be sooner; you never know,” Garg said.
Garg added that the Board has not officially discussed the possibility of an early departure, but the Board has requested Holly Jacobs, YSU’s General Counsel, to revise the president’s contract.
“The Board had already told [Jacobs] that we need to revise the contract, even if it was for 180 days or before 180 days. We had suggested that we would not mind if he exits early,” Garg said. “It would be good for everybody. It would be good for the university because, you know, any time the times are uncertain — uncertainty is no good.”
In the event of Dunn’s early departure, Garg said he expects Khawaja to serve as interim.
“I think most likely we will ask Ikram Khawaja to do it, but we haven’t talked to him,” Garg said. “And if he doesn’t want to, then the Board will have a choice to make. But that interim president, until June 30, most likely will not be an outsider — [they] will be an insider.”
Harry Meshel, a member of YSU’s Board of Trustees, said an interim president would not negatively impact the operations of the university.
“We are just looking for an easy transition, frankly, and one without too many bumps. My feeling has always been — and I think everybody agrees — it is not the end of the world when you have to operate with temporary individuals running offices,” Meshel said. “The wars don’t end just because the general leaves.”
Additional reporting by Liam Bouquet.