Key points from the board of trustees summer meetings

By Shianna Gibbons and Dylan Lux

Youngstown State University’s board of trustees and other committees met June 21 and 22 to discuss budget plans, investments and audits, enrollment and the university’s future.

On the first day of meetings, trustees unanimously approved action items from different committees, such as increased tuition, a new Master of Science in Data Science and Statistics Program, a new resolution for university logo use and changing the qualifications for emeritus status for faculty and administrators.

The following day, Board Secretary Anita Hackstedde gave the oath of office to Trustee Richard Fryda. The YSU Athletic Department was recognized for receiving the Horizon League McCafferty Trophy, Student Government Association members were recognized for their excellence and Heritage Awards were presented to Joseph Mosca and the late Syretha Cooper.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Committee presented six discussion items and one action item.

The executive director of Human Resources, Dana Lantz, presented a resolution requiring student organizations to have approval to use university logos like the ‘Y’ and Pete the Penguin in accordance with the state legislature.

“Student organizations will apply using a standard form and athletics will approve, deny or listen to the appeals process so no student organization feels they’re being targeted based on the nature of the organization. It [also] requires training annually for student organizations,” Lantz said.

Ron Strollo, director of athletics, presented four separations, six new appointments, nine increased salary adjustments and two position reclassifications with increased salaries.

The committee also introduced Barbara Flinn, lecturer in English and World Languages as the new Faculty Athletic Representative.

The Investment Committee discussed the quarterly report for asset allocation and performance. It approved two action items: amending YSU’s non-endowment asset allocation guidelines and modifying the investment policy for YSU’s non-endowment and endowment funds.

The Audit Subcommittee discussed updates and reports and the most recent Ohio Auditor of State Census Data Examination. The board approved the resolution for the Annual Internal Audit Plan.

The board also approved four consent items presented by the Finance & Facilities Committee to clarify language or update policy dates for budget transfers, acceptable use of university technology resources, electronic data storage and university vehicle use.

The trustees approved action items for a tuition increase, the annual operating budget and inter-fund transfers. The committee also discussed the annual budget, planning and construction updates, and IT security.

Next, the Governance Committee discussed demographic shifts affecting higher education institutions and enrollment in the next few years. 

Given declining birth rates and lower secondary school enrollment, YSU and other institutions will continue to experience an enrollment decline. 

The Academic Excellence and Student Success Committee approved four action items: modifying the process of hiring and selecting full-time and part-time faculty, congratulating SGA efforts during the 2022-23 academic year, authorizing recommended honorary degree candidates and the new master’s program in Data Science.

The committee then discussed career placement rates for YSU students post-graduation, new certificates for general education courses and adjusting majors to generalized majors with specific focus.

Trustees approved resolutions modifying the naming of university facilities, colleges and programs by giving trustees the power to change donor names if the donor “compromises university integrity or reputation.” 

The board also moved the Larry E. Esterly Room from Kilcawley Center to the Political Science Faculty Suites lobby in DeBartolo Hall.

The Workforce Innovation and Education Committee discussed updates, goals, accomplishments and budgets with the trustees.

The University Affairs Committee presented a consent item modifying policy regarding vacation leave for faculty. That was approved along with action items changing qualifications for emeritus status for faculty and administration and a resolution ratifying personnel actions.

From Jan. 16 to April 15, there was one faculty separation. Professional administrators had eight separations, 11 reclassifications, six promotions, nine salary adjustments and 16 appointments — one a new position.

The next board of trustees meeting is Sept. 20. For more details about approved resolutions, action items and meeting minutes, go to the YSU board of trustees’ website.