By Elizabeth Coss
After eight years of serving as president, Jim Tressel announced he is stepping down from his position. His official announcement was on June 22.
Tressel stated that despite his leave from the university scheduled for Feb. 1, he’s enjoyed his time working with students and the board, as well as faculty and staff.
“What’s hard about this place is it’s so much fun to be here. The people you’re working with are extraordinary. The commitments they make, and then you’re with the students and you just love them,” Tressel said.
Tressel reminisced about his time at Youngstown State University while also looking forward to what is next.
“I reflected back on the fact that it seemed like I was missing some things that I perhaps wanted to have time for,” Tressel said. “I’ve had thousands of former students, former student athletes, former colleagues, and children, grandchildren. You start weighing, you know, when do you need to take time for what?”
However, Tressel stated that some of his biggest priorities in his remaining seven months are focused on repopulating the Mahoning Valley.
“We’ve got to turn out people who can do the jobs so that people live here, work here, have families here and send their children to Youngstown State University,” Tressel said. “[YSU] was created because there were people here who needed higher education.”
Tressel also thought that the opportunities coming into the Mahoning Valley are a big step for the YSU community and greater area.
“Ultium [Cells LLC] hired us to help them build their workforce of 1,500 people,” Tressel said. “There’s some amazing opportunities coming forward with Ultium plant and FoxConn and the petrochemical play that’s happening south of us. The next 50 years here should be extraordinary, and Youngstown State is going to be a big part of it.”
Chair John R. Jakubek spoke during the meeting about Tressel’s commitment to the university.
“You came here in 1986, and that was a tough time in the area,” Jakubek said. “He hit the ground running, obviously, when it came to the university and the effects that he has had on the university for many years to come.”
Tressel goes back into YSU’s history as far as 1986, working as the head football coach. He then moved onto being the head football coach for The Ohio State University for 10 years. Tressel then went on to serve as executive vice president for Student Success at the University of Akron. He began his presidency at YSU in 2014.
For more information on the board of trustees meeting, visit https://thejambar.com