By Rachel Gobep
The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees and University President Jim Tressel came to an agreement to extend Tressel’s contract through June 30, 2019.
Tressel has been president of the university since 2014, when he signed a three-year contract.
According to a press release on Dec. 7, he then signed an agreement in December 2016 to renew his contract through June 2018. The agreement can take effect and extend Tressel’s contract until 2021, with three separate one-year renewals.
Tressel said it is positive that he has received the approval of the Board of Trustees, who are his bosses.
“The extension of my contract is exciting because we really have a lot of things that we’re in the midst of and a lot of dreams and ideas and to have the opportunity to continue to work on them is a lot of fun,” he said.
Leonard Schiavone, chair of the YSU Board of Trustees Committees, said Tressel has made remarkable accomplishments with the visions he has had for YSU’s campus in the four years that he has been president.
“We expanded our quasi off-campus living facilities for junior and senior students significantly and we’ve worked to make the campus more accessible and attractive to students from out of the area who would be living on campus,” Schiavone said.
According to the press release, campus housing is at capacity. In addition, one privately-financed student apartment complex has opened and is at capacity and a second is currently under construction.
Schiavone said Tressel has expanded the YSU honors program, stemmed the decline in student enrollment and brought an increase in graduation rates.
Under Tressel, more than half of the $100 million for the “We See Tomorrow” fundraising campaign has been raised, according to the press release.
“He has certainly been an asset to increasing the YSU foundation funds and his fundraising capacities. He’s brought a lot of new and fresh donors into the fold,” Schiavone said.
The press release states that under Tressel, freshman enrollment at the university has increased 25 percent, with the incoming freshman class in fall 2017 having the highest grade point averages and standardized test scores in YSU’s history.
Ron Cole, YSU’s information officer, said Tressel has created a positive atmosphere on campus.
“President Tressel’s leadership, influence and endless enthusiasm has helped create an environment on campus and in the community in which excellence is always the top priority,” Cole said.
Tressel will not have a pay increase, with his salary remaining at $300,000, according to the press release.