By Samantha Smith
The dean of Williamson’s College of Business, Betty Jo Licata, announced her retirement for the end of the fall 2021 semester.
Licata became the dean of the college when she first began working at Youngstown State University in July 1995, almost 26 years ago. She has worked for five different YSU presidents during this time.
“We’ve had nine [presidents], so I’ve worked with the last five of them, and I think we’ve seen tremendous growth in YSU in the last 26 years, both in terms of our campus facilities, as well as the stature of our academic programs,” she said.
Before joining YSU, Licata worked at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, as the dean of the Dahlkemper School of Business.
“[When] the opportunity became available at YSU, I thought it would be a great move — larger university and still in a geographic area I was interested in,” she said.
Alongside her job as the dean, Licata was involved in other opportunities and activities in and outside the business college.
“I’ve had the opportunity outside the college of business to be involved with a variety of our Higher Learning Commission accreditation teams. I’ve been on the negotiating team several times where the university negotiates the contract with the faculty union,” she said.
Licata has also chaired a university engagement committee, chaired a committee at the Reenvisioning of General Education in 2001 and worked with a team of people throughout the campus to develop the first Student Success Stories campaign at YSU.
Licata said her feelings toward retiring are bittersweet, but it will allow more time for herself and family.
“It’s an opportunity to move on and do some traveling with my husband and take advantage of that kind of freedom that you have when you retire,” she said.
Licata said she will miss YSU students and faculty once her retirement comes.
“What you remember most, and what I think creates the most special memories for you, are the relationships that you have. Watching our students grow, and the celebrations we have with our students’ success — that’ll be the hardest part to leave,” she said.