Who’s Really Choosing the Next YSU President?

On Wednesday, the Board of Trustees announced that the presidential search committee will consist of the 11 trustees, with chairman Sudershan Garg spearheading the search, and no one else.

The search committee that selected former YSU President Cynthia Anderson had over 20 members. The search committee last year, where Randy Dunn was chosen as Anderson’s replacement, consisted of 17 members: all of the Board members — including both student trustees — two former trustees, a Youngstown State University professor, a retired associate provost, a YSU alum and a former YSU Center for Human Services Development coordinator.

Last year, the committee had a community voice and a faculty voice. The student trustees, along with on-campus forums for students and faculty, will have a say in the decision of who YSU’s next president will be this year, as they did last year.

The Board plans on holding these forums again, and those are going to be the only chance the YSU community will have to impact the next decision. But it’s hard to say whether these forums had an impact on the committee’s decision last summer and if they will have an impact at all this year.

With no representatives from outside the Board to offer opinions, we have only the word of the Board that they have everyone’s best interest in mind when making a decision.

The justification for the small committee was to expedite the search and help save the university money. Yes, those are good things to take into account when YSU has to choose a president extremely quickly and when attempts to reduce spending are being made across the board.

But are sacrificing the official voices of two-thirds of the university community an expense worth getting rid of? Everyone at YSU deserves to be heard.

We want an absolute guarantee that the students and faculty will be heard in the process of choosing YSU’s ninth president.