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Tressel, YSU agree to one-year extension

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State University trustees and President Jim Tressel have agreed to extend Tressel’s contract for another year, through June 2021.

“President Tressel’s strong leadership is moving the university forward,” said Dave Deibel, board of trustees chairman. “We are pleased that President Tressel will continue, in his role, to position the university for the future.”

Tressel was named YSU’s ninth president in 2014.

The contract extension squelches chatter that Tressel would be a good candidate for the Ohio State University presidency when Michael V. Drake retires at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

“We are about to enter into a new strategic action plan and while much has been accomplished, challenges remain,” Tressel said. “We are committed to further advancing student success and academic excellence for the benefit of our students and the entire community.”

Under Tressel’s leadership, YSU’s full-time equivalent enrollment has improved, freshman class standardized test scores and grade point averages are among the highest in the university’s history and Honors College enrollments have more than tripled. Residence halls are at capacity, as are two privately-financed student apartment complexes that have opened on campus in the last four years.

Also, a new campus student health center and a new Barnes & Noble student bookstore and Starbucks cafe have opened on campus. Wick Avenue has undergone significant upgrades and funding has been obtained for significant upgrades to Fifth Avenue as well, the university stated in a news release.

A structural deficit in the university’s operating budget was corrected, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the university’s bond rating to A+, and the historic $100 million “We See Tomorrow” fundraising campaign is nearing its goal. In addition, the university earned full re-accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Prior to being named president at YSU, Tressel spent two years as executive vice president for Student Success at the University of Akron.

He previously was head football coach at Ohio State University from 2001 to 2010, where his teams won the national championship in 2002 and seven Big Ten championships, and appeared in eight BCS post-season bowl games.

He was head football coach at YSU from 1986 to 2000, where his teams won four Division I-AA national championships. He also was executive director of Athletics at YSU from 1994 to 2000.

Tressel earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1975 and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Akron in 1977.

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