Dunn to depart YSU presidency on March 21

Randy J. Dunn will vacate the presidency of Youngstown State University on Friday, March 21, and then will have 30 days to move out of the Pollock House presidential residence, according to an agreement unanimously approved by the YSU Board of Trustees on Wednesday.

“This agreement allows all of us at the university to put this situation behind us and to concentrate on the future,” said Sudershan Garg, board chair.

On Feb. 17, after only seven months as president of YSU, Dunn accepted the presidency of Southern Illinois University and gave the YSU Board of Trustees his contractually required 180-day notice of resignation.

Garg said the board, however, recognized that it was best for YSU that Dunn leave the presidency as early as possible. The board and Dunn’s attorneys agreed to amend Dunn’s contract, allowing for his departure on March 21. Under the agreement, Dunn will be paid through March 21. He is required to move out of the Pollock House university-provided residence within 30 days of March 21. He also will be provided with COBRA temporary health insurance coverage through June 30, unless he is eligible for other coverage prior to that date. As per university policy, Dunn will be eligible to receive payment of unused vacation leave. There will be no other financial payouts.

Meanwhile, Garg also announced that, as per university policy, Provost Ikram Khawaja will assume the presidency on an interim basis after Dunn’s departure. Khawaja, who himself is retiring June 30, is currently out of the country. Khawaja served as interim president for two weeks prior to Dunn’s arrival on campus in July 2013. He joined YSU’s faculty in 1968, served 17 years as chair of the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and also was director of faculty relations and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Last week, the board agreed to engage the services of AGB Search Inc. of Washington, D.C., to help direct a national search for the university’s next president, a process that the board hopes can be completed in an expeditious manner. The board is also moving forward with a national search for a new provost, the university’s chief academic officer. The hope is that the presidential search will be completed first, in time for the president-elect to have input on the hiring of the new provost.