Randy Dunn assumes YSU presidency on July 15

Randy J. Dunn, YSU president-elect

Randy J. Dunn, YSU president-elect, meets with the news media after Wednesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Randy J. Dunn will become the eighth president of Youngstown State University on July 15 under an employment contract signed by Dunn and Sudershan Garg, chair of the YSU Board of Trustees.

“We look forward to Dr. Dunn coming to Youngstown and YSU,” Garg said. “Dr. Dunn’s vast and diverse experience and his tenacious and likeable personality will serve him and the university well in the years ahead.”

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously on May 10 to offer the position to Dunn. At a meeting of the board on June 12, Garg announced that a contract had been reached. Dunn replaces Cynthia E. Anderson, who is retiring June 30 after three years as president and 34 years with the university.  Dunn and his wife, Ronda, attended the meeting.

YSU President-elect Randy Dunn and his wife, Ronda, right, chat with outgoing YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson at a reception following Wednesday's Board of Trustees meeting.

YSU President-elect Randy Dunn and his wife, Ronda, right, chat with outgoing YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson following Wednesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“Ronda and I are thrilled and honored to join the YSU family,” said Dunn, who has been president of Murray State University in Kentucky since 2006. “We look forward to moving to Youngstown, getting settled, meeting people at YSU and the community and working to advance the university, the city and the Valley.”

The contract is for a term of three years commencing July 15. Annual base compensation is $375,000.

The contract also affords benefits that are routinely included in presidential contracts, both at YSU and throughout the University System of Ohio, including a vehicle, professional dues and travel, entertainment and relocation expenses. Dunn and his wife, Ronda Baker Dunn, will reside in the Pollock House on Wick Avenue, which recently underwent extensive renovations to serve as the university president’s residence.

A recent study in the Chronicle of Higher Education revealed that the median total annual compensation for presidents at public universities nationwide was nearly $450,000 for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

“This contract contains compensation and provisions appropriate for the chief executive of a university the size and scope of Youngstown State University,” Garg said. YSU has about 1,200 full-time employees, nearly 13,000 students and an annual operating budget of nearly $180 million.

Dunn has been president of Murray State University in Kentucky since December 2006. He previously was State Superintendent of Education for the state of Illinois; an associate professor, professor and department chair of Educational Administration and Higher Education at Southern Illinois University; and assistant professor of Leadership at the University of Memphis. He also previously was superintendent for two school districts, a middle school and grade school principal and an elementary and reading teacher, all in Illinois.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in Teacher Education and a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Foundations from Illinois State University and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Illinois.

Dunn has received more than $800,000 in grant funding for a variety of projects, and has authored dozens of scholarly papers, articles in scholarly and professional journals, book chapters and book reviews on topics ranging from teacher unionism to the relationship between the superintendent and the board. He has a long list of university and professional service and memberships in professional and educational organizations. His many honors include: Administrator of the Year from the Kentucky Music Educators Association; Outstanding Faculty Member of Hart Residential College at Murray State University; and the Alumni Hall of Fame Award from the College of Education at Illinois State University.

His wife is Ronda Baker Dunn, educational recovery director for Commissioner Terry Holliday in the Kentucky Department of Education. They have four grown children.

Read Dunn’s full vitae at http://web.ysu.edu/gen/ysu_generated_bin/documents/basic_module/Randy_J._Dunn_Ed.D.pdf.


Youngstown State University is a comprehensive urban research university that offers nearly 14,000 students more than 135 undergraduate and graduate programs backed by a strong tradition of teaching, scholarship and public service. As a major educational and economic development resource in the region, YSU is known for its focus on academic research and creative programs that transform its students into successful professionals, scholars and leaders. Located in the heart of the Tech Belt between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, YSU provides opportunities for students to actively participate with accomplished faculty, often in one-on-one settings, on advanced research and creative collaborations. Visit Youngstown State University for more information.

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