Searches commence for president and provost

Sudershan Garg

Sudershan Garg

The university has launched searches for its top two executives – president and provost – and hopes to fill the positions in an expeditious manner.

The Board of Trustees has hired AGB Search Inc. of Washington, D.C., to help direct a national search for president, and a 15-member committee has been named to lead the hunt for a new provost. (See names of search committee members below.) The board hopes to first name a new president, who will then have input on the selection of the provost.

“It has been a challenging several days for the Board of Trustees and the campus community,” board Chair Sudershan Garg said last week. “We thank everyone for their patience, especially YSU faculty, staff and students who have remained singularly focused on their work in these trying times. We have several critical decisions before us. While we appreciate the importance of acting as quickly as possible, we will be deliberate and thoughtful in our actions.

“YSU is a strong, progressive institution with talented faculty, dedicated staff, hard-working students, supportive alumni and a 100-plus year history of producing successful graduates who are making their marks across the world. We look forward to identifying leadership who will join us in building upon that tradition.”

Garg’s comments came after a hectic and turbulent week in Tod Hall following the unexpected announcement on Feb. 17 that President Randy J. Dunn, after only seven months on the job, was resigning to accept the presidency of Southern Illinois University. Under his contract, Dunn is required to give 180 days notice of resignation, which means he will remain president until Aug. 16, although the board has called a meeting for Wednesday, March 5, for the purpose of considering and/or taking action upon Dr. Dunn’s employment agreement

Garg said university policy requires a national search be conducted for the position.

“It’s an important process, a process that allows the entire community to meet with and to question candidates, a process that allows applicants to fully evaluate the position, and a process under which consensus can be built to identify the best individuals possible for the job,” he said.

Given that the university just went through the search process a year ago, Garg said the board believes it is possible to move through the search in a relatively expeditious manner.

AGB Search was employed by the board last year to oversee the search that resulted in Dunn’s appointment. Since Dunn was on the job less than a year, AGB Search is contractually required to conduct a new search without a fee. The fee for the last search was $65,000. The university will be responsible for other expenses of the search, including travel costs.

Garg said Jamie Ferrare, senior vice president of the Association of Governing Boards and principal of AGB Search, will be the lead consultant for the YSU search. Since 2000, Ferrare has led more than 100 searches for university and college presidents and other academic officers.

“We are pleased that Dr. Ferrare will be personally assisting us with this important process,” Garg said. “While we did not expect to be back in the business of searching for a new president so soon, we are confident – and most importantly, Dr. Ferrare and AGB Search are confident – that we will be able to attract a high-level pool of quality regional and national candidates.”

Chet Cooper

Chet Cooper

Meanwhile, YSU will move forward with the search for a new provost. Provost Ikram Khawaja is retiring June 30. Chet Cooper, president of the YSU Academic Senate, has been appointed to chair the search committee.


Provost Search Committee
A 15-member committee has been appointed to lead the search for YSU’s next provost:

Chet Cooper, president, YSU Academic Senate, chair.
Jonelle Beatrice, executive director, Student Life.
Catie Carney, president, Student Government.
Michael Chang, graduate student, Master of Public Health.
Mary Lou DiPillo, associate dean, Beeghly College of Education.
Suzyn Schwebel Epstein, independent non-profit organizational development volunteer.
Michael Glonek, program developer, University Outreach, Metro College Southwoods and president, APAS.
Sylvia Imler, interim director, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.
Scott Irelan, associate professor and chair, Theater & Dance.
Cryshanna Leftwich Jackson, associate professor, Political Science.
Joseph Mosca, dean, Bitonte College of Health and Human Services.
Millie Rodriguez, director, Distance Education.
David Stout, endowed professor and Andrews Chair in Accounting, Williamson College of Business Administration.
Dan Suchora, extended teaching service faculty, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.
Gary Swegan, associate vice president for Enrollment Planning and Management.