YSU and Tressel agree to key contract terms

Jim Tressel, right, and Sudershan K. Garg, chair of the YSU Board of Trustees, sign the key terms of Tressel's contract as the ninth president of YSU.

Jim Tressel, right, and Sudershan K. Garg, chair of the YSU Board of Trustees, sign the key terms of Tressel’s contract as the ninth president of YSU.

The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees and President-designee James P. Tressel signed a letter of understanding Monday identifying the key terms of a contract making Tressel the ninth president of YSU starting July 1.

The letter anticipates a three-year agreement that runs through June 30, 2017, and calls for an annual salary of $300,000 in the first two years and an undetermined amount in the third year based on a performance evaluation.

“We look forward to Mr. Tressel’s return to Youngstown and to his leadership at YSU for many years to come,” said Sudershan K. Garg, board chair.

The board unanimously approved Tressel’s appointment on Friday pending the signing of a contract agreement. At a meeting Monday afternoon, the board unanimously approved the “Term Sheet” and both Garg and Tressel signed the letter specifying the terms. A full employment contract will be negotiated and approved at a later date.

Other key terms:

  • YSU will provide housing in the Pollock House on Wick Avenue adjacent to campus. YSU will pay reasonable costs of relocation.
  • YSU will provide an American-made vehicle.
  • If the president terminates the contract within one year, the president shall pay YSU $200,000; within two years, $175,000; within three years, $150,000.

Tressel comes to YSU after two years as executive vice president for Student Success at the University of Akron, where he was charged with restructuring and leading the efforts of a newly created division dedicated to the academic and career success of students. Tressel’s areas of responsibility included recruitment and admissions, financial aid and career services, advising and adult/transfer services, the military services center and multicultural academic programs.

He also worked directly with students, staff, alumni, and community partners to strengthen The Akron Experience, a program that connects students with businesses, educational institutions, civic organizations and community partners to provide skills and connections needed to succeed in college and after graduation.

The engagement of Akron alumni in student success activities – ranging from recruitment to advising to mentoring – also was strengthened under Tressel’s leadership. In August 2012, he initiated the Roo Crew through the UA Alumni Association Office, and grew the Crew from zero to more than 1,200 engaged members.

In addition, Tressel introduced a new program called Academic Encouragers at UA, including part-time staff dedicated to monitoring and encouraging the classroom and campus success of students previously identified as facing potential obstacles to completing their coursework. The Encouragers have touched the lives of more than 600 students.

Prior to joining the University of Akron, Tressel was head football coach at Ohio State University between 2001 and 2010, where his teams won the national championship in 2002 and Big Ten championships in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. As head football coach at YSU from 1986 to 2000, Tressel’s teams won four Division I-AA national championships. He also was executive director of Athletics at YSU from 1994 to 2000. Prior to YSU, Tressel was an assistant football coach at Ohio State, Syracuse University, Miami University of Ohio and the University of Akron.

He 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. He has published two books: “The Winners Manual: For the Game of Life” (2008) and “Life Promises for Success” (2011).

Read Tressel’s full vitae at http://web.ysu.edu/gen/ysu_generated_bin/documents/basic_module/Tressel_James.pdf

Tressel’s wife, Ellen, is a YSU graduate and an accomplished businesswoman and philanthropist who remains engaged in charitable causes and community organizations in cities where she and her husband have built careers and raised family, including Youngstown, Columbus and Akron. She began her own financial career in her family’s business in Youngstown.