4 Unions Endorse Tressel, Decision Could Come Quickly

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- The four unions who represent faculty, staff and the police department at Youngstown State University have endorsed Jim Tressel to be the next president of the university.

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the president of the YSU chapter of the Ohio Education Association, Annette M. Burden, said her union, the YSU Fraternal Order of Police, the Association of Classified Employees and the Association of Professional Administrative Staff “are confident that Mr. Tressel is the one candidate who will continue to build and nourish our efforts to establish an environment of trust, transparency and open collaboration that we as union leaders have worked hard to create.”

Burden said representatives of the unions had met Tressel, Gary L. Miller and Mary Cullinan and attended the most of the focus meetings where each was interviewed. Based on what they saw and heard, the union leaders believe that Tressel, head football coach at YSU from 1986 until 2000 and who led the Penguins to four national championships, is the most qualified.

Cullinan visited the campus Wednesday, and the labor unions' endorsement was distributed to the press as she was finishing her remarks during a public forum. Miller was at YSU Tuesday, Tressel on Monday.

Members of the YSU Board of Trustees, who also comprise the presidential search committee, are expected to begin deliberations Thursday morning. Indications are that a decision could come fairly quickly -- and in favor of Tressel, according to multiple sources.

Meanwhile, the board of trustees at the University of Akron, where Tressel is among the three finalists to become the next president of that institution, have scheduled an executive session for 2 p.m. Thursday.

By the end of the day, it's conceivable Tressel could be offered both positions -- or just the presidency of YSU.

YSU trustees have said they will not reveal their choice until an employment contract is negotiated. Terms, however, could be agreed to before the lawyers work out the final language. Either way, should Tressel be YSU's choice, the news is likely to travel very fast.

Copyright 2014 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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