Tressel: Enrollment key to future of YSU - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Tressel: Enrollment key to future of YSU

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YSU President Jim Tressel YSU President Jim Tressel
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel predicts that Ohio will hold YSU and other institutions of higher learning even more accountable for the funding they receive from the state.

The prediction came Thursday, during Tressel's annual state-of-the-university address from the Chestnut Room in Kilcawley Center.

In his more than hour long speech, Tressel touched on a strategic plan for the university, stressing the importance of increasing enrollment at YSU.

Saying the the university faces the challenge of fewer high school graduates in the future, Tressel said the university must not only focus on recruiting new students, and keeping those students, but making sure those students are successful after they graduate.

Pointing out that state funding has already become linked to graduation rates, Tressel predicted that the state will hold their feet to the fire even more so in coming years.

“I predict that by 2020 or shortly thereafter, universities will have to prove that placement of students will be at a certain level because it will play a part in determine college funding,” said Tressel.

Tressel said that when he took over as president 31 months ago, enrollment at YSU was down 17 and a half percent, the budget had a ten million dollar deficit, and fund raising had reached a plateau.

The YSU President says the university is being afforded what he described as opportunities, including having a fund raising arm that is the top foundation in Ohio, raising nearly $40 million in the past 31 months.

Tressel also noted that YSU is unique among Ohio Universities, in that it is located within 70 miles of 32 counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Dubbing them the “YSU Opportunity 32”, Tressel says the are encompasses 3.1 million jobs and $141 billion in wages earned.

He says the proximity of YSU to the area provides an opportunity for internships, collaboration with businesses and opportunities for graduates.

The former Penguin and Buckeye football coach concluded by telling the audience that when he started coaching at YSU, he told the team that they were going to win a national championship.

In spite of some chuckling from some members, Tressel says he told the team that if they were going to accomplish the goal, they had to be the first ones to believe it.

The Penguins won four national titles under Tressel's coaching.

Saying that the same holds true for YSU, Tressel said “We have to decide together, that we can be the best we can be.”

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