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Youngstown State University

Youngstown State University
Established 1908
Endowment $226 million (April 2014)[1]
President Jim Tressel
Academic staff
2,105 (Fall 2005)
Undergraduates 13,381 (Fall 2013)
Postgraduates 1,203 (Fall 2013)
Location Youngstown, Ohio, United States
Campus 140 acres (0.57 km2)
Colors Red and White
Athletics NCAA Division I
Mascot Pete the Penguin
Website .edu.ysuwww

Youngstown State University (YSU), founded in 1908, is an urban research university located in Youngstown, Ohio, United States. As of fall 2010, there were 15,194[2] students and a student-faculty ratio of 19:1. The fall 2010 enrollment figure is the highest since 1990, when the number of students on campus was 15,454. Records show that 11,803 of the students are undergraduates. Beyond its current student body, YSU claims more than 94,000 alumni.


  • History 1
    • Presidents 1.1
  • Statistics 2
  • Campus 3
    • Buildings 3.1
  • Ward Beecher Planetarium 4
  • Academics 5
  • Centers and institutes 6
  • Athletics 7
  • Greek life 8
  • Labor relations 9
  • Notable alumni 10
  • Notes 11
  • External links 12


The university's origins trace back to 1908, when the local branch of the YMCA established a school of law within the Youngstown Association School.[3] In 1921, the school became known as the Youngstown Institute of Technology and offered its first evening courses.[3] In 1928, a year after establishing the College of Arts and Sciences, the institute once again changed its name to Youngstown College. In 1955, Youngstown College was renamed as Youngstown University, an indication of the school's broadening curriculum.(note: A private for profit Youngstown College was formed in 1987 and had no affiliation with YSU. The college closed its doors in mid 2000 due to financial issues.[3])

On September 1, 1967, after becoming a public institution, Youngstown University became officially known as Youngstown State University.[3] The following spring, YSU opened a Graduate School and College of Applied Science and Technology. In 1974, the College of Fine and Performing Arts was established.


  • Howard W. Jones (1931–1966)
  • Albert L. Pugsley (1966–1973)
  • John J. Coffelt (1973–1984)
  • Neil D. Humphrey (1984–1992)
  • Leslie H. Cochran (1992–2000)
  • David C. Sweet (2000—2010)
  • Cynthia Anderson (2010—2013)
  • Randy Dunn (2013-2014)
  • Ikram Khawaja (interim) (2014)
  • Jim Tressel (2014– )


As of fall 2010, the student body totaled 15,194. YSU has approximately 2,100 full and part-time employees, and 426 full-time faculty with 543 part-time faculty. 165 faculty members boast full-professor rank, with 79% of the instructors holding doctorates or terminal degrees. The university boasts a student to faculty ratio of 19:1.

Tuition for undergraduate students living in Ohio is $7,199, $7,399 for undergraduate students coming from western Pennsylvania (Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, PA), $9,891 for undergraduate students from the regional service area (Chautauqua, NY; Armstrong, Clarion, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland, PA; Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, and Ohio, WV), and $12,871 for all other out-of-state undergraduate students, including international students. Graduate tuition is $7,337/academic year for Ohio residents, while all other graduate students (including international students) pay just $150 per academic year ($8.34 per credit hour) in addition to the in-state tuition. Room and board cost an additional $7,600. YSU will often note that these tuitions are the lowest of any public university in Ohio.

Area between Jones Hall and Maag Library (on right)

YSU is primarily a commuter school, with most students living at home or in residence off campus, but approximately 1,000 students live in residence halls on campus. Another 400 live in the University Courtyard apartment complexes just off campus. About 1.5% of the student body are international students from approximately 45 countries.

YSU is currently trying to get more students to live on campus, with initiatives such as mandatory on-campus housing for students in the Leslie H. Cochran University Scholars program, which is Youngstown State's full ride academic scholarship program. One of the goals for the university's centennial in 2008 is to have 20 percent of the student body living on campus.

There are over 500,000 volumes at the campus' William F. Maag Library, and participation in the OhioLINK program gives access to the collections of 84 other Ohio institutions. The Wilcox Curriculum Resource Center in Beeghly Hall complements the resources available at Maag.

YSU has participated in the Youngstown Early College program, through which students from the Youngstown City School District can take courses for college credit while in high school. Youngstown Early college has had their first graduating class in Spring 2008. YSU is no longer affiliated with Youngstown Early College, while Eastern Gateway Community College has taken over full operations away from YSU in 2013.[4]


The YSU clock tower, a distinctive building which also functions as a cellphone tower.

YSU lies on a 140-acre (0.57 km2) campus just north of downtown Youngstown. Although it is not located near any outstanding geographical features, that has not stopped Youngstown State's campus from being noted for its landscaping, which is dissimilar from that of many other urban universities. YSU's geographical center has a park-like atmosphere, featuring a rather-hilly terrain and a variety of trees and plant life, as well as tables and chairs that surround a campus fountain.

Most buildings on campus have been built within the last half-century, making them newer than most buildings in downtown Youngstown, where most buildings were constructed before the Great Depression.


Jones Hall

Jones Hall, often the building that welcomes people coming onto the YSU campus, is also one of the campus's oldest buildings, having been built in 1931, when YSU was known as Youngstown College. Its history as the "main building" of the campus continues today, as it is perhaps the best-known and most photographed building of the whole campus. The building was renamed Jones Hall in honor of the institutions first president, Dr. Howard Jones. Today, the building is used as mainly administrative office space.

The Rayen School of Engineering and Engineering Technology is housed in Moser Hall, completed in 1967. The university's geological and environmental sciences department shares the space, and also sponsor the Clarence R. Smith Mineral Museum. Science programs are housed in Ward-Beecher Science Hall.

Andrews Wellness and Recreation Center

The newer addition to YSU is the Andrews Wellness and Recreation Center. Completed in time for the fall 2005 semester, the Andrews Center gave YSU a complete gym facility, as well as a climbing wall and racquetball courts.

Bliss Hall, completed in 1977 and featuring two auditoriums, is the home of the College of Creative Arts and Communication, including the Departments of Art, Communication (including communication studies and telecommunication studies), Theater & Dance, and the Dana School of Music. Next door to Bliss Hall is the McDonough Museum of Art, YSU's University Art Museum and the Mahoning Valley's center for contemporary art. The Museum has regular changing exhibitions by regional, national and international artists and provides public access to the work of students, faculty and alumni from the Department of Art.[5]

Beeghly Hall was completed in 1998 at a cost of $14 million. The Beeghly College of Education resides there, and it also hosts several programs open to the community, such as the Community Counseling Center. Beeghly, which is located away from the campus proper, is planned to be linked to the rest of the campus through a main pedestrian pathway, a plan that ran into trouble.[6]

Arby's location inside Kilcawley Center. Arby's originated in nearby Boardman in 1964 and maintains a major presence in the Mahoning Valley.

Kilcawley Center is primarily a resource and community center on campus. It features reading and study rooms, computer labs, a copying center, YSU's bookstore, a variety of restaurants (including a Wendy's and Denny's), and many student-affairs offices. There are also many meeting and seminar rooms, which can be rented out for events by the community.

Williamson College of Business Administration is the newest building on campus. It was completed for Fall semester 2010. It houses all of the business classrooms and offices. It was previously housed in the Lincoln Building. The building itself has LEED standard, making it a green build. It was one of the most expensive additions to campus, with a large portion of the funding coming from donations. The building is off of Rayen Ave and was built to purposely connect downtown businesses to the college and to the campus core. Recently access to the building improved when the Hazel Street Extension opened creating access for vehicle and pedestrian traffic and better connecting the central business district to the university.

YSU has six housing facilities. Lyden House, completed in 1990, and Cafaro House residential honors facility, completed in 1995, can accommodate a combined 574 students. Christman Dining Commons, YSU's main residential dining hall, is located in the Anne K. Christman Campus Green between these buildings. Kilcawley House is attached to Kilcawley Center in the middle of campus. Wick House and Weller House, off Wick Avenue, also houses a small number of students in an apartment setting. The University Courtyard Apartments, on the east side of the campus (behind Bliss Hall), were built in 2004. These are commonly known as the Courtyards. They are actual apartments and are not affiliated with housing services at YSU, instead they are managed by an outside company, Ambling Leasing. Buechner Hall is an independently owned and operated women's residence hall located on Bryson Street and operated by the Beuchner Foundation. The Flats at Wick, also a privately owned and operated apartments were built and opened in Fall of 2010 on the corner of Madison Ave and Elm Street.

Other buildings on campus include:

  • Meshel Hall (Department of Computer Science and Information Systems)
  • Fedor Hall (housing student newspaper The Jambar, student magazine The Yo, student literary magazine The Penguin Review, the Rich Center for Autism, and the Youngstown Early College)
  • Cushwa Hall (College of Health and Human Services, WYSU-FM)
  • Lincoln Hall (Mathematics, part of STEM)
  • Phelps Building (Geography, Urban and Regional Studies)
  • Maag Library
  • Tod Hall (administrative offices)
  • DeBartolo Hall (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, a.k.a. CLASS)
  • Sweeney Hall (Undergraduate Admissions)
  • the E.J. Salata Complex (maintenance services)
  • Clingan-Waddell Hall (YSU Police Department)
  • Alumni House (Alumni and Events Management and The YSU Foundation); the oldest building on campus

Current building projects include the Wick Pollock Inn located on Wick Avenue next to Bliss Hall.[7]

Ward Beecher Planetarium

The university's planetarium, located in Ward Beecher Hall, opened in 1967 and was recently renovated. The $750,000 upgrade included new seats (145), a SciDome fulldome video projector from Spitz, Inc., as well as a Chronos star projector from GOTO. The star projector, which replicates the night sky onto the planetarium's 40-foot (12 m) diameter dome, cost $489,000.

The planetarium is the location of the introductory astronomy courses at YSU, which registers almost 1,000 students every year. It has housed over 500,000 students, as well as 750,000 visitors as of 2007. Organized shows are available for groups during the week, and scheduled shows available Friday and Saturday evenings (with a show geared toward a younger crowd Saturday afternoons). All shows are free of charge. For a schedule, go to their website.


The University comprises the following colleges as of the Summer 2007 academic reorganization:

  • College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences[8]
  • Beeghly College of Education[9]
  • College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics[10]
  • College of Creative Arts and Communication[11]
  • Bitonte College of Health and Human Services[12]
  • Williamson College of Business Administration[13]
  • School of Graduate Studies[14]

YSU offers doctoral degrees in educational leadership and physical therapy, as well as a doctorate in mathematics in cooperation with Rhodes University. Together with the University of Akron and Kent State University, YSU sponsors the Northeastern Ohio Universities College Of Medicine (NEOUCOM), a BS-MD program. YSU engineering students may pursue doctoral studies in cooperation with the University of Akron and Cleveland State University. In addition, YSU has 35 masters programs and over 100 undergraduate majors.

The Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University was deemed an "All-Steinway" school in 2004. The Dana School of Music is one of the oldest non-conservatory schools of music in the United States. It is housed in Bliss Hall. Additionally, the Youngstown State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble performed in March 2005 at New York City's Carnegie Hall. The ensemble's performance was highly praised, and they received a standing ovation.

Youngstown State University is also home to the Center for Working Class Studies and offers a Regional and American Studies program, which was the first of its kind in the United States. The school assisted the University of Chicago in developing a similar program. The center is operated by John Russo and Sherry Lee Linkon.

YSU is somewhat unique for a sizable university in that it utilizes only college professors and not graduate assistants in undergraduate instruction. This is because YSU has few doctoral programs and a relatively high standard teaching load (four courses per semester).[15] In many colleges this size, graduate assistants teach courses to undergraduate students while full-time professors sometimes limit their direct involvement in undergraduate education to lecturing in large sections of introductory courses and supervising graduate assistants.

About one-third of the classes, including all of the senior capstone courses for each major, utilize e-learning through Blackboard. Before using Blackboard, YSU utilized WebCT, which Blackboard acquired in 2006 but didn't convert to its own software until 2010. With YSU running both programs during the Spring 2010 semester, [16] both WebCT and Blackboard have been criticized by YSU students and professors.[17]

Centers and institutes

YSU operates several Centers of Excellence and designated research and economic development programs, including the Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering, the Center of Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering, the Center of Excellence in International Business, the Center for Applied Chemical Biology, the Institute for Applied Topology, and effective in 2012, the Natural Gas and Water Resources Institute.


Greek life

Youngstown State University is home to 6 fraternities and 6 sororities. They are:

Interfraternity Council

Panhellenic Conference

Pan-Hellenic Council Fraternities:


Labor relations

Labor Unions are very active at YSU and include most non-administrative faculty and staff on campus. In August 2005, just before the start of the 2005–06 academic year, two of four campus unions were on strike. Following the conclusion of the strike, relations remained strained, with some faculty and staff calling for the resignation of YSU President David Sweet in May 2007.[18] Others on campus thought some individuals on both sides were engaged in less than professional behaviors. Due to the animosity between the parties, a special committee was set up to examine labor relations. This committee recommended that the negotiations teams for all sides be replaced before the next round of contract negotiations. Subsequent to these recommendations the Vice President for Administration was replaced as well as the Executive Director of Human Resources.

Relations have improved since that time and are now typical of what one would expect of a unionized campus in a region that has always been at the center of US union activism.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "YSU Foundation surpasses $225 million in assets". Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "YSU enrollment is at highest point since 1990", The Vindicator, 8 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Gw, Harold (October 14, 2007). p. B-1. 
  4. ^ Compromise Gives New Life to Youngstown Early College - WKBN - 27 First News - Local News - Youngstown, Warren, Columbiana, Ohio - Sharon, Pennsylvania
  5. ^ "McDonough Museum of Art". Youngstown State University. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  6. ^ Gwin, Harold. "Some plan to fight YSU and city", The Vindicator, 2 April 2006.
  7. ^ Torisk, E. (2009, March 24). "Preserving Pollock: University advances revitalization plan for historic structure." The Jambar, News: 1.
  8. ^ "YSU College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences". Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  9. ^ The Beeghly College of Education
  10. ^ "The College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (a.k.a. STEM)". Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "College of Creative Arts and Communication". Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "YSU Bitonte College of Health & Human Services". Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  13. ^ The Williamson College of Business Administration
  14. ^ The School of Graduate Studies
  15. ^
  16. ^ WebCT to convert to Blackboard by July - News
  17. ^ Students, staff struggle with Blackboard - News
  18. ^ Gwin, Harold. "60 YSU workers call for Pres. Sweet to resign", Youngstown Vindicator, 11 May 2007.

External links

  • Official website
  • Youngstown State University athletics website
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