Published: Friday, May 11, 2007
60 YSU workers call for Pres. Sweet to resign
The board of trustees president reaffirmed the board's faith in the university president.
By HAROLD GWIN
YOUNGSTOWN A group of Youngstown State University faculty and staff members is calling for the resignation of President David C. Sweet, saying they've lost confidence in his ability "to guide the university out of the many major problems it now faces."
"These problems undermine the quality of education for the very students who are the heart and soul of YSU," said a letter to the editor of The Vindicator signed by some 60 of the university's 2,100 employees.
The letter contends that recent actions by Sweet "have exacerbated already strained relationships between the administration and faculty and staff," and points out specific problems for which the signers believe Sweet is ultimately responsible.
That list includes the strikes by the faculty and classified employee unions in August 2005, deterioration of labor-management relations, excessive money spent on outside legal counsel and to pay off upper administrators, wrongful termination of excellent faculty and staff members, ignoring arbitrators and court decisions and very serious and worsening morale problems.
Sweet said he sent a letter to the campus community May 3 in which he urged all to focus their energies toward the best interests of Youngstown State University and its students.
"It is extremely disappointing that less than one week later, the same small group are continuing their pattern of caustic behavior that threatens both our ability to further our shared successes in enrollment, diversity and partnerships and to meet the external financial and political challenges that lie ahead," he said.
The comments of support in response to the May letter have been both numerous and gratifying, he said, adding that it is clear that more faculty and staff members are becoming aware of the negative climate created by these divisive few.
The letter to the editor said the faculty and staff at YSU are deeply committed to the university, students and the Youngstown community, adding that it is hoped Sweet's resignation and the change in leadership it would represent would create a renewed sense of optimism.
John Pogue, chairman of the YSU Board of Trustees, said that, since he joined the board, "the same few have been foolish and malicious enough to attack President Sweet," who he described as being the strongest advocate for the students, faculty and staff.
"We affirm our strong support for President Sweet and the direction in which he is leading the university. Under his leadership, enrollment has grown, student and employee populations are more diverse, beneficial partnerships are in place and the Centennial Capital Campaign has been successfully launched," Pogue said.
"Our perspective is that Sweet is routinely misinforming the public," said Dr. Nancy White, professor of psychology and one of the principal signatories of the letter. "We have been silent for too long. We are no longer remaining silent."