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SOU President Is Finalist for Job In Ohio

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Mary Cullinan, embattled president of Southern Oregon University, announced Monday that she’s a finalist for the job of president at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio.

Cullinan, president at SOU since 2006, made the announcement in a campus-wide email Monday afternoon. She indicated she had not been actively seeking another job.

“This came about quite suddenly. I was nominated for the position; the search consultant asked if I would be available to interview via Skype this past Saturday. That afternoon, the consultant invited me to visit the campus next week.”

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cullinan is one of three finalists to emerge from those Skype interviews over the weekend. Her competition includes Jim Tressel, former Ohio State University and Youngstown State University football coach, and Gary Miller, chancellor of the University of North Carolina- Wilmington.

The Plain Dealer reports that Cullinan is scheduled to visit the YSU campus on Wednesday, May 7, and appear at a public forum that afternoon.

The newspaper quotes Sudershan K. Garg, chair of the YSU Board of Trustees, as being pleased with the selection.

"We believe we have a highly qualified group of final candidates, and we look forward to them traveling to Youngstown, visiting our campus and meeting the people of the university and the community."

Cullinan is at the center of the recent upheaval over reductions in faculty and programs at SOU, as well as the ongoing re-organization of the Oregon University System. Recently, SOU faculty voted no confidence in Cullinan and SOU provost James Klein.

Cullinan's office says she was unavailable for comment Monday afternoon. 

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. He served two stints as JPR News Director and retired full-time from JPR at the end of 2021. Liam now edits and curates the news on JPR's website and digital platforms.