That search for the next YSU basketball game led to a real shocker. The first article was Youngstown State University alum Ed O’Neill (Married with Children, Modern Family) announcing that he will be returning his honorary doctorate and requesting that his name be removed from all University materials. The owner of a local fireworks company made similar name requests and would be modifying terms of a previous five-million-dollar pledge. The cause for these and many other intense reactions was the selection of MAGA Congressman and election denier Bill Johnson of Ohio’s gerrymandered 6th District as Youngstown State’s next President. All Courtesy of Republican Governor Mike Dewine’s appointed trustees 8-1 vote after an opaque search process. Three of those trustees have made sizeable contributions to the Congressman’s campaigns. He will be resigning in the Spring to take the position. He will be paid over $410,000 yearly and provided a campus mansion among other typical perks.
Mr. Johnson has acted in ways that should make him ineligible to lead an institution of higher learning. He is welcome to his opinions, but bringing a source of increased division to a campus is never desirable.
- Voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
- Joined a Texas lawsuit to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in 4 other states.
- Voted against federal recognition of same sex marriage.
- Has endorsed Donald Trump for President.
- Has specifically complained about indoctrination on college campuses.
His answer to the controversy has been essentially – I’ve got my contract -
One may be thinking that this is just a small University and certainly not considered elite. It was adequate to help me into a top tier graduate school and I have crossed paths with many successful graduates. In a part of the country with limited opportunities, it has been a gem with significant local impact. An affordable gem at that.
Ed O’Neill was interviewed by local pundit Bertram de Souza. He asked “If Johnson ultimately ends up being president of YSU, what do you see your relationship, how do you see that playing out? Mr. O’Neill replied, “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” …” I’m ashamed of them. I just, you know, feel betrayed. And it’s shameful. It doesn’t represent me or many, many, many people at the university.” Couldn’t have said it better.