YOUNGSTOWN YSU formally installs Sweet as president during ceremony

The ceremony occurs amid grumbling about the expense and timing.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Bill Brown and David Sweet were fresh-faced, 18-year-old freshmen at the University of Rochester in New York when their paths first crossed in a dormitory hallway.
Brown knew then that Sweet was a rising star.
"David always was a serious student," said Brown, Sweet's UR roommate and fraternity brother in the late 1950s.
"He was very disciplined about getting his work done. He was a leader and conducted himself in a fashion that said, 'This man will do well.' "
Today, Brown is in Youngstown to join hundreds of other friends and colleagues at Sweet's formal installation as Youngstown State University's sixth president.
The ceremony in Beeghly Hall is expected to draw as many as 700 people, including representatives from more than 20 colleges. Dr. Lee Schulman, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, will give a keynote address.
Brown, who has remained close friends with his college roommate, said he's happy to represent UR at the ceremony.
"Youngstown is quite fortunate, both the university and the city, to have David and Pat as members of your community," Brown said about Sweet and his wife. "I think you'll find that they will add a lot."
Objections: The installation takes place amid some grumbling on campus about the cost and timing.
Dr. John Russo, faculty union president, said he has mixed feelings.
"There is some concern about the university spending money on this installation some year and a half after Dr. Sweet being named president, especially given the current budgetary crisis," Russo said.
"Yet people feel like it's important to have this installation as part of the ceremonial culture of the university. So the faculty has remained mostly silent about its misgivings."
YSU's student newspaper, The Jambar, said in an editorial this week that it initially thought the ceremony was a waste of money, but it has changed its mind.
"An installation ceremony is a way for YSU to establish itself as the credible university it is," the editorial said.
Sweet, who took YSU's helm in July 2000, will be the first YSU president to have a formal, separate installation ceremony since Albert Pugsley in 1966.
Sweet and others planning the event said they wanted to wait until after Sweet's administrative team was in place.
Funding: The installation will include a luncheon, the ceremony and a reception afterward. Sweet said his presidential discretionary fund will pay for it, but he did not know how much it would cost.
"I'll be able to give you a more accurate assessment when we're completed," he said.
Dr. William C. Binning, chairman of YSU's political science department and head of a campus committee organizing the installation, said the university's financial condition was taken into account when planning the event.
Gov. Bob Taft announced a 6 percent cut this week in state funding for Ohio's public universities. That will amount to nearly $3 million for YSU.
Binning called the installation "modest," especially compared to ceremonies at other universities.