Helen Lafferty Will Lead Youngstown State University in Ohio

Helen K. Lafferty was appointed interim president of Youngstown State University in Ohio, effective January 31, 2023. She has been a member of the university’s board of trustees and will resign from that position.

“In appointing an interim president, we looked for someone with strong administrative experience, someone familiar with and invested in the university’s strategic planning efforts and someone who could serve as a steward of YSU in a time of great momentum,” said John Jakubek, chair of the university’s board of trustees. “Dr. Lafferty fits that profile and, we believe, will provide the entire university community the sure, steady and skilled leadership necessary while we search for a new permanent president.”

For nearly four decades, Lafferty has been an administrator and a faculty member at Villanova University just outside Philadelphia. Currently, she is College Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and is a full-time faculty member in the department of education and counseling. Dr. Lafferty plans to take a sabbatical from Villanova to assume the interim president post at Youngstown State.

A native of Youngstown and graduate of Ursuline High School, Lafferty earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Youngstown State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. She did postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and the National University of Ireland-Galway.

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