Herb Asher to Retire as Head of Government Affairs
After a career spanning more than 40 years, one of Ohio State’s most well-known scholars and trusted advisers has decided to retire, but will maintain his close ties with the university.
Herb Asher, Ohio State University professor emeritus of political science, counselor to the university president and senior vice president for government affairs, announced today that he plans to retire, effective Jan. 30, 2015.
Asher will remain on campus to do some occasional teaching and to work on a book about the history of Ohio State during the second presidency of E. Gordon Gee.
Next steps will be announced in the near future.
At the request of the president, Asher will continue to serve as an adviser.
“In my brief time at Ohio State, Herb has demonstrated his institutional knowledge, political instincts and commitment to the mission of the university,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “His learned counsel has been a great asset for many years, and he will continue to be involved in the academic life of the university as a scholar, writer and professor emeritus of political science.”
A self-proclaimed political junkie, Asher is considered one of the foremost authorities on Ohio politics. He is frequently called upon as an expert political analyst on elections and campaigns by local and national media.
Asher joined the university in 1970 as an assistant professor of political science and taught courses on Congress, voting behavior, campaign politics, Ohio politics and political methodology. He has authored numerous books and articles, his most recent being: Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know, 8th edition (2011).
Since 1983, Asher has worked for eight permanent and interim Ohio State presidents, focusing both on internal campus issues and external government relations. With one eye on the university and the other on political concerns downtown, he has provided counsel to presidents Edward Jennings, Gordon Gee (during both presidencies), Brit Kirwan and Karen Holbrook. During transitions between presidencies, Asher also advised interim presidents Richard Sisson and Joseph Alutto.
As senior vice president for government affairs, Asher has provided strategic leadership for the university’s relationships with federal, state and local government officials and built the government relations team. He continues to teach courses on elections and Ohio politics and serves as faculty adviser to several student organizations, including the Undergraduate Student Government, the College Democrats and Hillel.
In addition to his teaching and advisory roles, Asher was also the founding director of the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy (now the John Glenn School of Public Affairs). He is also the recipient of the university’s Distinguished Service Award.
Asher observed: “I have been blessed to be at a superb university, to be in a political science department that is internationally distinguished, to have worked for so many outstanding university leaders and to have taught so many talented students. Having been here for many years, I have had the pleasure of following the careers of many students who bring so much credit to Ohio State. And I have had the chance to observe the impressive growth and development of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs from its initial beginnings as the John Glenn Institute. As a faculty member, the opportunities I had to participate in university governance through the University Senate and other entities were very rewarding.”
Asher received his bachelor’s in mathematics from Bucknell University and his master’s and doctorate degrees in political science from the University of Michigan.
When Asher delivered the university commencement address in winter 1996, he told graduates that although it took him 10 years to be able to root for the Buckeyes when they played Michigan, he had been a fan of Ohio State academics throughout his life.
In addition to his service at Ohio State, Asher is a former member and chair of the Ohio Ethics Commission and a member of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Community Research Partners, a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Club, a former president of the Ohio State University Faculty Club and a current member of the board of Equality Ohio.
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