12:00 AM

Ohio State University names new Graduate School dean

The Ohio State University has named an internationally recognized astronomer to become the next leader of its Graduate School.

Executive Vice President and Provost Barbara Snyder has recommended to the president the appointment of Patrick Osmer, currently chair of the Department of Astronomy, as the next vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the Graduate School. Subject to approval by the university's Board of Trustees, the appointment takes effect on Sept. 18.

Ohio State President Karen A. Holbrook calls Osmer's appointment one of the most important of her tenure. "If Ohio State is to become the premier public land-grant research university in the nation, the quality of our graduate education has to be exemplary," she said. "Pat Osmer's leadership will ensure that Ohio State achieves that level of excellence. He will connect beautifully with our graduate students, and his knowledge of Ohio State will allow him to start immediately to implement the recommendations of two major university committees."

Osmer is an authority on the evolution of distant quasars and their relation to their host galaxies. He came to Ohio State as professor and chair of the Department of Astronomy in 1993, and in 2004 was named Distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Over the last 13 years, Osmer has provided leadership for the buildup of the research and graduate programs in the Department of Astronomy and for the effort that resulted in Ohio State's joining the international Large Binocular Telescope project.

"I'm delighted that Professor Osmer has agreed to lead our Graduate School," said Snyder. "Given his success in taking Astronomy to the top of the charts, under his leadership, the Graduate School is sure to grow in distinction, both nationally and internationally."

Osmer came to Ohio State from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, where he had been a member of the scientific staff from 1986 to 1993 and deputy director from 1988 to 1993. He also served as project scientist for the national 8-m telescopes project, which subsequently evolved into the international Gemini telescopes project. As interim project scientist for Gemini, he led the development of the science requirements for the international partners.

From 1969 to 1986, Osmer was on the scientific staff of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in La Serena, Chile, and served as director of the observatory and head of mission from 1981 through 1985. During that time, CTIO completed the construction of and brought into operation the Blanco 4-m Telescope, then the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere.

Osmer received a B.S. in astronomy with highest honors from the Case Institute of Technology in 1965 and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology in 1970.