10:42 AM

University trustees announce presidential search process

Search to include board leadership, representation across Ohio State, community input

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees today announced the process for seeking the 16th president in the history of the university to replace outgoing President Michael V. Drake.

“We’re looking for a visionary leader to continue our tremendous momentum,” said Board Chair Gary R. Heminger. “Ohio State is ideally positioned to attract the next great president in higher education.”

As previously announced, Ohio State Trustee Lewis Von Thaer will serve as chair of the Presidential Search Committee. The committee includes two subcommittees: a Presidential Selection Subcommittee and a University Advisory Subcommittee.

“We are committed to a process that is inclusive and brings together our far-reaching Buckeye community,” Von Thaer said.

The Presidential Selection Subcommittee is composed of trustees who serve as chairs or vice chairs of the board’s regular committee structure: Von Thaer (chair), Alex R. Fischer, Hiroyuki Fujita, Erin P. Hoeflinger, Brent R. Porteus, Abigail S. Wexner and John W. Zeiger. It will work in concert with the University Advisory Subcommittee, manage the use of external search firm Isaacson, Miller and ultimately provide a candidate recommendation to the board.

The 20-member University Advisory Subcommittee is composed of students, faculty, staff and community stakeholders. It will be tasked with representing and seeking input from the broader Ohio State community in order to identify the qualities, skills, attributes and experiences desired in a candidate. Susan Olesik, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and faculty representative on the board’s Academic Affairs, Student Life and Research Committee, and David Frantz, faculty emeritus in the Department of English, will co-chair the group.

In addition, members of the University Advisory Subcommittee include:

  • Juan Alfonzo, Distinguished Professor, Department of Microbiology
  • Anil Arya, Associate Dean, Faculty and Research, and Professor, Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems, Fisher College of Business
  • Catherine Baumgardner, Chair, Ohio State Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • TJ Beavers, Chief of Staff, Inter-Professional Council
  • Michael Coleman, Former Mayor, City of Columbus
  • Ben Duwve, Senior Director of Allocations, Undergraduate Student Government
  • Michael Eicher, Senior Vice President, Office of Advancement; President, The Ohio State University Foundation
  • Lisa Florman, Chair, Department of History of Art
  • Donna Ford, Distinguished Professor, Department of Educational Studies
  • Joseph Heremans, Member, University Research Committee; Professor, Department of Physics and Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Ohio Eminent Scholar, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Andrew Jordan, Chair, University Staff Advisory Committee; Manager of Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness, Department of Recreational Sports, Office of Student Life
  • Clark Kellogg, Former Trustee, The Ohio State University
  • Peter Mohler, Vice Dean for Research, College of Medicine; Director, Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute
  • Devin Peterson, Distinguished Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology
  • Stephen Post, President, Council of Graduate Students
  • Sharon Schweikhart, Chair, Faculty Council; Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Health Services Management and Policy, College of Public Health
  • Gene Smith, Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director
  • Karla Zadnik, Executive Dean for Health Sciences; Dean, College of Optometry

Opportunities for faculty, staff and students to provide input — including public forums for discussion and an online engagement tool — will be available. Additional updates, such as dates and times for Presidential Search Committee meetings, will be added throughout the process on the presidential search website.

“It is important for this process to include the perspectives of our students, faculty and staff, and the broader campus community,” Olesik said.

In November, Drake announced his plans to transition out of the role after continuing to serve through at least the end of the 2019-20 academic year.

Ohio State has seen historic highs in key areas, including: applications, the academic preparedness and diversity of incoming classes to the Columbus campus, retention rates, research expenditures, graduation rates, patient care and support from donors. In addition, the university has established several programs and initiatives to lower costs for students while increasing accessibility and the excellence of a Buckeye education.

Taken together, Von Thaer said, these advancements help position Ohio State to further define the 21st century land-grant university.

“Ohio State could not be better situated than it is today to welcome a new leader,” Von Thaer said. “We look forward to making this important selection for the future of the university and the students, families and communities we serve.”

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