8-16-2013

Contact: Gayle Saunders,

Presidential Search: Board of Trustees to Engage Current and Former University Presidents in Public Forum

Consulting Firm Hired to Assist with Selection

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees today announced it will convene a panel of current and former university presidents from across the country to help frame the search for a new president of Ohio State. Today’s meeting was part of the ongoing work of the Presidential Search Committee, which began its work last month.

The Symposium on the University Presidency–open to the public–will feature five current and former university presidents discussing the challenges and opportunities of research universities and requisites for strong leadership. The session will be convened by Richard Chait, Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a leading authority on higher education.

“The symposium will provide the Board of Trustees and members of the Presidential Search Committee an important opportunity to gain insights about the larger context and environment for universities as well as the challenges that current presidents face,” said Robert H. Schottenstein, chairman of the board.

The panel will be held at 1 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, at The Ohio Union in the U.S. Bank Conference Theater, 1739 N. High Street.
Panelists will include:
Lawrence S. Bacow, President Emeritus, Tufts University

Scott S. Cowen, President, Tulane University

Elson S. Floyd, President, Washington State University

Thomas W. Ross, President, University of North Carolina (system)

Teresa A. Sullivan, President, University of Virginia

Jeffrey Wadsworth, trustee and Presidential Search Committee chair, said the panel is an important part of the search committee’s strategy and will help its members to refine their vision.

“We are very deliberately taking a broad approach to seeking input through this search process, and the wisdom and experience of these leaders will enhance our efforts,” said Wadsworth. “The Symposium on the University Presidency is designed to deepen our understanding and perspective as we search for the next president of The Ohio State University.”

Chait, who helped create the symposium and will serve as its moderator, cited the exceptional quality and range of experiences of the panelists.

“This is truly an all-star assembly of leaders in American higher education,” said Chait. “Through bringing them together in conversation, we have a unique opportunity to get to the heart of the changing nature of the university presidency.”

During the meeting, the search committee also announced R. William Funk & Associates as the national search consulting firm to assist with recruitment of the university’s next president. Funk is one of the most widely respected search consultants serving higher education. He has been called the “guru of higher education recruiting” by The Chronicle of Higher Education and is listed as one of the 200 best executive recruiters in the world in The Global 200 Executive Recruiters: An Essential Guide to the Best Recruiters in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America (Jossey-Bass, Inc). Funk has conducted approximately 375 searches for college and university presidents and chancellors.

“We are pleased that Bill will assist with this recruitment,” said Wadsworth. “Bill has helped universities find exceptional leaders from across the country, including presidents at Cornell University, the University of Southern California, the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the President of the University of California System and more. His work will help us meet our objectives for Ohio State.”

Members of the search committee also discussed the upcoming forums to gather input from faculty, staff, students, alumni and the larger community. Forum dates and times were outlined and the Presidential Search Committee’s interactive website was discussed. The site includes a link for those wishing to make recommendations for potential candidates.

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About The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870,
The Ohio State University
is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.