Vol. 38, No. 18
By: Richard Gillette
Alutto to lead university in interim
The Board of Trustees named Gordon Gee Ohio State’s next president, but he made it clear who will lead the university until he takes office.
The day after being named president, Gee praised Joe Alutto, who will serve as interim president and executive vice president and provost.
“We are fortunate to have him at our university. He will do a fine job steering this university in the direction it needs to go,” said Gee, who recalled hiring Alutto as the dean of the Fisher College of Business during a cold and rainy Ohio State football game.
At the university since 1991, Alutto said it was honor to serve in the interim positions.
“I look forward to doing my part working with students, faculty, staff and friends to continue the great progress we are making as one of America’s top public research universities,” Alutto said.
Described by colleagues as a fair and flexible leader, Alutto knows the complexity of holding both positions.
“But I keep reminding everyone that we have in place an academic plan at this university that is very clear and very simple. That plan says we should have an increasing number of departments that are ranked within the top 10 or 20 in the nation,” Alutto said. “The plan should drive just about everything we do.”
Making the transition easier is the strong leadership team in place in both the President’s Office and the Office of Academic Affairs, Alutto said.
“People care deeply about this institution. There’s a love for Ohio State that transcends much of what we do here,” he added.
Alutto formally assumed the new responsibilities July 1 after the departure of former President Karen Holbrook and Provost Barbara Snyder.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Joe’s caliber and experience at the helm of the university,” Board Chairman Gil Cloyd said. “Joe is highly respected on campus, in the community and in academic circles across the country. He is the ideal person to serve as the university’s chief executive officer on an interim basis.”
In the interim, Alutto said his task will be to guide the university toward providing access to all academically eligible students no matter their economic status and to increase the university’s international focus.
Knowledge knows no boundaries, Alutto said, and access without excellence is not enough. Students must be prepared to compete in global markets, and the university must provide well-prepared incoming students with the excellent faculty and programs they need for success.
During his first few weeks in the interim positions, Alutto said he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received from many faculty, staff and alumni.
“They’ve been very supportive and have given a lot of suggestions. Some have even suggested that if I could solve the parking problem and the football ticket problems, I would be the most memorable interim president in the history of the institution,” he said.
Steve Mangum, senior associate dean for academic programs of the Fisher College, will serve as acting dean of the Fisher College of Business.
Alutto, 65, holds the John W. Berry Sr. Chair in Business and is a professor of management and human resources. He also served as Executive Dean for the Professional Colleges, where he coordinated the activities of the colleges of Education and Human Ecology; Engineering; Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Law and Social Work and represented the interests of those colleges in university wide decision-making bodies.
Before joining Ohio State, Alutto was the Clarence S. Marsh Professor of Management at State University of New York at Buffalo, focusing his research on Sino-U.S. joint ventures and the relationships between improvement processes and corporate performance. He also served as dean of the SUNY-Buffalo School of Management from 1976 to 1990.
Alutto is a leading authority on managerial behavior, having published a book and more than 65 articles in academic journals. His research expertise also includes joint ventures, corporate and individual performance, management education and Sino-U.S. economic activity. He has lectured widely in Asia on management issues, and in 1984 pioneered the first Sino-U.S. jointly funded MBA program offered in the People’s Republic of China.
Alutto earned his B.A. in business administration from Manhattan College, M.A. in industrial relations from the University of Illinois and Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Cornell University.