All-star symposium scheduled to provide perspective; respected firm hired to aid in recruiting
When the committee charged with finding the next president of the university first met July 19, it vowed a thorough, inclusive and transparent search, and members have set about making good on all of those promises in their first month of work.
The committee’s advisory subcommittee has begun compiling a profile of the ideal candidate for the presidency. As part of its charge to represent the university community in the process, the subcommittee has scheduled no less than 24 forums — described as “listening sessions” — with eight more planned but not yet scheduled, to give faculty, staff, students, alumni and the larger community the chance to provide input for that profile.
“We are very deliberately taking a broad approach to seeking input through this search process,” said Jeffrey Wadsworth, OSU Trustee and chair of the search committee.
Deborah Jones Merritt, the John Deaver Drinko/Baker and Hostetler Chair in Law and convener of the advisory subcommittee, told the full search committee at its meeting Aug. 16 that input from the early forums already had made its way into the document.
“They’ve been very well attended and we have received a lot of engaging and thoughtful feedback,” she said.
The forums have been scheduled not only across the Columbus campus, but also at each regional campus as well as downtown Columbus and at OSU Hospital East.
Wadsworth also announced that the Board of Trustees will host a panel of current and former university presidents from across the country to help frame the search.
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.
Richard Chait, professor emeritus at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a leading authority on higher education, will convene the session. Panelists will include Lawrence Bacow, Tufts University president emeritus; Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University; Elson Floyd, president of Washington State University; Thomas Ross, president of the University of North Carolina system; and Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia.
The panel will be held at 1 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Ohio Union’s US Bank Theater.
“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.
Wadsworth also announced the consulting firm of R. William Funk & Associates has been retained to assist with recruitment of the 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 after having conducted about 375 searches for college and university presidents and chancellors.
Members of the committee also discussed the Presidential Search Committee’s website at trustees.osu.edu/presidentialsearch, which includes a link for those wishing to make recommendations for potential candidates.
Merritt said as of the Aug. 16 meeting that nearly 400 people had submitted suggestions for candidates to be considered and 300 had offered comments or general descriptions of desired qualities.
Have your say
The following are the currently scheduled presidential search open forums. Some are targeted for specific groups, others are for the community at large. All attendees are invited to give the advisory committee their input into the desired qualities of the next president of Ohio State.
Aug. 26,1-2 p.m.: 212 Bromfield Hall, OSU Mansfield (open forum)
Aug. 26, 4-5 p.m.: Fisher Auditorium, North Exhibit Area, OARDC/ATI (open forum)
Aug. 28, 1-2:30 p.m.: OSU Extension Webinar (Extension offices throughout the state)
Aug. 28, 6:30-8 p.m.: Ohio Union, Senate Chamber (USG Senate)
Sept. 3, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Columbus Main Library Auditorium (open forum)
Sept. 4, 3-4:30 p.m.: Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, Bob Evans Memorial Auditorium (open forum)
Sept. 5, 5-6 p.m.: Faculty Club, Grand Lounge (Faculty Council)
Sept. 8, 5-6 p.m.: Ohio Union, Senate Chamber (Inter-Professional Council)
Sept. 9, 9-10 a.m.: 200 Bricker Hall (vice provosts)
Sept. 9, 4:30-6 p.m.: Ohio Union, Traditions Room (Council of Graduate Students)
Sept. 10, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Faculty Club, Junior Colleagues Room (President’s and Provost’s Advisory Committee)
Sept. 10, 6-7:30 p.m.: Ohio Union, Great Hall Meeting Rooms 1&2, Undergrad Student Government (open forum sponsored by USG)
Sept. 11, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Thompson Library, Buckeye Reading Room (open forum)
Sept. 11, 2:30-4 p.m.: Wexner Medical Center, Ross Heart Hospital Auditorium, first floor (open forum)
Sept. 12, 2-3:30 p.m.: University Hospital East, Wallace Auditorium (open forum)
Sept. 13, 10:10-11:10 a.m.: 125 Reese Hall, OSU Newark (open forum)
Sept. 16, 3-4 p.m.: 220 Maynard Hall, Guthery Community Room, OSU Marion (open forum)
Sept. 16, noon-1 p.m.: 165 Science Building, OSU Lima, (open forum)
Sept. 18, 7:30-8 a.m.: 234 Meiling Hall (College of Medicine Assembly)
Sept. 23, 12:30-1:30 p.m.: 400 Stillman Hall, Women’s Place Conference Room (President’s and Provost’s Council on Women)
Oct. 3, time and place TBD (University Senate)
Oct. 17, 1:30-3:00 p.m.: place TBD (OSU Diversity Officers)
Others to be determined: Academy of Teaching; Alumni Advisory Council; Alumni Association Board of Directors; Campaign Advisory Group; China Gateway (public forum); Department Chairs; Foundation Board; WOSU (public forum).