Battelle CEO Leads OSU President Search
Ohio State University announced today that Jeffrey Wadsworth, president and CEO of Battelle, will chair the presidential search committee to find a successor to E. Gordon Gee.
“The selection of the university’s next president is the most significant responsibility of the board of trustees,” board Chairman Robert Schottenstein said in a news release. “We undertake this responsibility at a time of both enormous importance and promise. The university has real momentum and is ideally situated to attract the next great leader for Ohio State.”
Wadsworth, an OSU trustee, holds a doctorate from Sheffield University and has served as adjunct or consulting faculty at four universities, including Ohio State. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. “The combination of Jeff’s outstanding academic credentials and his leadership of large, complex organizations makes him an ideal chair of the search process,” said Schottenstein. The committee includes a selection subcommittee and an advisory subcommittee. According to the news release, the selection subcommittee, led by Wadsworth, will consist of five board members: Schottenstein, Wadsworth, Michael Gasser, Janet Reid and Alex Shumate. This subcommittee will recommend a candidate to the entire board—likely with help from an executive search firm—and with input from the advisory subcommittee.
The 13-member advisory subcommittee (see the full list below) will consist of faculty, student leaders, staff and senior administrators. This subcommittee will represent and seek input from the university community and will outline the desired qualities and skills of the next president. Law professor Deborah Jones Merritt will head the advisory subcommittee.
“The academic standing of the entire university, from programs to faculty to students, is at an all-time high and there are a number of exciting and transformative strategic initiatives occurring across campus,” Wadsworth said in the release. “We believe the presidency of Ohio State offers an exceptional opportunity because of the university’s strong positive momentum and the collegial environment in which it operates. We are committed to an open, inclusive and informed search process that attracts a world-class leader.”
According to Ohio State, at the committee’s first meeting on July 19, Schottenstein will provide the charge and Wadsworth will present the vision, roles and timeline for the work.
Also, during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 29-30, members will hold a “significant discussion about the challenges and requisites of the modern university presidency.” It will hold a panel discussion, featuring “national leaders who are incumbent or former presidents and scholars of the university presidency.”
Selection subcommittee members
Robert H. Schottenstein, Ohio State Board of Trustees chair and president and CEO of M/I Homes Inc.
Jeffrey Wadsworth, Ohio State Board of Trustees presidential search committee chair and president and CEO of Battelle
Michael Gasser, Ohio State Board of Trustees member and executive chairman of the board of Grief Inc.
Janet Reid, Ohio State Board of Trustees member and founding partner and director of Global Novations
Alex Shumate, Ohio State Board of Trustees member and managing partner - North America for Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
Advisory subcommittee members
Deborah Jones Merritt, convener of the advisory subcommittee and the John Deaver Drinko-Baker and Hostetler Chair in Law
Cheryl Achterberg, dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology
Sarah Adelson, chief of staff of the Inter-Professional Council
Leslie Alexander, associate professor in the departments of African American and African Studies
Jane Box-Steffensmeier, the Vernal Riffe professor of political science and faculty liaison to the board of trustees
Michael Eicher, senior vice president for advancement and president of the Ohio State University Foundation
Archie Griffin, senior vice president and CEO of the Ohio State University Alumni Association
Richard Hart, chair and professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering
Emily Meyer, chair of the University Staff Advisory Committee
Randy Nelson, the Dr. John D. and E. Olive Brumbaugh Chair in Brain Research and Teaching
Colin Odden, representative, Council of Graduate Students, and a Ph.D. candidate in sociology
Taylor Stepp, president of Undergraduate Student Government
Andrew Thomas, chief medical officer for the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.