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Political science professor chosen to give OSU’s Winter Commencement address

Courtesy of OSU Media Relations

With three main ideas and three weeks to get a speech set, professor Richard Herrmann said the closer it gets to Winter Commencement, the more nervous he gets about delivering his speech.

Herrmann has been chosen to speak at Ohio State’s Winter Quarter Commencement March 18 at 2 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.

Herrmann, social and behavioral sciences distinguished professor and chair of OSU’s Department of Political Science, has been a member of OSU’s political science faculty since 1981.

“It’s a rare opportunity and not everyone gets to do it. I was flattered and it’s intimidating to think you get to do it,” Herrmann said. “I’m going to do my best. I was honored when the president asked me to do it.”

Herrmann spoke at OSU’s Fall Convocation but said this is the biggest group he’s spoken to that wasn’t made up of all students.

“It’s not just an academic talk and it’s kind of scary. Usually I’m teaching just straightforward, this speech is broader and has more conclusions,” Herrmann said.

Herrmann said his speech is not finalized yet, but he plans on including ideas from his field of study, including future decision-making skills.

“They told me two or three months ago, but it never seems like enough time. The closer it gets the more nervous I get about speaking in front of so many people,” he said. “I’m getting there. I want to talk about learning about better decision making and applying it broadly as part of reaching decisions in the future. The speech isn’t written yet, but I have an outline. I have three ideas and three weeks to get it set. Any surprises I have, I want to save them so there are some in the speech.”

Herrmann earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Miami University in 1974. He earned his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in 1981.

Herrmann has won many different awards, including the 2009-10 Arts and Sciences Student Council Outstanding Teaching Award and the university’s Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service in 2008.

In addition to various honors, Herrmann has written and edited three books, and more than 40 articles in journals including American Political Science Review, International Organization, International Security and World Politics.

During Winter Commencement, Keith Moore, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, will be awarded the honorary Doctor of Science, according to a press release. Randall Ripley, professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science and former dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Science, and Elizabeth Watters, magistrate with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and two-time OSU graduate, will be awarded Distinguished Service Awards.

Jenelle Cooper contributed to this story.

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