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Ohio State Presidential Search Committee employs firm, panel of university presidents to help search

Jeffrey Wadsworth (left), chair of the OSU Presidential Search Committee, and Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Schottenstein speak about the search for a new university president at a July 19 press conference. Credit: Caitlin Essig / Managing editor for content

Jeffrey Wadsworth (left), chair of the OSU Presidential Search Committee, and Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Schottenstein speak about the search for a new university president at a July 19 press conference. Credit: Caitlin Essig / Managing editor for content

The Ohio State Presidential Search Committee announced two steps toward the hiring of a new university president Friday.

The OSU Board of Trustees will host a panel of current and former university presidents to discuss “the challenges and opportunities of research universities and requisites for strong leadership,” according to a Friday university press release.

OSU also announced R. William Funk and Associates, a Dallas-based firm that has handled about 375 searches for college and university leadership, will be the search firm to “assist with recruitment,” according to the release.

The Symposium on the University Presidency will be held Aug. 30 at 1 p.m. at the Ohio Union. Harvard Graduate School of Education professor emeritus Richard Chait will organize the panel, and Tufts University President Emeritus Lawrence Bacow, Tulane University President Scott Cowen, Washington State University President Elson Floyd, University of North Carolina system President Thomas Ross and University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan will be among the panelists.

OSU spokespeople did not immediately respond to an email Friday afternoon asking if the panelists’ travel costs will be reimbursed and requesting the university contract with R. William Funk and Associates.

Presidential Search Committee Chair Jeffrey Wadsworth said the symposium will be a way to organize committee members’ visions.

“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,” Wadsworth said in a released statement.

Wadsworth also said Funk is well-qualified to help the committee with its search.

“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,” Wadsworth said in a released statement.

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