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Presidential Search Committee chairman suggests search could end early

The OSU Board of Trustees meets Nov. 8 at the Longaberger Alumni House. Credit: Chelsea Savage / Lantern photographer

The OSU Board of Trustees meets Nov. 8 at the Longaberger Alumni House.
Credit: Chelsea Savage / Lantern photographer

Though the Presidential Search Committee continues to work on finding the next Ohio State president, some committee members said at the OSU Board of Trustees meeting Friday that process could be over sooner than expected.

The Ohio State Board of Trustees met Friday morning to discuss and approve all 24 issues on its agenda during its final meeting of 2013.

The presidential profile was officially adopted by the Board at the meeting. The profile is an eight-page guide drafted by the Presidential Search Committee’s advisory subcommittee to aid committee members and potential presidential candidates with understanding the most important values and qualifications being looked for in OSU’s next president.

Trustee Jeffrey Wadsworth, who is also the Presidential Search Committee chairman, said while the Board knows approximately how long a public presidential search typically lasts, that doesn’t mean OSU’s will take that long.

“We did some analysis on how long it takes to find a president in an open, public search. The data tells us it’s about 300 days. We’re about 120 days in,” Wadsworth said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to be looking for another 180, but if we find somebody in a couple of months, they may still not be able to start until the start of the academic year.”

Wadsworth was appointed to the Board in June 2010 by then-Ohio governor Ted Strickland. Wadsworth is president and CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit research and development organization, according to the Board’s website.

Also among the approved matters, the Board voted to approve a new naming policy for buildings and spaces on campus, giving various university officials the opportunity to review new name choices depending on the type of building being named.

The Board also voted to give its support to Ohio House Bill 111, a pending piece of legislation aimed at giving student trustees the power to vote along with other board members in future meetings. Two student trustees, one undergraduate and one graduate, currently sit on the 18-member Board but are only allowed to discuss items with the other trustees who have voting privileges.

Amended Wexner Medical Center Board of Trustees bylaws were approved Friday that will give the Medical Center Board, which was established in August,  a consultative role in making recommendations to the OSU Board of Trustees. The OSU Board was granted the authority of “development and strategic allocations of resources of the University Wexner Medical Center” upon approval of the new bylaws, according to the Board agenda.

Prior to the OSU Board’s approval, that was among the Wexner Medical Center Board’s duties.

At the Board’s Thursday Governance committee meeting, it was announced that Les Wexner has been appointed to serve as Medical Center Board chairman, beginning Friday and lasting until May 13, 2016.

Wexner, CEO of Limited Brands, previously served as chairman and a member of the Board of Trustees before resigning without providing a reason in June 2012.

Wexner had been on the Board since 1988 until his resignation in 2012. Two months after accepting his chairman term that would have ended in 2020, Wexner mysteriously resigned, according to The Lantern archives.

The Board also accepted an approximately 387 acre property located in Pickaway County that was given to the university as a gift. The university plans to sell the property, appraised at $2.6 million, immediately to fund an endowed scholarship for Pickaway County, to support construction for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and to support Extension and 4-H programming.

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