Interim President Joseph Alutto during a reception held in his honor. Credit: Khalid Moalim / Assistant multimedia editor

Interim President Joseph Alutto during a reception held in his honor.
Credit: Khalid Moalim / Assistant multimedia editor

Ohio State Interim President Joseph Alutto said he plans to “decompress” once his presidential duties end in late June.

In an interview with The Lantern following a reception held for Alutto Tuesday, Alutto said he also plans to spend time preparing for future teaching roles in addition to continuing research in leadership he was doing prior to becoming interim president.

“I also do a lot of international work so I want to make sure we continue to support and expand our international programs at Ohio State,” Alutto said.

Alutto will hand the reins over to Dr. Michael Drake, current chancellor of the University of California Irvine, June 30. Drake will serve as the university’s 15th president.

During the event honoring Alutto for his service as interim president, members of the Ohio State community and other guests gathered in the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library to present Alutto with honorary gifts and words of praise.

Chris Widener of the Ohio Senate presented Alutto with a resolution noting his “distinguished career at OSU,” that was signed by all 33 members of the Ohio Senate.

In addition, Columbus mayor Michael Coleman who spoke at the event, said Alutto has always been the go-to person for local schools besides being an active member of the Columbus community.

“Joe, you’ve made tremendous efforts in our community, we’re so proud of what you’ve done,” Coleman said.

Coleman also said June 24 will be known as ‘Joe A. Alutto Day’ in Columbus.

The former executive vice president and provost of OSU has been with OSU since 1991, serving multiple positions. According to his biography on OSU’s website, Alutto “is the second-longest serving provost in history of the university,” holding that position from October 2007 through June 2013.

In 2013 Alutto was asked to take charge of Columbus City Schools as interim superintendent after ]then-superintendent Gene Harris retired. But the sudden retirement of former OSU president, E. Gordon Gee, gave Alutto an opportunity for a second stint as interim president in July 2013.  His first stint was in 2007 after the retirement of Karen Holbrook who was succeeded by Gee.

“Joe Alutto has been one of the most gifted leaders we’ve had at Ohio State,” Tim Gerber, secretary of the University Senate said. “What I think (Alutto) has done for the university is he’s been a careful and thoughtful leader, but he’s given us a very steady hand to the leadership of the university at large.”

Overall, Alutto said he’s enjoyed serving OSU as interim president.

“It’s been exciting and fun. It’s been great to serve this institution. This is such a unique institution in terms of the scale, the scope and the quality of what we do,” said Alutto.

Correction: June 26, 2014
A previous version of this article misstated Dr. Michael Drake’s start date as OSU president.