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Ohio State names interim marching band leaders

Ohio State has named two interim marching band directors.

University Bands director Russel Mikkelson and University Bands associate director Scott Jones are set to guide the band for the 2014-15 year after former head band director Jonathan Waters was fired in late July, according to a Monday OSU press release.

Russel Mikkelson Credit: Courtesy of OSU

Russel Mikkelson
Credit: Courtesy of OSU

The two were appointed to “provide operational leadership and oversight” of the marching band, according to the release.

Meanwhile, Lisa Galvin was hired as an associate director for the season. She recently retired from Hilliard Bradley High School where she taught instrumental music and was the assistant director of bands.

Current associate director Chris Hoch and assistant director Mike Smith will keep their current positions, according to the release.

While Mikkelson will be in charge of oversight and direction of the band, Jones will handle compliance, Title IX and student safety. Galvin and Hoch will head drill design, music rehearsal, administration and student staff oversight. Smith will lead percussion, rehearsal assistance and athletic bands.

Title IX is a section of the Education Amendments of 1972 that aims to protect against discrimination based on sex in education programs that receive federal funding.

OSU spokesman Gary Lewis was not able to immediately provide information about the salaries of the new band structure after business hours Monday.

Scott Jones Credit: Courtesy of OSU

Scott Jones
Credit: Courtesy of OSU

OSU Board of Trustees Chair Jeffrey Wadsworth said he supports the termination of Waters in an emailed statement from Lewis.

“With the announcement today of the interim leadership of the Ohio State Marching Band, we have taken a necessary step forward by doing what we must, and what is right,” Wadsworth said in the statement.  “I unequivocally support the decision to terminate the former Marching Band director and the measures taken to ensure that the culture of the Marching Band aligns with our institutional values.”

Waters was fired after a 23-page report from a two-month investigation determined the band’s culture was “an environment conducive to sexual harassment,” according to a released statement from President Michael Drake last week. It concluded that Waters was either aware of, or reasonably should have been aware of, the “sexual” culture but didn’t do enough to address it or prevent it from happening.

Examples listed in the report include an annual band practice in Ohio Stadium that Waters attended where students were expected to march in only their underwear, sexually explicit nicknames that were given to new band members and a case where a female student was told to imitate a sexual act on laps of band members.

Lewis also sent a statement from Alumni Relations senior vice president and President and CEO of the OSU Alumni Association Archie Griffin, who said he, too, supports Waters’ termination.

“Our surest path forward in resetting the culture of the band while continuing its tradition of excellence is through pursuing clear, values-based decisions that support our students,” Griffin’s statement said.


  1. I’m completely disappointed that a leader of such prominent research organizations would “unequivocally” support the farce that is the Glaros report.

  2. Maybe Otis time to remove a few board members and name an interem board. What a fiasco and what a horrible start to this presidents tenure. The report will be a legal nightmare rife, as it is, with legal inaccuracies and disproportionate portrayals … It is best for this president and these board members to crawl back and beg Jon Waters to return than to stand by that report. This is not the kind of knee-jerk, uninformed, and wrong-headed leadership that I want for my Alma Mater and Ohio’s flagship university.

  3. These two having been wanting to get their hooks into the OSUMB for a long time and now they have succeeded. Any changes they make will not be positive ones for the band. It will be interesting to see what the outcome will be if there are any further “incidents” and whether these two will be fired immediately, without due process, as Jon Waters was.

  4. Time for a new Board Of Directors. What a bunch of clowns the las 5 years! It sure looks like this was a witch hunt after reading band members and other business people that dealt with Mr. Waters.

    I am a Life time Alumni, a Life time Presidents Club member and a Endowment gift giver. I don’t see how you don’t have a lot of givers shaking their heads and wondering if they ever give another dime. I am surprised that Archie tainted his name with this as well!

  5. Well, it looks like the Board of Trustees is appointed by the Governor. So the thing to do is write to Kasich and complain about their judgment and values. But, really, these people are probably all wealthy and well-practiced at the mutual ass-kissing that politicians love. So progress is unlikely.

  6. I am disappointed they have not yet asked Jon back. I urge the band members to quit, do not march, and boycott the new regime. Hit the University where it hurts…$$$$$$$. I know people love the football team, but I made it to games to see the band. These two “leaders” have been gunning for Jon’s job for years. Imagine how boring this band will become and how much less the students will want to participate. OSU has lost my faith. They criticize the band for it’s sexualized culture….how about looking in the mirror….innocent until proven guilty is what this country was founded on, not as OSU…..the President and Board made this a sexual issue…..and gave Jon NO opportunity to change the culture that has been around for over 60 years.

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