The Ohio State president won’t be coming in for an editorial board meeting with The Lantern this semester, for the first time in at least six years.
Because of scheduling troubles and President Michael Drake’s transition, we were unable to set a date with OSU that suited both parties for the semesterly interview. OSU offered a half-hour slot from 3-3:30 p.m. on Dec. 9, but The Lantern has historically had an hour with presidents in the past and doesn’t have a print issue after the one that’s on stands Tuesday until Jan. 12.
We asked on Nov. 12 for another date. When following up last week, The Lantern was told the initally offered date and time on Dec. 9 — Tuesday — had already been taken.
On Nov. 25, The Lantern received a copy of Drake’s calendar from Sept. 29 through Jan. 4 in response to a records request. That calendar showed Drake is set to be at a calendar review from 2-3 p.m. Monday and in a private appointment from 4:30-5:30 p.m., with a holiday reception to follow.
We had been working on setting up a time for an editorial board meeting since Sept. 8. We accepted a meet-and-greet meeting with Drake and three representatives from The Lantern Media Group on Oct. 27, which was initially offered in addition to and in advance of an editorial board interview later in the semester.
OSU and The Lantern are working on scheduling an interview with Drake for sometime in December with the typical editorial board interview taking place sometime in January.
It’s understandable that OSU’s administration is busy — since former OSU Marching Band director Jonathan Waters was dismissed July 24, less than a month after Drake started, there’s been a flurry of media attention about a variety of topics, including Waters’ decision to sue OSU. The new Wexner Medical Center James Cancer Hospital opens this month, and a new CEO was named Monday to lead the Medical Center. On a more serious note, a missing OSU student and walk-on football player was found dead last week. And this past weekend, OSU’s football team won the Big Ten Championship Game and earned a berth in the first-ever College Football Playoffs.
We at The Lantern aren’t trying to distract Drake or any other administrators from these topics. We know these issues bring up a lot of questions about how to move forward and what can be done better in the future.
But we want to ask those questions. We’re trying to talk to these people who lead OSU, and Drake specifically, about the issues at hand because we know our readers care. We want to our readers to know what’s going on behind the scenes. What is OSU’s president focusing on? And what’s next on his agenda?
The thing is, we can’t ask those questions we have, those questions that the OSU community deserves answers to, without an editorial board interview.