Ohio State announced on Wednesday that University President Michael Drake has named an interim executive vice president and provost to replace outgoing Joseph Steinmetz, who has accepted the position of chancellor at the University of Arkansas.
Bruce McPheron, the vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is set to officially step into the new position on Dec. 2.
“Bruce is a highly respected scholar, teacher and leader who has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing the academic mission of the university and engaging with the community,” Drake said in an OSU release. “We are most fortunate to have his leadership during this transition period.”
McPheron, who graduated from OSU with a degree in agriculture in 1976, spoke as the 2015 summer graduation commencement speaker last August, where the entomologist introduced himself as “a Buckeye and … a bug guy.”
He went on to earn a master’s degree in biology in 1980 and a doctorate degree in entomology in 1987, both from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
McPheron came to the university in November of 2012, from Penn State, where he served as dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences.
McPheron told The Lantern in an email that he was humbled and excited by Drake’s decision to name him in the role.
“Ohio State is a place of tremendous potential, and I see my job as helping President Drake and our students, staff and faculty achieve this potential. I’ll have much to learn, to be sure, but the heart of the university’s mission is learning, so I’ll feel right at home in that process,” he said.
He added that he and Drake will work together to outline priorities during the transition.
“In December, I’ll begin the process of discussing the course of the university with our students, our staff, our faculty and our administration and identifying projects that can have a positive influence on the Ohio State University,” he said.
He has served as the 2013-14 chair of the Policy Board of Directors of Agriculture for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities as well as an executive team member of OSU’s Discovery Themes.
McPheron also serves on the Council of Deans and the Council of Professional Deans, and he served on the President’s Council from 2012 to 2014, according to his resume.
In an email to students, staff and faculty, Drake said the university will soon conduct a national search for a permanent incumbent. The university did not have any information regarding the length of McPheron’s tenure or when the university will begin this search as of Wednesday evening.
Drake added in the email that he was appreciative of Steinmetz for his time as OSU executive vice president and provost, adding that Senior Associate Dean at the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Professor Ronald Hendrick will assume the role of interim dean of College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.