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Ohio State announces new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Gretchen Ritter will serve as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences beginning Aug. 1. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State News

Ohio State has found its new executive dean and vice provost of the College of Arts and Sciences in Gretchen Ritter of Cornell University.

Ritter, whose background is in the study of women’s constitutional rights and contemporary issues concerning democracy and citizenship in American politics, served as Cornell’s Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences from 2013 to 2018 before returning to the faculty. Ritter’s appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, and her appointment will be effective Aug. 1, 2019, through July 31, 2024.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to join Ohio State, which has such a strong sense of mission as a land-grant institution,” Ritter said in a press release. “I have a keen sense of responsibility as dean of the largest college at Ohio State and am excited to work with the college leadership, faculty and staff to build on the strengths of the College of Arts and Sciences.”

At the forum for Ritter’s candidacy for the position in February, she stressed Ohio State’s ability to use a liberal arts education to foster citizenship as well as her personal commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Ritter received her bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell and her doctorate in political science from MIT. Previously, she taught at Princeton, MIT and Harvard and served as vice provost and professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin.

Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron said that Ohio State is excited to have Ritter join the community.

“I believe that the future of Ohio State is tied to the vibrancy of the College of Arts and Sciences and, as executive dean, Professor Ritter will help lead the college forward,” McPheron said in a press release. “In addition, as vice provost, she will participate in the shared leadership of the academic enterprise, including the implementation of the university’s strategic plan.”

Ritter succeeds Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, who served as interim dean and vice provost for one year. She will return to the faculty once Ritter assumes her new role.


  1. That is interesting news. I could only add that Ha Vrieze http://stayworkplay.org/internships/author/ha-vrieze a part of education too. This important moment should be discussed at the campus. But the new dean of the college of arts and sciences is more important. anyway.

  2. Cornell A&S Faculty Member

    This is the same individual who was asked to step down as Dean of A&S at Cornell following a series of fiascos, mismanagement and overt abuse of authority. Some of her actions have led to successful and active litigation against Cornell, and there are still active investigations by the federal agencies following substantial allegations of racist and sexist conduct by Ritter. It is very surprising that OSU has managed to look the other way and avoid acknowledging these facts. I hope the Trustees and University leadership have set aside some legal funds they can use when (and not if) Ritter embroils OSU in similar embarrassing and illegal debacles.

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