President Michael V. Drake announced his retirement from the presidency in November. Credit: Amal Saeed | Photo Editor

The search process to find University President Michael V. Drake’s replacement will look a lot like the one that brought Drake to Ohio State.

The university trustees announced in a press release Thursday that the search for Ohio State’s next president will be broken into two subcommittees: an advisory subcommittee — comprised of students, faculty, staff and community stakeholders — and a selection committee of six university trustees. 

The structure mirrors that of the 2013 and ’14 presidential search that resulted in Drake’s selection, Taylor Stepp, former Undergraduate Student Government president and former advisory committee member, said.

Lewis Von Thaer, Ohio State trustee and chair of the Presidential Search Committee, said in the release that “Ohio State could not be better situated” as it searches for its next leader.

“We are committed to a process that is inclusive and brings together our far-reaching Buckeye community,” Von Thaer said in the press release.

Drake announced his retirement from the presidency Nov. 21, 2019, and will assume a faculty position, according to previous Lantern reporting. Drake will stay in his current position until at least the end of the spring semester. 

The selection subcommittee includes Von Thaer and trustees Alex R. Fischer, Hiroyuki Fujita, Erin P. Hoeflinger, Brent R. Porteus, Abigail S. Wexner and John W. Zeiger, according to the press release.

The advisory subcommittee comprises 20 members, according to the release. This includes notable figures such as former Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, former trustee Clark Kellogg, Athletic Director Gene Smith and Ben Duwve, senior director of allocations for USG and the only undergraduate representative on the subcommittee.

The advisory subcommittee for the past presidential search included the president of USG, Stepp said. Current USG Vice President Julia Dennen said the administration appointed Duwve, a third-year in political science and public affairs, because he would be returning to the university next year.

“We felt it was important to appoint someone to the advisory committee who will be here during the time the new president will be here,” Dennen, a fourth-year in public affairs, said in a text message. “The search committee will meet over the summer, and at that point we will also effectively have graduated.”

The advisory subcommittee will be co-chaired by Susan Olesik, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and faculty representative on the Board of Trustees’ Academic Affairs, Student Life and Research Committee, as well as David Frantz, faculty emeritus in the Department of English.

The committee retained executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to provide recruitment services throughout the process, according to the university’s presidential search website. The firm is majority women-owned.

The advisory subcommittee is tasked with seeking input from the university community through public forums and online engagement tools to communicate the qualities, skills, attributes and experiences that will make the next president best suited for Ohio State, according to the press release.

Stepp said this is the same responsibility the last advisory committee held. 

“I was very pleasantly surprised at how much engagement students had in the process,” Stepp said.