The first of three public forums for the university’s presidential search was canceled Feb. 12 for “inclement weather”. Credit: Andre White | Lantern Reporter

The presidential search forums are off to a slippery start.

The first of three public forums for the university’s presidential search was canceled Wednesday due to inclement weather when fewer than 10 people attended at the Biomedical Research Tower. Those who remained after the cancellation announcement were invited to voice their opinions to Lewis Von Thaer and Susan Olesik, members of the presidential search committee.

At 4:04 p.m., Ohio State Emergency Management issued a winter weather advisory, effective until 10 a.m. due to a possible 2 inches of snow. The university has yet to announce if the forum will be rescheduled.

Von Thaer, university trustee and chair of the selection subcommittee, and Olesik, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and co-chair of the advisory subcommittee, are hosting the forums to gather public input on “qualities, skills, attributes and experiences” the university community is looking for in the next president, according the Board of Trustees’ website.

Among those present was Dr. Edmund Mroz, research associate professor of otolaryngology, who raised concerns about the university’s national and global standing among research institutions.

“If Ohio State wants to become a world-class university, as opposed to being one which I think presently is seen as being more regional, then it has to have a president who is going to be able to work with the trustees, work with the schools within the university and have policies that will make that possible,” Mroz said.

Sumaya Hamadmad, an ophthalmology research assistant at the university, said her main concern was Ohio State’s Family and Medical Leave Policy, which allows for 12 weeks of job-protected parental leave, according to the university’s Parental Care Guidebook.

“I think it should be at least three months or maybe more,” Hamadmad said. 

The two remaining forums will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday in Thompson Library and from 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 19 in the U.S. Bank Conference Theater at the Ohio Union, according to the Board of Trustees’ website.