Clint Woods resigned as director of strategic partnerships for the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Jan. 31, effective immediately. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Managing Editor for Multimedia

A former Trump administration Environmental Protection Agency official has left Ohio State faculty just three-and-a-half months after assuming his position.

Clint Woods resigned as director of strategic partnerships for the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Friday, effective immediately. He was the first person to serve in the newly created position.

Cathan Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and CFAES dean, said the college wishes Woods well in an email sent to faculty Monday.

“Clint Woods resigned voluntarily,” Kress said in a statement. “He indicated that he was seeking another opportunity, but he did not specify any details.”

Prior to working at Ohio State, Woods was appointed in December 2017 as deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation in the EPA.

Woods’ Oct. 14 hiring sparked backlash from student environmental groups on campus over past record on issues including air pollution, toxic chemicals and lobbying efforts, according to previous Lantern reporting.

The Ohio State Sierra Club Student Coalition, a student environmental advocacy group, raised concerns about Ohio State’s hiring of Woods in a letter to Kress. 

The letter included several reasons why the Sierra Club was concerned about Woods, citing published news reports, including Woods’ past position at the American Legislative Exchange Commission, a large lobbying group that opposes many EPA regulations and called his position “integral in the Trump administration’s environmental regulation rollbacks.”

Within his role in CFAES, Woods worked “extensively with researchers and external partners, facilitating connections between external partners and scholarship to action through a breadth of complex collaborations and partnerships,” according to the university’s website.

When Woods was hired, he and Kress said his position was not a policy-setting position for the school.

Kress said in the email that she plans to determine the next steps for the now-vacant position in the coming months.

Woods’ annual salary as director of strategic partnerships was $132,000, CFAES spokesperson Sherrie Whaley said in an email. 

His position was funded for a two-year term by Nationwide Insurance’s foundation, the Nationwide-Ohio State collaborative, according to Ohio State’s website.

Woods did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.