Search Process and Timeline

About the Process

The selection of the university's next president is the Board of Trustees' responsibility and nondelegable; therefore, the board as a whole approved the final selection of Dr. Kristina M. Johnson as Ohio States 16th president. For the purposes of the search, the board utilized a Presidential Search Committee, led by Trustee Lewis Von Thaer, to help ensure an inclusive process that brought together the far-reaching Ohio State community.

The Presidential Search Committee included two subcommittees working in tandem: a selection subcommittee and an advisory subcommittee. The Presidential Selection Subcommittee (PSS) consisted of seven trustees who were also chairs or vice chairs of the board’s regular committee structure. The PSS worked in concert with the advisory subcommittee, managed the use of external search firm Isaacson, Miller and ultimately provided a candidate recommendation to the board.

The 20-member University Advisory Subcommittee (UAS) was co-chaired by Susan Olesik, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the current faculty representative on the board’s Academic Affairs, Student Life and Research Committee, and David Frantz, faculty emeritus in the Department of English. The composition of this subcommittee included faculty, students, staff and community stakeholders.

The UAS was tasked with representing and seeking input from the broader Ohio State community in order to identify the qualities, skills, attributes and experiences desired in a candidate. Throughout the presidential search, community members were encouraged to attend public forums, which were offered on every campus, and to provide their input and comments as well as candidate nominations.



The Presidential Search Committee, with help from Isaacson, Miller — a national executive search firm with extensive networks and experience in higher education leadership — conducted a thorough process that included the following key activities:


Phase 1 (Early 2020 – Spring 2020)

  • The PSS and UAS met with constituents and held a series of public forums to solicit feedback from the university community about the qualities, skills, attributes and experiences desired in a candidate.

  • The community was encouraged to provide input and comments as well as candidate nominations. The UAS used the feedback to inform the creation of the Presidential Profile and University Portrait, which were used as part of the search process.

  • The PSS and Isaacson, Miller engaged in an extensive recruitment effort to attract a diverse pool of candidates with the experience and skills required to move Ohio State forward as a leading national public research university.


Phase 2 (Late Spring 2020 – Summer 2020)

  • The PSS reviewed the most qualified candidates and identified a subset of semifinalist candidates to interview.

  • The Board of Trustees heard the final recommendation and appointed Dr. Kristina M. Johnson as the university's 16th president on June 3, 2020. Her tenure began on September 1. 

If you have questions about access or wish to request accommodations for any of the materials related to the presidential search, please contact the Board Office at or 614-292-6359.

For media inquiries, contact Ben Johnson | 614-292-9681