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 will approve the final selection. For the purposes of the search, the board is utilizing a Presidential Search Committee, led by Trustee Lewis Von Thaer, to help ensure a process that is inclusive and brings together the far-reaching Ohio State community.

The Presidential Search Committee includes two subcommittees working in tandem: a selection subcommittee and an advisory subcommittee. The Presidential Selection Subcommittee (PSS) consists of seven trustees who serve as chairs or vice chairs of the board’s regular committee structure. The PSS will work in concert with the advisory subcommittee, manage the use of external search firm Isaacson, Miller and ultimately provide a candidate recommendation to the board.

The 20-member University Advisory Subcommittee (UAS) is 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 includes faculty, students, staff and community stakeholders.

The UAS is 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 are encouraged to provide their input and comments as well as candidate nominations.

Ultimately, the Board of Trustees will consider the final candidate recommendation(s) and appoint the 16th president of the university.



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


Phase 1 (Early 2020 – Spring 2020)

  • The PSS and UAS will meet with constituents and hold 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 is also encouraged to provide input and comments as well as candidate nominations. The UAS will use the feedback to inform the creation of the Presidential Profile and University Portrait, which will be used as part of the search process.

  • The PSS and Isaacson, Miller will engage 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 will review the most qualified candidates and identify a subset of semifinalist candidates to interview.

  • The Board of Trustees will hear the final recommendation and will either proceed to select the successful candidate or will request other names. Formal selection by the Board of Trustees and public announcement of the appointment will follow.

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

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