AGB Search Assists Ohio University in Finding New President

April 11, 2023 – Washington, D.C.-based AGB Search, which specializes in higher education leadership assignments, has assisted in the recruitment of Lori Stewart Gonzalez as the 23rd president of Ohio University. She replaces Hugh Sherman, who agreed to serve a two-year term with plans to retire at the end of this academic year. Sally MasonLarry Ladd, and Garry W. Owens led the assignment. The selection of Dr. Gonzalez concludes an extensive national search that began with a thorough university-wide engagement project early in fall 2022 that both set expectations and guided the overall search process. “We started this process by partnering with the university community to define what we wanted in our next president, and I am thrilled to be able to say that we found everything we were looking for in Dr. Gonzalez,” said Peggy Viehweger, chair of the Ohio University board of trustees and chair of the presidential search committee. “Dr. Gonzalez has broad experience as an academic leader and a deep commitment to the power of public higher education. What set her apart, however, was her open and honest communication style and her demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and to build strong teams – characteristics our stakeholders told us were of utmost importance.”

Ms. Viehweger said the 16-member presidential search committee was instrumental in reviewing a robust candidate pool and identifying top candidates who met the criteria defined by the university community and the board of trustees.

“Our search committee was focused and dedicated,” Ms. Viehweger said. “They took this responsibility very seriously, and they listened to each other and to the university community. The result of their work is an outstanding Ohio University president who will make history as the first woman president and whom I trust will bring many other exciting firsts to Ohio.”

Dr. Gonzalez comes to Ohio University from the University of Louisville, where she currently serves as executive vice president and university provost. She also served as interim president for more than a year during a presidential transition. Prior to her time in Louisville, Dr. Gonzalez was vice chancellor of academic, faculty, and student affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Her career also includes serving as provost and executive vice chancellor at Appalachian State University and dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky.

“Dr. Gonzalez’s background in, and knowledge of, the health sciences will serve her well as president of Ohio University,” said Mr. Sherman. “A third of our students are enrolled in health sciences professional programs, and we are home to the largest public medical school in the state. In addition, she brings with her a clear understanding of the region we serve.”

“I see public education as the ultimate opportunity to give back, and I’m so honored to partner with the Ohio University community to give back to a region that I call home,” Ms. Gonzalez said. “I know that when communities come together to support public education, our cities and towns are strengthened, our civic engagement is elevated and the students we serve discover new opportunities that change their lives and the lives of generations to come.”

Established in 1804, Ohio University has 14,684 undergraduates and 2,194 graduate students enrolled at its main Athens campus. The students come from all of Ohio’s 88 counties, 49 different states, and 101 countries. Five regional campuses extend university access across southern Ohio. Ohio University offers more than 250 areas of undergraduate study. On the graduate level, the university grants master’s degrees in nearly all of its major academic divisions and doctoral degrees in selected departments.

Serving Universities

AGB Search conducts searches for college and university presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, deans, university system heads, and CEOs of coordinating boards and related foundations. The firm was founded by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) in 2010.

Related: AGB Search Assists Gonzaga University in Finding CHRO

Dr. Mason, senior consultant and senior fellow, served as the 20th president of the University of Iowa from 2007 through 2015. Trained as a cell developmental biologist, she also holds a full professorship in the department of biology in the college of liberal arts and sciences. Dr. Mason is the author of many scientific papers and has obtained a number of research grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Wesley Research Foundation, and the Lilly Endowment.

Cultivating the Higher Education Leadership Pipeline
In this brand new episode of ‘Talent Talks,’ Hunt Scanlon Media host Rob Adams is joined by Rod McDavis, managing principal of AGB Search and Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor Emerita of the State University of New York system. In this podcast, Dr. McDavis and Dr. Zimpher share recent trends in higher education leadership including diversity and how AGB’s Institute for Leadership & Governance is changing the game. Listen now! 

Mr. Ladd, senior consultant, has served for over 20 years as an advisor on governance, strategy, and finance to over 100 colleges, universities, and university foundations: financially strong and financially challenged, large and small, public and private, not-for-profit and for-profit. His prior executive experience includes serving as director of budget and financial planning at Harvard University, chief operating and financial officer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, dean of administration and the dean of the College of Special Studies at Tufts University, assistant provost at Boston University, and assistant to the president of Duke University.

Dr. Owens joined AGB Search in 2011 after working five years as a senior consultant with another Washington, DC-based search and consulting firm. Since 2006, Dr. Owens has completed nearly 80 searches for presidents, vice presidents, provosts, and deans in public and private colleges and universities, as well as in church-affiliated schools, specialized colleges, and the for-profit sector. Dr. Owens served as an academic administrator for 17 years, notably as founding dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Texas Tech University, in addition to key roles at other institutions.

Related: AGB Search Selected by University of North Dakota to Find Provost

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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