Ohio State University Taps Education Executives to Find New Provost

December 8, 2023 – Santa Barbara, CA-based Education Executives has been called in by Ohio State University to lead in its search for its next executive vice president and provost. The committee of Ohio State faculty, staff and students will work closely with Education Executives to provide input and feedback, and coordinate campus listening sessions. Earlier this month, Ohio State shared that Karla Zadnik will serve as interim executive vice president and provost, effective January 1, 2024. She will work with outgoing provost Melissa L. Gilliam to ensure a seamless transition.

“We are grateful for the engagement of the committee members along with the broader Ohio State community throughout this search process,” said Peter Mohler, acting president and executive vice president for research, innovation and knowledge. “The role of provost, our chief academic officer, is vital to further the university’s educational mission.”

The search committee will be co-chaired by Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Vernal Riffe professor of political science and professor of sociology, College of Arts and Sciences, and John Warner, executive vice president and chief executive officer, Wexner Medical Center.

In September, Education Executives assisted in the recruitment of Walter Carter as the 17th president of Ohio State University. He will start in his new role on Jan. 1. Kristina Johnson, who held the role since 2020, stepped down in May. “President Carter brings an unparalleled combination of strategic leadership and true service, and we could not be more thrilled to welcome him and his family to Ohio State,” said board chair Hiroyuki Fujita, who also served as chair of the presidential selection subcommittee. “We were absolutely determined to find the next great leader for Ohio State in today’s highly complex and competitive higher-education environment. With input from our university community and the highest recommendations from those who have worked with president Carter during his extraordinary career, I believe we have done just that.”

“President Carter represents the qualities, skills and attributes our faculty, staff and students sought in a leader,” said Janet Box-Steffensmeier, distinguished university professor, Vernal Riffe professor of political science, and professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Related: George Washington University Selects Education Executives to Find Next President

Mr. Carter is known for strategic ingenuity and a highly collaborative leadership style honed over almost 40 years in higher education and the United States Navy. Currently, he serves as president of the University of Nebraska System, overseeing four campuses of almost 70,000 students, faculty and staff, including their academic medical center.

Storbeck Search Recruits SVP of Talent, Culture & HR for Ohio State University
Higher education-focused search firm Storbeck Search, part of the Diversified Search Group, has helped to place Jeff Risinger as senior vice president of talent, culture and human resources at Ohio State University. The assignment was led by Steve Leo and Vicki Henderson of Storbeck Search and Matt Vossler of Diversified Search Group. For the past several months, Paul Patton, senior advisor to the president, has served as interim human resources leader. “As Ohio State’s top advisor on workplace and human resources issues, Dr. Risinger will provide leadership across the university to support our values, help advance our diversity and inclusion efforts, and continue to foster a Buckeye culture that positively impacts our entire community,” said university president Kristina M. Johnson.

Founded in 1870 as a land-grant university, Ohio State University is a leading research university and the model for Ohio’s public higher education institutes. Its student body includes almost 66,000 students, and the university offers more than 200 majors and programs — plus 500 specializations for undergraduates, in addition to 127 master’s degree programs, 102 doctoral degree programs, nine professional degree programs and an estimated 12,000 course offerings.

Respected Recruiters

Santa Barbara, CA-based Education Executives specializes in the identification, recruitment, and mentorship of senior leaders for comprehensive research universities, academic medical centers, and scientific entities. Education Executives consultants have conducted over 300 successful searches for senior academic leaders across the nation.

The search firm is led by president Ilene H. Nagel. Previously, she served as the global leader of the higher education practice for Russell Reynolds Associates. Before becoming a search consultant, Dr. Nagel had more than 30 years’ experience as an academic, with professorial appointments in several AAU research universities. Most recently, she served as the executive vice chancellor (chief academic officer) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before that, Dr. Nagel was dean of the graduate school and associate provost for research at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, she was on the law faculty at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she was a tenured full professor, with a joint appointment in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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