Mohler announces provost search committee

The Lantern
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University Hall sits near Thompson Library on the Oval. The university announced the formation of a search committee for the new provost after Melissa Gilliam announced her departure in October. Credit: Lantern File Photo

After Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa Gilliam announced her departure to Boston College on Oct. 4, interim Ohio State President Peter Mohler announced the start of a search committee to fill her position Wednesday.

The board of trustees appointed Karla Zadnik, current dean of the College of Optometry and interim dean of the College of Public Health, to the role starting Jan. 1, 2024, as an interim until the position is filled. Mohler shared the names of about 20 faculty, staff and students who will help conduct the search for new university administration along with Education Executives , a consulting group for universities, in an email.

“We are grateful for the engagement of the committee members along with the broader Ohio State community throughout this search process,” Mohler said. “The role of provost, our chief academic officer, is vital to advancing the university’s educational mission.”

The committee’s co-chairs are Janet Box-Steffensmeier, professor of political science and sociology, and John Warner, chief executive officer of the Wexner Medical Center. Other members include Melissa Shivers, senior vice president for student life, Jeff Kaplan of the board of trustees, professors from the Moritz College of Law, the Fisher College and deans of branch campuses.

The students on the search committee include Undergraduate Student Government President Bobby McAlpine, Council of Graduate Students President Jorge Clavo Abbass and graduate student trustee Taylor Schwein.

The university has used the search firm, Education Executives, most recently in finding Ted Carter Jr. to replace former university president Kristina Johnson, according to previous Lantern reporting .

Zadnik said she is excited to work with Gilliam to continue Ohio State’s academic mission in a press release.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to help steward and move forward the incredible work of our faculty, staff and students — all of whom fuel Ohio State’s fundamental mission to teach, learn and discover,” Zadnik said.

Mohler said updates will be given as the search unfolds.

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