Abigail S. Wexner will join a group of The Ohio State University trustees on the presidential selection subcommittee as the university seeks its 16th president, the board announced in a Jan. 15 news release.

The new candidate will replace outgoing President Michael V. Drake. In November, Drake announced his plans to transition out of the role after continuing to serve through at least the end of the 2019-20 academic year.

“We’re looking for a visionary leader to continue our tremendous momentum,” said board chair Gary R. Heminger in the release. “Ohio State is ideally positioned to attract the next great president in higher education.”

According to a previous announcement, Ohio State trustee Lewis Von Thaer will serve as chair of the presidential search committee. The committee includes two subcommittees: a presidential selection subcommittee and a university advisory subcommittee.

“We are committed to a process that is inclusive and brings together our far-reaching Buckeye community,” Von Thaer said in the release.

The presidential selection subcommittee includes trustees who serve as chairs or vice chairs of the board’s regular committee structure. In addition to Von Thaer and Wexner, the subcommittee includes Alex R. Fischer, Hiroyuki Fujita, Erin P. Hoeflinger, Brent R. Porteus and John W. Zeiger. It will work in concert with the university 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 includes students, faculty, staff and community stakeholders. It will be tasked with representing and seeking input from the broader Ohio State community to identify the qualities, skills, attributes and experiences desired in a candidate. Susan Olesik, chemistry and biochemistry professor and faculty representative on the board’s academic affairs, student life and research committee, and David Frantz, English department faculty emeritus, will co-chair the group.

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