Kristina Johnson

OSU President Kristina Johnson To Step Down At End Of Academic Year

The Ohio State University President Kristina Johnson announced Monday night that she will be stepping down from her position at the end of the current academic year in May of 2023.

Johnson’s tenure was short, arriving in the midst of the 2020 pandemic. Even during her transition to OSU, she was thrust into the debate about having a 2020 Big Ten football season. She ended up being one of the louder advocates for having a season, which eventually did occur.

Here is the full press release from Ohio State.

Kristina M. Johnson announces leadership transition

Johnson to transition out of role of president at end of academic year; search for successor is commencing

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD, today announced that she will transition out of her role as president of The Ohio State University in May 2023 at the close of the current academic year. 

Dr. Johnson said, “Since I arrived at The Ohio State University in August of 2020, we have been able to achieve so much, on so many different fronts, despite considerable adversity including the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very proud of all that we have accomplished together. It’s been a privilege to serve this incredible university, and I have been honored to work as part of this brilliant, dedicated and passionate community.

“I have made the difficult decision to step down as president following commencement at the end of the academic year. This will allow a search for the next president to proceed and adequate time for me to assist with a seamless transition.”

Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita, chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I want to thank Dr. Johnson for her dedication to the university, especially her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. We congratulate her on her many achievements and wish her our very best in her future professional endeavors.”

The university is grateful for Johnson’s many contributions, which include:

  • Growing leadership in research and scholarship by putting Ohio State on track to double research and development expenditures over the decade, including setting a record last year of $1.23 billion in research expenditures;
  • Implementing an innovative Scarlet & Gray Advantage program to give students a pathway to a debt-free undergraduate education, surpassing initial fundraising targets and bringing in close to $125 million in just over a year;
  • Expanding the university’s physical infrastructure for innovation with $3.5 billion in major projects under construction including: the Timashev Family Music Building; the Interdisciplinary Research Facility; The James Outpatient Care at Carmenton; the Wexner Medical Center Inpatient Hospital; and the Energy Advancement and Innovation Center, thanks in part to an up-to-$100 million investment by JobsOhio in Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in support of the Carmenton innovation district;
  • Setting the ambitious goal of hiring 350 net new tenure-track faculty over the next decade to reduce class sizes and improve the student-to-faculty ratio;
  • Securing 10 major cross-disciplinary research centers in areas from artificial intelligence to an engineering research center in hybrid autonomous manufacturing to the development of a new generation of space stations;
  • Raising Ohio State’s ranking among national universities from 53rd to 49th in the U.S. News & World Report rankings and from 17th to 16th among public universities; and
  • Partnering with and improving neighboring communities — including the STEAMM Rising initiative, a collaboration with the city of Columbus, Columbus City Schools and Columbus State Community College to establish pathways for children to careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics and medicine.

Dr. Johnson continued, “These past several years have brought much personal satisfaction as well. Veronica and I quickly felt welcomed as full-fledged members of the campuses and local communities. We want to thank the amazing students, faculty and staff of Ohio State, the alumni, parents, supporters and all of Buckeye Nation, including my cabinet and the Board of Trustees, for the camaraderie you have shown us as we reached new heights together. We wish all of you — and The Ohio State University — the very best in the future.”

The Board of Trustees will commence a search to select the university’s 17th president. The university will share more information about the search and how the community can participate in early 2023.

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