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Ohio State Leadership

Michael V. Drake, MD

Dr. Michael V. Drake's service in higher education spans nearly four decades and includes senior leadership roles at universities and national organizations dedicated to advancing education. He became the 15th president of The Ohio State University on June 30, 2014.

During his tenure, Ohio State has seen record highs in applications, graduation rates, academic excellence, diversity and donor support, and increases in NIH and NSF research funding. The university has received national recognition for its commitment to teaching and learning as well as excellence in patient safety and clinical outcomes at the university's Wexner Medical Center.

The Time and Change strategic plan, launched in August 2017, aspires to further strengthen Ohio State's position as a national flagship public research university, setting forth five areas of broad focus: teaching and learning; access, affordability and excellence; research and creative expression; academic health care; and operational excellence and resource stewardship.

Bruce A. McPheron
Executive Vice President and Provost

As executive vice president and provost, Bruce A. McPheron is Ohio State's chief academic officer. In this role, he is responsible for the administration and strategic planning, development and review processes for the university's academic mission.

McPheron's leadership more specifically includes oversight of 15 colleges, five campuses and more than 7,000 tenure-, clinical-, research-track and associated faculty.

In addition, he oversees academic programs for 66,046 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, more than 200 majors and almost 13,000 courses, along with the support of a library system with 5.8 million volumes in its collection and electronic access to 48 million books and journals.

A professor of entomology, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, including courses in international agriculture. His research has focused on the use of genetic tools to examine population structure in pest insects of global quarantine significance and resulted in extensive fieldwork on multiple continents.

His work is widely published in peer-reviewed publications and, among his many national recognitions and honors, he is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. As an academic leader, he has been instrumental in connecting faculty and other researchers in innovative collaborations across disciplines, including the creation of the Field to Faucet water quality initiative and assisting in the creation of the Discovery Themes initiative, both at Ohio State.

Trevor Brown
Dean, John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Dean Brown previously served as the director, interim director and associate director for Academic Affairs and Research at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. From 1994 to 2013, he served in managerial roles for the Parliamentary Development Project, a U.S. Agency for International Development funded organization that provided technical assistance to the Ukrainian parliament.

His research and teaching focus on democratization and democratic institutions, the organization of government to deliver programs and policies, public sector contracting and contract management, and organizational strategy.

He has published his research in a variety of academic outlets including Cambridge University Press, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Public Administration Review and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. His recently co-authored book, Complex Contracting — Government Purchasing in the Wake of the U.S. Coast Guard's Deepwater Program, won the 2014 American Society of Public Administration's Section on Public Administration Research Best Book Award.

In 2013, he won the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing's Scholar of the Year award. In 2014, he was inducted as a fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration.

He also has provided advice and conducted analysis for a variety of organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Eurasia Foundation, the Peace Keeping and Stability Operations Institute at the Army War College, the Small Business Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Coast Guard, the IBM Center for the Business of Government, the Government Accountability Office, the Pew Center on the States, the Department of the Navy's Naval Post Graduate School and the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing.

His research has been cited by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg News and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Elena Irwin
Professor, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics

Elena Irwin is the faculty director of the Sustainable and Resilient Economy (SRE) Program at Ohio State. Her research focuses on the sustainability of communities and urban-rural regions, with a focus on the economics of land use change and integrated models of ecosystem services in urban, urbanizing and agricultural regions.

She has been PI or Co-PI on multiple research projects totally over $17 million in funding, including funding from the National Science Foundation, NOAA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as private foundations. She is an elected board member of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and member of the U.S. EPA Board of Scientific Councilors for the Sustainable and Healthy Communities Program.

In her capacity as SRE faculty director, she provides thought leadership to this comprehensive interdisciplinary program aimed at catalyzing research, teaching and engagement in sustainability science at Ohio State across natural, physical and social sciences, engineering, public health, planning and policy.

She leads the overall strategic direction, including cultivating campus-wide collaborative research teams, partnering with academic units to recruit and mentor new SRE faculty, and working with faculty and staff to develop partnerships with stakeholders and extramural funding opportunities.

Jay Sayre
Assistant Vice President and Director, Innovation for the Institute for Materials Research

Jay Sayre leads the translation of knowledge and assets from the institute to solve the world's most pressing problems in the 21st century. He is also an adjunct professor in Materials Science and Engineering where his interdisciplinary research interests are in translating science into products within the fields of applied mechanics and materials engineering.

Specifically, his focus is on polymers and composites, fuel cells, electrode structures, advanced threat armor, dynamic mechanical analysis, fracture analysis and innovation models, tools and practices.

Prior to joining Ohio State, Sayre held the positions of director of advanced materials and internal research and development at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, which is the world's largest, independent research and development organization.

He is an inventor of several commercialized technologies in the areas of fuel cells, impact barriers and vehicle armor.

W. Randy Smith
Vice Provost, Academic Programs

W. Randy Smith joined the Office of Academic Affairs in 1994 as the university's first provost's faculty fellow, and in that capacity, coordinated Ohio State's decennial institutional re-accreditation process. Subsequently, he was named associate provost, and since 1998 has been vice provost for academic programs (formerly, curriculum and institutional relations).

His current portfolio focuses on academic program development and review for the university's 15 colleges and four regional campuses. In that capacity: he coordinated the university's conversion from a quarter to semester calendar from 2009 to 2012; oversaw two subsequent successful institutional re-affirmation of accreditation processes, in 2007 and 2017; and currently is helping lead a review of the general education program.

In addition, he is heavily involved — in terms of both policy and practice — with the Ohio Department of Higher Education's statewide initiatives on articulation and transfer among the state's 36 two-year and four-year public colleges and universities. He has been extensively committed to, and involved in, national professional organizations, statewide committees and task forces and university governance throughout his career at the university.

He received the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1990 and was honored, in 1997, as one of the initial recipients of the Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service.

A member of Ohio State's Department of Geography since 1978, Vice Provost Smith specializes in urban geography, especially urban historical geography and urban and regional systems.

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