State University of New York Chancellor Kristina Johnson Named Ohio State's Next University President

By Dan Hope on June 3, 2020 at 11:15 am
Kristina Johnson
State University of New York

Ohio State has named its next university president.

State University of New York Chancellor Kristina Johnson was officially named Michael Drake's successor by the Ohio State Board of Trustees on Wednesday morning.

She will begin her tenure at Ohio State on Sept. 1.

“We are pleased beyond measure to welcome Dr. Johnson to Ohio State,” Board of Trustees chair Gary R. Heminger said in a statement. “Her range of knowledge, service and accomplishments across sectors and throughout her career is nothing short of remarkable.

“She is uniquely positioned to make an immediate impact – building on Ohio State’s momentum and advancing our mission to uplift lives through academic excellence.”

According to The Lantern, which obtained Johnson's employment contract, she will receive a $900,000 base salary with an annual performance bonus of $225,000, along with a $200,000 annual contribution to her retirement account, an annual $50,000 fund to support her research and education and an $85,000 annual allowance to be used for “fringe” expenses, such as an automobile and financial or tax planning services.

Johnson had been SUNY's chancellor since September 2017. Previously, Johnson was the CEO of Cube Hydro Partners, a clean-infrastructure company that builds and operates hydropower plants in North America. Before that, Johnson served as the Under Secretary of Energy for the U.S. Department of Energy.

A Ph.D. in electrical engineering who graduated from Stanford University, Johnson's previous work in academia includes serving as the dean of Duke University's engineering school from 1999-2007 and the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University from 2007-09.

Johnson has family ties to Ohio State and the state of Ohio; her grandfather played right guard for the football team and graduated from the university in 1896, and her roots trace back to the first families of Ohio, according to an Ohio State news release.

“Ohio State has always been a special place to me – well beyond its standing as one of the most respected teaching, research and patient-care institutions in the world,” Johnson said in a statement. “I am humbled to be selected to lead this great land-grant university, and I look forward to meeting with students, faculty and staff to begin our work together.”

Drake announced in November that he would retire as Ohio State's president this year. He is remaining on Ohio State's faculty and will serve as president emeritus for the 2020-21 academic year.

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