Kristina Johnson’s tenure as Ohio State’s president is ending after less than three years.
Johnson announced Monday night she will resign as Ohio State’s president at the end of the academic year.
“I am writing to you to let you know that I have made the difficult decision to step down as president following commencement at the end of the academic year,” Johnson wrote in a letter to Ohio State students and staff. “This will allow a search for the next president to proceed and adequate time for me to assist with a seamless transition.”
According to a report by Sheridan Hendrix of the Columbus Dispatch, Johnson is resigning “following an investigation conducted by an outside firm into concerns about her that were raised by staff.” An Ohio State spokesperson, however, said there was no investigation and that Johnson had made the decision to step down prior to the Board of Trustees’ November meeting.
"There was not an investigation,” Ohio State spokesperson Ben Johnson said in response to the Dispatch’s report. “An outside consultant was engaged to assist with the president’s performance review, as has been done in years past. The board was aware of President Johnson’s intent to leave the university in advance of the November board meeting and therefore an annual review was not completed.”
Per a news release by Ohio State, “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.”
“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,” Board of Trustees chair Hiroyuki Fujita said in a statement. “We congratulate her on her many achievements and wish her our very best in her future professional endeavors.”
Johnson became Ohio State’s new president in June 2020, replacing Michael Drake. She was named to the College Football Playoff’s Board of Managers in May, replacing former Penn State president Eric Barron as the Big Ten’s representative on the board.
Johnson’s tenure will be the second-shortest ever for a full-time president of The Ohio State University, behind only Walter Quincy Scott, who presided over the university for just two years from 1881-83.