Descutner Named Interim OU President

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The temporary successor to Ohio University President Roderick McDavis was named during the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday.

David Descutner
David Descutner Photo courtesy of Ohio University

Dr. David Descutner was approved by the board after a resolution was read by Board Chair David Wolfort.

Before the appointment, Descutner was the special assistant to the executive dean in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. In 2001, he was appointed as dean of the University College and executive vice provost for undergraduate education. He began his career at OU in 1979 as a faculty member. He has also served as interim director of the School of Communication Studies, according to the university.

He said he hopes to continue McDavis’ vision as interim president, who he called a “model” for a presidency.

“The university is doing ever so well,” Descutner said, adding that one of his goals is to maintain stability within the institution.

McDavis has said he is committed to helping the future interim president through the transition, and will also be available for the permanent successor, whoever that may be.

“I’m committed beyond Feb. 17…I’ve told the university I will help in any way I can,” McDavis said.

Descutner will serve when McDavis steps down, and will help with the transition when a new president is named by the search committee. Four finalists have been named for the position which the search committee wants to fill by June 3o.

The four finalists include Dr. Duane Nellis, formerly of Texas Tech University; Dr. Dean Bresciani of North Dakota State University; Dr. Robert Frank, formerly of the University of New Mexico; and Dr. Pam Benoit, current Executive Vice President and Provost for OU.

Wolfort said Benoit was considered for the interim position, but asked not to be placed in that position while she is a candidate for the permanent job.