Benoit Withdraws, New OU President To Face Board Vote This Month

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The Executive Vice President and Provost of Ohio University has become the second candidate to withdraw from consideration for the presidency.

A spokesperson for the university confirmed that Dr. Pam Benoit was no longer a part of the presidential search.

Dr. Pam Benoit

Benoit sent an email to leadership, including outgoing President Roderick McDavis and soon-to-be interim President David Descutner, on Wednesday afternoon notifying them of her decision.

“Your support through this process has been uplifting and much appreciated,” Benoit said in the email provided to WOUB by the university. She was unavailable when contacted by WOUB for comment.

Benoit is the second candidate to withdraw from consideration, following North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani, who declined further consideration on Tuesday. The Associated Press reported Bresciani notified his university in an email that he’d received “strong support from NDSU boosters” since applying for the OU job.

The final two candidates in the search are Dr. Duane Nellis, former president of Texas Tech University, and Robert Frank, former president of the University of New Mexico.

Word that the OU provost was withdrawing came the same day that OU Board of Trustees Chair, David Wolfort, announced that the board would vote on the search committee’s choice for president at a Feb. 22 meeting on the Dublin campus.

“We are confident that our 21st president will be an engaging, dynamic leader and we are enthusiastic about the opportunity ahead of us as we begin this transition,” Wolfort wrote in a press release on Wednesday.

McDavis is leaving the post on Feb. 18, at which time Descutner will take over until June 30. McDavis was set to leave on June 30, but accepted a job as managing principal at AGB Search, a search firm that focuses on higher education leadership, including presidential searches. He begins that position, located in Washington, D.C., on March 1, according to a profile on the company’s website.