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Ohio State Board of Trustees names new secretary

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The Ohio State Board of Trustees announced Wednesday that David Horn, professor of comparative studies and anthropology, would be appointed to the position of secretary to the board.

Horn, a faculty member since 1990, will be taking over the newly-opened position starting July 1 upon the retirement of current board secretary David Frantz.

In his tenure at OSU, Horn has served as chair for the Department of Comparative Studies, served two terms on the University Senate and chaired the University Honors Faculty Advisory Committee. More recently, he was a faculty member on the Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee.

Horn, currently a full professor, said he will be scaling his teaching duties down to only one course a year. Horn said he hopes to still teach a variety of courses in both graduate and undergraduate programs.

Shelly Hoffman, assistant vice president of media relations, said Frantz is making about $172,000 as secretary and that Horn, as a professor, is making about $103,000.

Horn will be earning $178,500 as secretary, Hoffman said.

The Board of Trustees, a committee that oversees academic programs, budgets and employment of staff, has only brought a faculty member into the secretary position once before with the hiring of Frantz in 2002.

Hiring someone outside of administration for the job is somewhat unusual in university practice, Horn said.

“Across the country, secretaries of Boards of Trustees are not always faculty members,” Horn said. “Our board has recognized the importance of having faculty involved at every level of university administration.”

Frantz agreed.

“The fact that the board has recognized the value of having a faculty member in that position speaks volumes to their understanding and appreciation of the faculty,” Frantz said.

As secretary, Horn will be the liaison between the board and the university administration.

“They’re looking for someone to help move the board’s agenda forward, help organize the work of the office and make sure there are effective communications between the board and the university administration,” Horn said.

Frantz said there is no set process in place to hire new secretaries, but the board looks for someone who can easily work with university officials and understand the complexities of OSU.

“The secretary of the board answers to the board, but it has to be someone who can work comfortably with the president and the administration as well,” Frantz said.

Horn said he wants to keep on as much of the staff and continue the policies that Frantz had built during the past 10 years.

“I look forward to building on what he’s already done,” Horn said. “I want to, as much as possible, stick with what’s already working. I have nothing but respect for people who are currently in the office.”

Horn has received accolades from Frantz, President E. Gordon Gee, Board Chairman Leslie Wexner, and other board members who feel he is the ideal candidate for the job, many citing his experience and the value of his perspective as a faculty member.

Alexis Swain, the Undergraduate Student Trustee for the board and a fourth-year in accounting and health sciences, said she feels the board made a good choice with Horn.

“Dr. Horn’s vast knowledge of the university and experience working with multiple constituencies made him such an outstanding candidate,” Swain said. “Those experiences, along with his personable and hard working disposition, will help him be successful in this new role.”

After weeks of meeting with each board member individually, Horn beat out several other candidates to fill the position, Frantz said.

Frantz, though retiring, said he will continue working with the university.

Horn said he is excited to enter this new position after decades with the university.

“It strikes me as a new kind of challenge,” Horn said, “and at this point in my career that’s a welcome challenge.”

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