Interim president Joseph Alutto preceded E. Gordon Gee’s term as Ohio State president, and now he has returned to succeed him as well.
The former executive vice president and provost at OSU said his return as interim president is just one of many challenges he’s chosen to take on in his career.
“My life has been one of taking on additional challenges,” Alutto said in a press conference held Wednesday morning.
He said he is confident the university will not lose momentum, adding that his goal is to complete and continue building on the strategic plan the university has been steadily implementing for years.
Alutto’s base salary as interim president will be $625,000, Gayle Saunders, assistant vice president of media and public relations, said in an email. Alutto’s salary was $554,559 as provost and executive vice president, OSU spokesman Gary Lewis said in an email.
Gee’s base pay of $830,439 and total compensation of slightly less than $1.9 million made him the third-highest paid university president in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
Alutto’s agenda is comprised of three top priorities: recruiting additional faculty, attracting and providing access to students and developing new programs for the university.
Continuing OSU’s tradition of low tuition rates by shifting the focus to innovating and utilizing alternate revenue sources is a key point for Alutto, he said. He added that it is a matter of finding out how to extract new resources from existing assets.
Alutto’s ability to implement policies as well as his problem solving capabilities sets him apart from Gee, he said.
“Well you have to remember I am not Gordon Gee. It’s important for the next president to remember they are not Gordon Gee,” Alutto says. “The biggest mistake any president could make is to say ‘I want to be like Gordon Gee.’”
Alutto said he plans to capitalize on his abilities and lead the university forward in a “very systematic and continuous way.”
The search process for the next president is set to officially begin Friday. Board member Jeffrey Wadsworth was named by Chairman Robert Schottenstein to chair the Presidential Search Committee. There will be two subcommittees, a selection subcommittee and an advisory subcommittee, within the larger committee that will work together to find a new president.