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Ohio State begins band director search

August 18, 2014

young.1693@osu.edu
The OSU Marching Band plays at a football game against Buffalo. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor

The OSU Marching Band plays at a football game against Buffalo.
Credit: Ritika Shah / Lantern TV News director

Ohio State has started its search to replace former band director Jonathan Waters.

A search committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni will be brought together “in coming weeks,” with the new director expected to be named within four to six months, according to an OSU press release.

College of Arts and Sciences executive dean and vice provost David Manderscheid chose Arts and Humanities divisional dean Mark Shanda to chair the committee.

“Mark’s leadership background, knowledge of the marching band and School of Music and true commitment to working collaboratively are great assets,” Manderscheid said in a released statement.

Waters was fired July 24 after a two-month OSU investigation into a complaint from a band member’s parent found “serious cultural issues and an environment conducive to sexual harassment within the marching band,” according to an OSU statement. It was found that Waters was either aware of, or reasonably should have been aware of that culture, but did not do enough to address it.

Since his dismissal, Waters and his attorney have made multiple public appearances and submitted a letter asking for OSU to consider rehiring him. OSU President Michael Drake and the Board of Trustees, however, have declined to reconsider his case.

In the meantime, OSU named two interim directors for the 2014-15 season, and a second investigation into the band’s culture is underway. University Bands director Russel Mikkelson and associate director Scott Jones will lead the band until a permanent director is chosen.

The second investigation, led by former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery and reporting to Drake and the Board, is planned to be completed by early October. It will assess the band culture, review OSU administrative processes and oversight and counsel the university on Title IX compliance issues.

OSU had not said as of early August what compensation the firms participating in the investigation will receive, but Montgomery will work pro bono without compensation from the university.

Title IX is a section of the Education Amendments of 1972 that aims to protect against discrimination based on sex in education programs that receive federal funding.

Shanda said in a released statement he’s honored to lead the search committee and plans to “identify the best possible candidate” for the next permanent band director.


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Comments (11)

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  1. don p says:

    Drake and the BoT better find a way to distance themselves from the Glaros Report and re-hire Jon Waters, before they find themselves up against two big lawsuits they’re not likely to win. Both Waters and the band alumni have a pretty solid case that they were the victims of malicious and libelous statements at the hands of the university. Furthermore, these statements were of a sexual nature, somewhat ironically putting the university administration in violation of Title IX.

  2. Buckeye in the West says:

    One has to wonder, if they can actually get a committee together, under the current circumstances. In a way, such a committee would endorse Jon Waters dismissal, and what led to it. Effectively, such a committee could become a party to any legal action which may be taken. This was not only a rush to judgement, but a rush for OSU to cover their tracks.

    It seems that OSU is in a real hurry here, thinking that getting a new band director, in a hurry, will somehow make Jon Waters, band members, band alumni and alumni go away. They are badly mistaken.

    I am waiting for Jon Waters lawyer to file some kind of restraining order to prevent an search committee to be formed, and a new band director hired, until such time there is a report form Ms. Mcntgomery and the other groups doing a more detailed investigation. OSU thinks that they will be collaborated, but considering what has come out so far; it is very doubtful.

    The OSU administration, is digging themselves a deeper hole each day and it looks more and more like there is complete ineptitude and incompetence reigning supreme in Bricker Hall. I wonder how many contributors (alumni and friends) they are willing to lose by not admitting they made a mistake?

    This seems it is no longer about Title IX and more about saving face. The problem is, the only way OSU is going to save face is admit they made a mistake. If not this will continue down a very ugly road.

  3. Buckeye One says:

    It is time that President Drake ‘man up’ and admit that he made a huge mistake in firing Jon Waters and reinstate him before our first game. Otherwise, I hope Jon sues the University, the Board of Trustees and especially Drake. If Jon is not reinstated, I would like to hear 105,000 people in the stands on September 6th, chanting ‘Waters, Waters, Waters . . . ‘. It is a nationally televised game and should be an embarrassment to Drake! I’ll be there!

  4. Reality Calling says:

    You people are some of worst pseudo lawyers around. I doubt the court action will be so overwhelmingly easy for Waters. I’d like to see his claims put to the test in court. But think again if you think band folks and Waters are going to parade out of court as some landslide victors. If anything positive comes out for Waters it will take years anything band folks file dismissed. Go back to watching Law and Order better yet dig out a VCR for some episodes of LA Law.

  5. Thulsa Doom says:

    Mark my words… there will be something else that comes out in this second report. There is something else going on here, and the University is trying not to make it public for whatever reason.

  6. Current OSU Student says:

    I Agree with Buckeye One… I will be chanting and encourage as many other fans as I can to cheer with me “Waters, Waters, Waters!”

  7. don p says:

    Reality Calling says:
    August 19, 2014 at 12:17 am

    “You people are some of worst pseudo lawyers around. I doubt the court action will be so overwhelmingly easy for Waters. I’d like to see his claims put to the test in court. But think again if you think band folks and Waters are going to parade out of court as some landslide victors. If anything positive comes out for Waters it will take years anything band folks file dismissed. Go back to watching Law and Order better yet dig out a VCR for some episodes of LA Law.”

    I love the logic – YOU people don’t know anything about law, but I know EXACTLY how hard it’s going to be to win a case. “Go back to watching Law and Order”, but trust my expert legal opinion (even though I can’t properly form coherent sentences).

    The fact is, numerous legal white papers have been released highlighting the mistakes the university has made in this debacle. They have, in great detail, debunked both the methodology of the report and the idea that Title IX forced Drake’s hand.

  8. Doug says:

    It’s funny how some continue to cling to the report’s conclusions as if they were accurate. The TBDBITL Alumni, current OSUMB members, Mr. Waters, and his lawyer have amassed a mountain of evidence that the report is false. Fortunately for OSU, Dr. Drake and the BoT, it’s a mountain large enough for them to hide behind because they have produced nothing to support their case.

  9. Classof2000 says:

    That state of Jon Waters aside, ask yourself this. . .What kind of high-quality leader would leave their current job to work for an employer who will fire them at the drop of a hat for the behavior of their ADULT students during actions which occur outside their purview?

    Who? Is THAT the kind of person we want to leading TBDBITL?

  10. Classof2000 says:

    To REALITY CALLING:

    TBDBITL Alumni Club and Waters all have lawyer. They have lawyers on retainer. They have lawyers as just simply members of the club. The suggestions above are from those educated, experienced and involved legal experts, and are not the home-brewed fantasies of Lantern comment writers.

    Waters has repeated expressed his desire NOT to sue. The university seems to WANT to litigate this. All because they wanted to avoid the Title IX litigation. It’s all pretty dumb.

  11. Jim Maneri says:

    Yea, I’m a former member of the band and the atmosphere was abusive, sexualized, full of myriad offenses that would get any teacher fired from any teaching job, full of illegal hazing in violation of Title IX and just plain wrong. I was in the band in the 1980s and quit because of that crap, went to try out again a few years ago and it was still full of behavior no school could have in a classroom. Waters knew what was going on, he was on the buses for “flying 69s”, he knew of the songbook, he knew of the bull’s penis as a mascot, he knew of nicknames like “Jewbs” (Jew with big boobs). No teacher can have a job that allows that kind of behavior in their classroom. I hope they hire from outside the sick culture of the OSUMB this time.

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