Dr. Duane Nellis

Dr. Duane Nellis

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Board formally elects Dr. Duane Nellis as 21st president of Ohio University

New president and first lady will assume duties on July 1

Board of Trustees Chair David A. Wolfort sent the following message to the Ohio University community on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. 

My Fellow Bobcats,

EXCITING NEWS – We have a new president!

A few moments ago, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name Dr. Duane Nellis Ohio University’s 21st president. His wife, Ruthie, will become our next First Lady. Dr. Nellis eagerly accepted the appointment and we are currently in the process of finalizing the terms of his contract. His first official day as president of Ohio University will be July 1, 2017; he and Mrs. Nellis could not be more excited to continue the work moving Ohio University forward in our third century.

What began as a daunting undertaking in June of last year to somehow replace the irreplaceable Dr. Roderick J. McDavis, has now successfully concluded with the attainment of an exemplary candidate. While we were fortunate to have four strong finalists, Dr. Nellis truly impressed all of us. Based on the feedback we received from the University community, it was apparent he also impressed many others. The involvement, interest and passion of our community was overwhelming and greatly appreciated throughout the search process.

I cannot thank the community enough for their support and advice the previous few months. The Search Committee brought us a wonderful slate of candidates; the public forums were civil, constructive, and insightful; and the comments we received were thoughtful and discerning. We have strived to conduct a transparent and inclusive search. The Board’s historic vote today marks the successful completion of a process that has brought students, faculty, staff, community members and alumni closer together.

It is expected that Dr. Nellis will return to Ohio in March for the Board of Trustees meeting in Athens. More details on that visit will come later. In the meantime, Dr. Nellis will be in constant communication with Interim President David Descutner, the Board of Trustees and various members of the administration and faculty to ensure a smooth transition.

This is a very exciting day for all of us! Thank you for your support.



David A. Wolfort (Class of 1974)

Chair, Board of Trustees

Chair, OHIO Presidential Search Committee

To read the official press release about the appointment of Dr. Duane Nellis, visit https://www.ohio.edu/ucm/media/archive/16-17/Presidential-Announcement-2-22-2017.cfm