Leadership announcement

The following message was sent to all Ohio State students, faculty and staff on Thursday, May 27, 2021.


Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I am thrilled to announce today that Dr. Melissa L. Gilliam has been named Ohio State’s next executive vice president and provost, effective August 1.

Dr. Gilliam joins our university community from the University of Chicago, where she is vice provost, the Ellen H. Block Distinguished Service Professor of Health Justice, and professor of obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics. She will become the first woman of color to serve as provost at Ohio State, bringing more than two decades of experience to leading our educational mission as the university’s chief academic officer.

Dr. Gilliam is a national leader in multiple areas from recruiting, developing and building strong, engaged and innovative faculty across all disciplines to ensuring exceptional student education. She is a highly accomplished physician and research scientist with an academic background rooted in the humanities and a lifelong dedication to service.

As vice provost at the University of Chicago since 2016, Dr. Gilliam has led efforts focused on faculty development, chair development, recruitment and retention, graduate student mentoring, inclusive pedagogy, and diversity and inclusion. Her portfolio includes the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellows Program and the Neubauer Family Assistant Professors Program. Her research and scholarship have resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed publications worldwide.

You can read the university’s announcement on Ohio State News.

I want to thank our university’s search committee led by Divisional Dean of Natural and Mathematical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Susan Olesik and Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and Knowledge Dr. Grace Wang. The hard work and dedication of the entire committee over these past months have resulted in the exact right candidate for our future work together.

We are excited to have Dr. Gilliam as part of our Buckeye family and once again thank Dr. Bruce A. McPheron for his outstanding service as our executive vice president and provost since 2016. We look forward to continuing to work with him as he returns to his roots as a professor in our College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Gilliam to Ohio State!

Sincerely yours,

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD