President of OU to retire

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 19, 2003

ATHENS - Ohio University President Robert Glidden announced that he plans to retire next year after a decade with the university.

Glidden, 66, took advantage of his annual State of the University address Thursday to announce that he will step down June 30, 2004. Regardless, he said he feels confident that the university will continue to move forward towards a bright future.

After taking over for former President Charles Ping in 1994, Glidden, the 19th president, said the announcement comes with some degree of sadness.

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"When I began my tenure here, my hope was to elevate Ohio University's profile nationally, to live up to our reputation as the very best, most caring, personal kind of place for a quality undergraduate education, to enhance our research capability and to use our university expertise to help the economy of Southeast Ohio," he said.

"I believe we have made good progress in each of those areas. But while it's time for Ren and me to embrace new challenges in our lives, there is much for us to do yet this year as we celebrate the university's bicentennial."

Ohio University Southern Dean Dr. Dan Evans was unable to be reached for comment Thursday or Friday.

Dr. Bill Dingus, former dean of the southern campus and most recently the director of an education initiative with the Voinovich Center, said that Glidden was a tremendous asset to the university and huge supporter of the campuses.

"Bob Glidden truly is a creative leader. He moved the university towards more of a broad, international vision," Dingus said. "He is a great believer in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. He truly excelled in those areas."

Dingus said he has complete faith that the Board of Trustees will find an excellent candidate to lead OU into the future.

"I anticipate things going smoothly. When Charlie Ping retired, there was thought that he could never be replaced. Then along came Bob Glidden," Dingus said. "I am sure there is someone out there on a national level who can provide unique leadership to move OU to the next level."

Robert Walter, chairman of Ohio University Board of Trustees, thanked Glidden for 10 years of outstanding service.

"Under (Glidden's) guidance, we saw an active and aggressive melding of teaching, research and service. He guided the university's advancement in technology," Walter said "He has also spearheaded the most successful fund raising campaign in Ohio University's history. He leaves the institution uniquely positioned to enter its third century as a national leader and innovator in education."

The search for the university's 20th president will begin immediately and that individual will take over on July 1, Walter said. The first steps will be to outline what the university is looking for in Glidden's successor and creating a search committee.

In his annual speech, Glidden outlined what he will work on during the rest of his tenure and where he would like to see the university go. He challenged the university community to continue to raise the bar for student

achievement and build a shared sense of commitment to community.