Former OU president Glidden dies

Published 2:36 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Ohio University President Emeritus Dr. Robert Glidden passed away on Dec. 5, 2023. 

He was noted for a lifelong commitment to academic discovery and research and the advocacy of institutional accreditation.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of President Emeritus Glidden, and I am proud to further the accomplishments he made as our 19th president,” said Ohio University President Lori Stewart Gonzalez. “My thoughts are with his loved ones during this difficult time.”

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Capital improvements under Glidden included the construction of the Life Sciences Research Facility, Emeriti Park and Walter Hall, a modern classroom lecture center; major renovations to Gordy Hall, Grover Center and Templeton Blackburn Memorial Auditorium; the expansion of Bentley Hall and Copeland Hall; and the groundbreaking for the new Baker University Center that opened in 2007.

Director Emeritus of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and WOUB Public Media Thomas Hodson served on the presidential search committee that helped bring Glidden to OU. He also served as chair of the OU Board of Trustees during Glidden’s first year as president.

Hodson said Glidden made OU a better place during his 10 years as OU’s president by helping to usher the university into the age of modern technology. He also leveraged the new technologies of the time, including computers, email and the internet, to make himself more accessible to students, faculty, staff and other constituents. 

“Dr. Glidden was a president with extreme intellect, personality and a commitment to excellence; he knew that higher education would be transformed by technology, and he embraced that opportunity,” Hodson said. “He came to the job with boundless energy, vision, a sense of humor and a true commitment to faculty and students. He put his own stamp on the University, and he will be missed by those who had the privilege to work with him and the Bobcat alumni who knew him.”

A private service is planned.