Finalists for OU Presidency announced

By Sarah Hawley -

Finalists for the Ohio University presidency are (from left) Dr. Pam Benoit, Dr. Duane Nellis, Dr. Robert Frank, and Dr. Dean Bresciani.

ATHENS — Finalists to be the next Ohio University President were announced on Thursday by the university.

The four candidates will be visiting campus in the coming weeks in individual events as part of the selection process.

Finalists are Dr. Duane Nellis from Texas Tech University, Dr. Dean Bresciani from North Dakota State University, Dr. Robert Frank from the University of New Mexico, and Ohio University Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Pam Benoit.

The Ohio University community will be able to meet with the four finalists seeking to be the university’s 21st president beginning next week during a series of Open Forums. The forums will be open to the public and allow time for participants to ask questions of the finalists. The finalists will each spend time on campus, meeting with faculty, staff and student representatives, senior university leaders and the Board of Trustees.

Open forums will be held in the Baker Center Ballroom as follows:

  • Dr. Duane Nellis, Jan. 10, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Dr. Dean Bresciani, Jan. 12, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Dr. Robert Frank, Jan. 13, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Dr. Pam Benoit, Jan. 17, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

“Finding our next president is an important decision for our community,” Board of Trustees Chair David Wolfort said. “The Open Forums are a vital part of the search process as it allows both the candidates and the university community to interact with one another and determine whether a specific appointment would be a good fit. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public are encouraged to attend.”

Throughout the presidential search process, the Ohio University Board of Trustees has provided many opportunities for faculty, staff, students and members of the public to offer input and insights. The Open Forums with the finalists will be the last opportunities the public has to meet with the candidates prior to the Board’s selection.

Nellis is a former President at Texas Tech University and the University of Idaho. He currently is employed at Texas Tech as Past President and University Honors Professor. Nellis is a graduate of Montana State University (B.S. in Earth Sciences/Geography) and Oregon State University (Ph.D. and M.S. in Geography).

Bresciani is the current President at North Dakota State University, a position he has held since 2010. He also serves as an adjunct full professor at the university in the College of Human Development and Education. He received his Bachelor’s in Sociology from Humboldt State University (California) in 1984, with his Master’s in College Student personnel in 1985 from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Bresciani earned his Ph.D. in higher education-finance, with a minor in economics from the University of Arizona in 1996.

Frank is currently President of the University of New Mexico, a position held since June 2012. Prior to that he was the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Kent State University. Frank received his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) from the University of New Mexico.

Benoit is currently the Executive Vice President and Provost at Ohio University, a position she has held since 2009. Prior to coming to Ohio University she was employed in multiple roles at the University of Missouri from 1988-2009. Benoit earned her Bachelors in speech/English from Ball State University in 1975. She holds a Masters in communication from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Communication from Wayne State University.

Finalists for the Ohio University presidency are (from left) Dr. Pam Benoit, Dr. Duane Nellis, Dr. Robert Frank, and Dr. Dean Bresciani. for the Ohio University presidency are (from left) Dr. Pam Benoit, Dr. Duane Nellis, Dr. Robert Frank, and Dr. Dean Bresciani.

By Sarah Hawley