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Executive Director, Salmon P. Chase Center for Civics, Culture, and Society

The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
Not specified
Date posted
Mar 7, 2024

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Position Type
Administrative, Executive, Executive Directors
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Executive Summary

The Ohio State University’s motto, “disciplina in civitatem” or “education for citizenship,” is not merely a slogan; it’s an exhortation to remain focused on the responsibility to develop an informed, engaged, and civic-minded citizenry.  It is essential to fulfilling Ohio State’s land-grant mission.


In July 2023, the Ohio General Assembly created and provided $10 million in initial funding to support the Salmon P. Chase Center for Civics, Culture, and Society (Chase Center) at the University, which offers the University the opportunity to advance this imperative on a national scale.  The University, through a seven-member academic council of eminent scholars appointed by the Board of Trustees and confirmed by the Ohio Senate, is now conducting a nationwide search for the center’s inaugural Executive Director. 


The Executive Director, who will report directly to the University’s Provost, will have a unique and powerful opportunity to define the center’s vision, appoint at least 15 tenure-track scholars to realize that vision, and oversee the development of curriculum in accordance with the statutory mission to “conduct teaching and research in the historical ideas, traditions, and texts that have shaped the American constitutional order and society.”


The Chase Center’s initial academic focus will be on developing a curriculum focused on undergraduate education for citizenship and civic leadership, which will enable students to both understand the foundational principles of American society and identify when and how to apply, reinforce, and advance those principles to address present and future challenges.  The enacting legislation further provides that the Chase Center must “educate students by means of free, open, and rigorous intellectual inquiry to seek the truth”; provide them with the tools necessary “to reach their own informed conclusions on matters of social and political importance”; promote intellectual diversity; and “create a community dedicated to an ethic of civil and free inquiry.”


In addition to holding this administrative role, the Executive Director will be a faculty member with tenure or tenure eligibility.  The Executive Director will directly hire and manage faculty members and additional staff as appropriate, oversee the development and implementation of curriculum offered at the center, and create a variety of innovative educational and collaboration opportunities for students and faculty from across the university. The Chase Center will be an independent academic center, but will be initially physically housed in the University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs.  


Ultimately, as the Chase Center develops with the support of the Board of Trustees and senior university leadership, the Executive Director must prioritize, first and foremost, the development of an academic unit of the highest caliber, one that advances the University’s reputation for excellence and its mission of promoting education for citizenship.  The goal is clear: a program of excellence that will prepare students to serve as thought leaders in addressing the multi-faceted issues they will face upon graduation.




Key Responsibilities

The Executive Director will be responsible for:


  • Overseeing the creation and establishment of the Chase Center Managing the recruitment, hiring, appointment, onboarding, and ongoing supervision of at least 15 tenure-track faculty members and additional staff who will work in the center, as well as facilitating joint appointments with other departments at the University as appropriate Developing and promoting the curriculum, programming, and other activities of the center Building relationships with key internal and external interested parties regarding center operations Consulting with the seven-member academic council appointed by the Board of Trustees and confirmed by the Ohio Senate as appropriate in realizing the center’s vision Developing, updating, and adhering to a budget for center operations Serving as a faculty member and meeting all faculty obligations Providing an annual report on the center’s development and operations to the Board of Trustees and Ohio General Assembly


Additionally, while the University expects the focus of the Chase Center to grow over time, it has identified several initial topics to incorporate into the center’s curricular offerings.  These include, but are not limited to:


  • The importance of an informed and engaged citizenry to American democracy; How the United States Constitution and the constitutions of the fifty states embody the foundational principles of Western democratic society, such as liberty and equality; Comparisons to alternative forms of government (e.g., autocracy, monarchy, and theocracy) and the societal conditions necessary to maintain a democratic republic; The fundamental structure and principles of the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments; The organization of governmental institutions and organizations at the local, state, and national levels, and the role of government officials within the framework of the Constitution; The foundational principles of democratic-republican government as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and applied in practice by the founders and later statesmen such as Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Salmon P. Chase among others;  The primacy of First Amendment free speech in cultivating democratic citizenship and preserving individual rights; and Developing students’ discourse skills so that they can discuss and debate even the most complex and contentious issues in a civil and productive manner.

The Executive Director will also collaborate with individuals and programs within the University to enhance the Chase Center’s curriculum and develop additional interdisciplinary offerings that elevate the University’s efforts in these important areas.


Required Education and Experience Qualifications

  • PhD or equivalent terminal degree
  • Record of outstanding scholarly achievement
  • Leadership and administrative ability
  • Demonstrated exceptional judgment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills


Preferred Qualifications

  • Ability to create and define an ambitious vision
  • Ability to work effectively with others to identify opportunities for growth and leverage resources in a complex organization
  • Experience in developing organizations, systems, and staffing for newly established and/or growing enterprises


The Ohio State University

Founded in 1870 as a land-grant university, The Ohio State University is one of the nation’s finest higher education institutions, with annual research expenditures of over $1 billion. Ohio State’s Columbus campus sits within the nation’s 14th most populous city, which has been recognized not only as the fastest-growing city in the Midwest but also as an emerging hub for high-tech companies and a center for education, healthcare, and the arts. Over 67,700 students attend Ohio State’s main campus and regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, and Newark, and the Agricultural Technical Institute co-located with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster.  In addition to its regional importance, Ohio State has a national and global impact. Many graduates remain in Ohio, but alumni are found across the world. The Ohio State University boasts 600,000 living alumni, and its endowment stands at over $7.0 billion


The university has an astonishing intellectual range with 15 academic colleges and a wealth of disciplines. All the colleges are on the Columbus campus, which opens the possibility of working across units. The institution has enormous ambition; through its strategic planning efforts, Ohio State aspires to be the absolute model of a 21st-century land-grant university, enabling people from ordinary backgrounds to achieve the extraordinary. Students are exposed to a vast array of ideas, experiences, and cultures at Ohio State; inclusive excellence is a central tenet of the institution.


It might be expected that size would be an impediment to innovation at such a comprehensive institution. Not so at Ohio State. The university is serious about taking innovation in teaching and learning to scale and achieve institutional success through multi-disciplinary and cross-university collaboration and engagement.


Columbus, Ohio

Columbus is one of the fastest-growing major metropolitan areas in the country, with a vibrant blend of arts and culture; inspired culinary, fashion, music, and entertainment scenes; exciting collegiate and professional sports; and an open, entrepreneurial spirit. Its diverse population — 109 languages are represented — makes Columbus a microcosm of America.


Ohio’s state capital is the 14th most populous city in the U.S. and second in the Midwest behind Chicago, larger than Charlotte, Seattle, Denver, Boston, Nashville, and Baltimore. The population of the greater Columbus metropolitan area is more than two million. At the same time, the cost of living in Columbus is 10 percent below the national average.  


Intelligent Community Forum named Columbus one of the seven most intelligent communities in the world. The city has more PhDs than the national average and the largest concentration in the Midwest, plus there are 56 college and university campuses within the Columbus region. Columbus is within 550 miles of nearly half the nation’s population. John Glenn Columbus International Airport, 10 minutes from downtown, offers more than 150 daily nonstop departures to 35 airports. During the work week, the average Columbus commute is just 23.3 minutes and can be significantly less. Learn more about Columbus.


Closing Statement

The Ohio State University is committed to building a faculty and staff for employment and promotion to ensure the highest quality workforce. The university is committed to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and eliminating discrimination in accordance with applicable federal and state law.  


Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, is prohibited. 


 How to Apply

Please visit find out more and apply online for the job opening.  Applicants should submit the following:

1. A current and comprehensive curriculum vitae; and


2. A letter of interest describing why they are interested in the role of Executive Director of the Chase Center, why they are a good fit for the position based on their experience, why now is a good time for them to consider the opportunity.



All inquiries and nominations should be submitted to For priority consideration, please submit all application materials as soon as possible.  For additional information, please contact Kim Lambert, Director, Executive Talent Acquisition, at or 614-292-5756.

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