Kasich for president? Sources say OSU considering former governor for top job

GOP 2016 Kasich_144362

Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at a town hall meeting at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Sanz)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One day after the surprise announcement that Ohio State University president Michael Drake will retire, there is serious talk about former Ohio Governor John Kasich taking the helm at The Ohio State University.

Two sources, one inside the university and the other outside, tell our sister station in Columbus there has been talk about a possible Kasich presidency at Ohio State for months.

There are pros and cons to that.

His supporters point out that he has a national presence and could open doors for the university. They claim he would be a prolific fundraiser, and in today’s higher education environment, that is a must. He has a background in job development, especially tech jobs. He could guide the university toward preparing students for jobs of the future.

Significantly, most of the current members of the Board of Trustees were appointed by Kasich. They know and like him.

Finally, he ran ‘the state.’ They say he could efficiently run the university.

Critics say he was not good at fundraising for his presidential campaign. He does not have experience running an academic institution, and he does not have an advanced degree.

In the world of academia, the president of a university with a national reputation for research and scholarship is expected to have a doctorate. In recent memory, all of OSU’s presidents had PhDs. The faculty would likely balk at answering to someone with a bachelor’s degree, even though that degree came from Ohio State.

A spokesman for Kasich would not comment to confirm or deny the speculation. A spokesman for the university said they will not comment about any rumors concerning the presidential search.

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