COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Dr. Kristina Johnson, who announced this week she is resigning as president of Ohio State University, is being applauded for her role in preparing Ohio for one of the state’s biggest projects.
Steve Stivers, president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, said Johnson’s replacement will have to be the right fit not only for the university, but for Intel and its New Albany semiconductor plant as well, and there is time to find the right person for the job.
Stivers said Johnson has been very involved in Intel, preparing the Ohio State to provide members of the company’s workforce. She was also one of the speakers when the announcement was made in January.
“I am so honored to represent Ohio’s exceptional higher education sector,” she said at the time. “I know that the state’s deep and broad educational resources were key to Intel’s decision to choose Ohio for this and this semiconductor campus.”
She also attended the September groundbreaking for the plant.
“She’s been very involved in Intel and a few other big economic projects and so it’s a little surprising, but those things happen,” Stivers said.
He added OSU plays a big role in intel’s future and is confident that work will continue despite Johnson leaving the university in May.
“The Ohio State University is going to be right in the middle of the workforce for Intel and I think it is paramount that they have a president at the Ohio State University who understands they’re in the business in producing workforce not just for Intel but the 318,000 employers in Ohio, all of them big and small in every industry,” Stivers said.
“The education and job training component in regard to Intel coming in,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Tuesday. “Ohio State is a major player in that. Dr. Johnson played a major, major role in that.”
Stivers said while Intel and Honda are big players in the state’s business, he hopes whoever is selected to fill Johnson’s shoes will be business minded and understand what Ohio needs in future employees.
He says there’s time to transition to new leadership.
“I always look at job openings as an opportunity, so I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for the Ohio State University to find the right person for the next decade to take Ohio State and the state of Ohio forward,” Stivers said.
When asked for comment on Johnson’s resignation, Intel did not have a statement to make Wednesday
The university said more details about the search for a new president will be shared in early 2023.