‘Special type of leader’: McPheron named Ohio State provost

Dr. Bruce A. McPheron became The Ohio State University's executive vice president and provost on a permanent basis on June 1.

Ohio State President Michael V. Drake named McPheron after a national search.

McPheron previously served as interim provost and, for three years, as vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. As Ohio State’s chief academic officer, he will oversee and help to advance the educational mission of one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive universities.

“Bruce is the special type of leader who inspires those around him to always bring their very best effort,” Dr. Drake said. “Under his leadership as provost, we are confident that the university will continue to advance its national influence and impact in faculty research, cutting-edge teaching and learning initiatives, and exemplary community and civic engagement.”

Serving as interim vice president for agricultural administration and CFAES dean will be Dr. Lonnie J. King.

An alumnus, McPheron returned to Ohio State as vice president and dean in 2012. Since that time, he has placed particular emphasis on positioning Ohio State to be a leader on issues of great significance to communities at home and across the globe.

He is a member of the executive team of the university’s Discovery Themes, aimed at solving the world’s most pressing challenges through research and discoveries. Nationally, McPheron is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served as chair of the Policy Board of Directors of Agriculture for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

As dean of CFAES, McPheron launched the Field to Faucet initiative, a statewide effort led by Ohio State faculty and staff to ensure clean drinking water for all Ohioans. He also convened the Vice President’s Conversation on the Future of Extension, the college’s outreach arm serving all 88 counties in Ohio, to successfully address critical issues facing Ohioans by 2035.

McPheron has earned multiple national awards for excellence in leadership and is the sole person to hold elected leadership roles on three APLU agricultural boards.

“Ohio State is focused on ensuring that our best thinking crosses disciplines to have an impact on the world around us,” McPheron said. “I am honored to collaborate with so many talented faculty, staff, students and community leaders — and I look forward to our continued work together to take the university’s reputation for excellence to new heights.”

An entomologist by training and an active Twitter user under the handle @medflygenes, he is widely recognized for his scientific expertise. His research focusing on the use of genetic tools to examine population structure in pest insects has been adopted by state, federal and international agencies. McPheron has taught a wide range of classes in entomology and has traveled internationally sharing his research.

McPheron earned a B.S. at Ohio State and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois. He has almost 20 years of leadership experience in higher education, previously serving as dean of Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences.