Kristina Johnson to retire at the end of this academic year (image via Jeffry Konczal and Ohio State University)

Who is President Kristina M. Johnson? Ohio State University president to resign after a performance review

Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson announced on Monday, November 28, 2022, that she will be stepping down from her position.

Johnson, 65, issued a statement announcing her resignation and called it a "difficult decision" to make, but she found it a privilege to serve the university and its "brilliant, dedicated and passionate community."

The campus is located in Columbus, Ohio (image via university website)

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Johnson is resigning "following an investigation conducted by an outside firm into concerns raised by staff about her." The reports, however, were later proven to be false.

Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson joined the university amid the pandemic

Kristina M. Johnson was born on May 7, 1957, in St. Louis, Missouri, and attended Thomas Jefferson High School. She earned her doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. Johnson is known for her work in optical engineering, a specialized branch of physics and engineering that uses light to determine how to build devices.


Following the completion of her postdoctoral fellowship at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, Johnson started her educational career as an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1985.

President Kristina Johnson (image via Getty/Doral Chenoweth)

Before becoming Ohio State's 16th president, Johnson was dean of Duke University's engineering school for eight years and a provost at Johns Hopkins University for two years.

Kristina Johnson stepped down as president of Ohio State after leaving her position as chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY) during the pandemic.

She set ambitious goals very early in her leadership, including starting The Scarlet & Gray Advantage program that would enable debt-free undergrad education, hiring over 350 tenure-track faculty, and doubling the university's research expenditure. She labeled it her "personal mission" and set these goals to be achieved within the decade.

Johnson poses for Logan Wallace for Ohio State

Kristina M. Johnson will resign at the end of the 2022-2023 term

Kristina M. Johnson's term will be the second-shortest in the school's history, ending in 2025.

Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson confirmed that the investigation was actually a performance review. He said that the university was aware of Johnson's decision to leave early and had not conducted the performance review before, as is the norm. He said:

"There was not an investigation. An outside consultant was engaged to assist with the president’s performance review, as has been done in years past. The board was aware of President Johnson’s intent to leave the university in advance of the November board meeting and therefore an annual review was not completed."

In her statement, Kristina stated that she was proud of the achievements accomplished by the university since her arrival. She admits that her decision to resign was difficult, but she announced it early to give the University enough time to find its 17th president.

Johnson is set to retire at the end of this academic year.


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Edited by
Vinay Agrawal
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