back to news May 15, 2019

A message from the provost welcoming the new executive dean and vice provost for the Arts and Sciences

Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron sent the message below to Ohio State colleagues announcing Gretchen Ritter as the next executive dean and vice provost for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share that Gretchen Ritter, PhD, has accepted my offer to serve as executive dean and vice provost for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, her appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2019, through July 31, 2024.

She will join Ohio State from Cornell University, where she is currently a professor in the Department of Government and served as the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences from 2013–2018. She held leadership roles, including vice provost of undergraduate education and faculty governance as well as director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was also a faculty member. She has also taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton and Harvard.

Her scholarship focuses on American politics, constitutional development and democracy, and her work is widely published in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, she wrote two books, The Constitution as Social Design: Gender and Civic Membership in the American Constitutional Order and Goldbugs and Greenbacks: The Antimonopoly Tradition and the Politics of Finance in America, 1865–1896. She also co-edited a third book, Democratization in America: A Comparative and Historical Perspective.

As dean at Cornell, she focused on faculty recruitment, renewal and retention; strengthening research, scholarship and creative works; embracing innovation and the liberal arts; renewing the college’s commitment to undergraduate teaching; and initiatives to support first-generation and low-income students.

She is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including a National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship, the Radcliffe Research Partnership Award, and a Liberal Arts Fellowship at Harvard Law School.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University and a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

I welcome Gretchen and look forward to her leadership of the College of Arts and Sciences and within the broader university.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Jan Box-Steffensmeier, Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science, who is returning to the faculty after a year serving as interim dean. Under her leadership, the college built momentum in a number of areas, including launching six new majors and its first interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate program. Jan has strengthened the foundation of the college.


Bruce A. McPheron, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost