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David Brightbill

The Board of Trustees: Who’s calling the shots?

Big-wig breakdown: Who is in charge on Ohio University's governing body, the Board of Trustees?

It hires the university president. It sets tuition. It’s the ultimate authority of Ohio University.

It’s the OU Board of Trustees, and its members are back in town.

OU’s Board of Trustees will meet Friday, Oct. 17 in Walter Hall to tackle tuition, The Ridges and several other current university hot topics.

The Board’s duties include: hiring the president and faculty, adopting university rules, controlling facilities, overseeing finances and serving the citizens of Ohio, according the board’s statement of expectations.

David Brightbill, chair

Term ends: 2015

Brightbill has been executive director of the Community Action Program Corporation of Washington-Morgan County since 1987. The company, a private non-profit, seeks to help meet the needs of low-income individuals and families in the region. Brightbill received a bachelor’s degree from OU in 1970. He serves on the executive committee, which consults OU President Roderick McDavis on the appointment of executive officers and other business not specifically assigned to another standing or special committee.

David Wolfort, vice chair

Term ends: 2017

Wolfort is the president of Olympic Steel, a steel processor headquartered in Cleveland. He has filled various roles at Olympic since 1984. He assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer in 1995 — roughly one year after the company began trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange. He received a bachelor’s degree from OU in 1974 and currently sits on the executive committee.

Sandra Anderson

Term ends: 2016

Anderson was a partner in Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP for more than 30 years. She earned her bachelor's degree from OU in 1973 and her law degree from Northwestern in 1976. She serves on the audit committee and chairs the university resources committee.

Cary Cooper

Term ends: 2023

Cooper is former public defense lawyer. He is now with Marshall & Melhorn LLC, a law firm based in Toledo. He received a B.S. from OU in 1964 and his law degree from the University of Toledo in 1969. He serves on the academics committee and the governance committee.

N. Victor Goodman

Term ends: 2020

Goodman is a Columbus-based attorney-at-law Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan and Aronoff LLP. He served on OU’s Board of Trustees once before — including spending two years as chair — from 1994 to 2001. Goodman received both a bachelor’s degree and law degree from Yale and an honorary doctor of public service degree from OU. He currently chairs the audit committee and sits on the university resources committee.

Janetta King

Term ends: 2018

King previously served as a deputy chief of staff, legislative director and policy advisor for Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. King received bachelors’ degrees in political science and english from Pepperdine University. King sits on the executive and governance committees, and chairs the academics committee.

Kevin Lake

Term ends: 2019

Lake is a full-time senior attending family physician in Columbus who previously served on Bowling Green’s Board of Trustees. He received a bachelor’s degree from Capital University in 1988 and a D.O.O from OU’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1992. Lake sits on the academic and audit committees.

Dave Scholl

Term ends: 2021

Scholl is a 35-year Athens resident and partner at Athenian Venture Partners, a firm that invests in information technology and healthcare. Scholl is an OU alumnus. He sits on the resources committee and chairs the governance committee.

Janelle Simmons

Term Ends: 2022

Janelle Simmons is the Chief Diversity Officer for Limited Brands, Inc., meaning she manages ethnic, racial and gender inclusion efforts within the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree from OU and a business management certificate from Ohio State. She sits on the academics and governance committees.

Other members

In addition to the nine voting members, the board includes two national members invited by the board, an alumni representative, and two student trustees. Two other university employees serve as officers for the board: Vice President for Finance and Administration Stephen Golding, serves as treasurer for both the university and the board, and Peter Mather, an associate professor, is the board’s secretary.


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