Dean Bresciani, one of four finalists for Ohio University’s presidential search, dropped out of the running for the position.

Bresciani, the current president of North Dakota State University, decided to remain in his current position, he announced in an email to the university.

“The opportunity is an outstanding one, as I sense you appreciate, and I deeply appreciate the support and enthusiasm you’ve shared with me,” he said of the position at OU in the email to the NDSU community. “That said, based in large part on that support, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy.”

Bresciani has served as president of NDSU since 2010. He spoke at a presidential search open forum Jan. 12 at OU and outlined his experiences as a first-generation student, as well as his goals if he were to become president of OU.

He also discussed the backlash he received in 2013 after more than 45,000 of his emails had been deleted the same day the North Dakota Legislative Council requested emails from State Board of Higher Education officials.

The attorney general released an opinion later that year that said the system had violated open records law but not whether the deletion of the emails was intentional, according to The Dickinson Press, a paper in Dickinson, North Dakota, located about four hours from NDSU.

Bresciani denied any wrongdoing during his search forum and claimed the attorney general found no violation of law. He also said local media sensationalized the story.

“I’m assuming you’re basing (the question) off media reports,” Bresciani said. “Our media is just as colorful as your media, and oftentimes higher education is an easy target.”

OU President Roderick McDavis will leave office Feb. 17, and David Descutner will serve as interim president from Feb. 18 until June 30. The other three search finalists are OU Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit; Robert Frank, former University of New Mexico president; and Duane Nellis, former Texas Tech University president.

@kcoward02

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