Sidebar Merritt awarded a President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service
In March, Professor Deborah Merritt was awarded the President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service. This prestigious award honors Ohio State faculty members who, in addition to remaining dedicated teachers and scholars, go above and beyond in their commitments to develop university policies and programs that improve the overall quality of Ohio State.
Recipients of the award are nominated by members of the university community and selected by a committee of faculty, administrators, and prior recipients. Merritt’s own history of impressive university service—toward issues like diversity enhancement and education reform—spans more than a decade.
As convener of the Advisory Subcommittee to the Board of Trustees Presidential Search Committee from 2013-2014, Merritt quickly assumed the role as a dedicated and trusted leader. While the work required extreme secrecy and exemplary leadership
skills, Merritt proved to work seamlessly across the university community, according to a recommendation letter written by Associate Professor Leslie Alexander from the College of Arts and Sciences, who served as Chair of Faculty Council at the time.
Throughout the search for a new university president, Merritt met with faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, the Council of Deans, and other members of the university community to coordinate their input. She also organized forums at each of Ohio State’s five regional campuses, served as a primary author on a 64-page portrait of the university to help recruit potential candidates for the position, and supervised the subcommittee in evaluating those candidates, as well.
Merritt’s distinguished history of service also includes serving on the ad hoc committee that ultimately led to the creation of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity; as Associate Director for the Center for Higher Education Enterprise; and on the Evaluation of Central Administrators (EOCA) for the University Senate—among many other notable roles.