Ohio State trustee resigns over Urban Meyer decision

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A member of the Ohio State University Board of Trustees has resigned, saying Urban Meyer’s punishment should have been more ‘profound.’

Jeffrey Wadsworth tells NBC4 he resigned shortly after last week’s meeting regarding Urban Meyer’s handling of domestic abuse allegations against former assistant Zach Smith.

Wadsworth resigned from the board shortly after the announcement was made that Urban Meyer would be suspended for three games.

Through a records request, NBC4 obtained Wadsworth’s regsignation letter.

Michael (Gasser):

The decision regarding the Urban Mayer issue by the University today was, with the exception of myself, supported in large part by the Trustees. Since I fundamentally disagree with the outcome it would be hypocritical of me to continue as a Trustee. As of today, I am going to resign from my role as a Trustee.

I heard enough in the meeting to persuade me that I do not want to be a party, through endorsing today’s decision or remaining on the Board, to implicitly or explicitly support current or future actions on such issues.

I think the world of The Ohio State University, it’s staff, faculty, and students. It is a wonderful institution – and may it long remain so.


Jeff Wadsworth

In a separate email to board president Michael Gasser, Wadsworth said, “I want to be very clear that this is exclusively based on the decisions made today. I have no personal constraints that would prevent me from continuing my role.”

Wadsworth told the New York Times he was the ‘lone voice’ advocating for harsher punishment.

“Most people were concerned about whether it was a several-game suspension or not,” Wadsworth told the Times.

“To me,” he added, “there was something altogether wrong about reducing it to a couple of games.”

The university released a statement regarding Wadsworth’s resignation.

The president and the board of trustees had a frank and comprehensive discussion last week. A wide variety of perspectives were expressed in reaching a consensus. Mr. Wadsworth has been an exceptionally valuable member of the board. His service to the university is deeply appreciated, and we wish him the very best.

Wadsworth was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2010 by former Governor Ted Strickland. His term was set to expire in 2019.

Wadsworth served as President and CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute from January, 2009 until September 2017.

According to his Board of Trustees bio page, Wadsworth attended the University of Sheffield in England, where he studied metallurgy, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1972 and a PhD in 1975. He was awarded a Doctor of Metallurgy in 1991, and received the highest recognition conferred by the university, an honorary Doctor of Engineering, in July 2004. He came to the U.S. in 1976, and has worked at Stanford University, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In 2002, he joined Battelle and served as a member of the Presidential Transition Office for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. From 2003 to June 2007, he was director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest multipurpose science laboratory.

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