Who Is Ohio State’s New President?

Walter "Ted" Carter Jr., who currently heads up the University of Nebraska System, will begin serving as Ohio State University's next president in January 2024.
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Published on August 24, 2023
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  • Walter "Ted" Carter Jr. will take over as Ohio State's next president in January 2024.
  • Carter, a retired Navy vice admiral, is currently the president of the University of Nebraska System.
  • Carter previously served as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • He oversaw enrollment growth and accessibility initiatives during his tenure at the University of Nebraska.

Seasoned higher education administrator and retired U.S. Navy vice admiral Walter "Ted" Carter Jr. will be Ohio State University's next president, school officials announced Tuesday.

Carter, who currently heads up the University of Nebraska System, has a track record of promoting accessibility and overseeing enrollment growth, according to the system's website. He will begin serving as Ohio State's next president on Jan. 1, according to a release from the school.

Ohio State Board of Trustees Chair Hiroyuki Fujita praised Carter as having "an unparalleled combination of strategic leadership and true service."

"We were absolutely determined to find the next great leader for Ohio State in today's highly complex and competitive higher-education environment," Fujita, who chaired the trustees' presidential selection subcommittee, said in a university press release.

"With input from our university community and the highest recommendations from those who have worked with President Carter during his extraordinary career, I believe we have done just that."

Carter underscored the importance of Ohio State's broad educational reach.

"I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve as president of Ohio State, an institution founded upon and well known across the globe for research, teaching and an enduring commitment to service," Carter said in the release.

"The work being done across Ohio and beyond to shape the future of research and innovation, workforce development, the arts, healthcare, college affordability and college athletics is remarkable. These are areas of particular passion for me, and I can't wait to begin my journey as a Buckeye."

Carter will replace former President Kristina M. Johnson, who left the university in May after announcing her sudden resignation last year, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Johnson cannot speak negatively about the university under an agreement obtained by the student newspaper The Lantern. Members of the board of trustees and related employees cannot make "derogatory or disparaging" statements against Johnson as part of that agreement, The Lantern reported.

Here's what you need to know about Ohio State's new president:

Where Did Walter 'Ted' Carter Jr. Go to College?

Carter graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981 and was designated a naval flight officer in 1982, according to the U.S. Navy website.

Carter would go on to graduate from the Navy Fighter Weapons School (NFWS) Top Gun in 1985, and also completed the Air Command and Staff College course at the Armed Forces Staff College. He flew 125 combat missions in support of joint operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwai, Iraq, and Afghanistan, according to the Navy.

Carter eventually became a vice admiral and spent "extensive time at sea" on global deployments, according to the Navy. He commanded the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group 12, as well as various individual ships. Carter also served as chief of staff for the Fighter Wing Pacific and led task forces and other offices during his service in the Navy.

Where Else Has Carter Served as President?

Carter returned to his alma mater as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy in 2014. He became the longest continuously serving president of the prestigious service academy since the Civil War.

Carter previously served as president of the U.S. Naval War College before heading up the Naval Academy. He received the U.S. Naval Academy's Distinguished Graduate Award in 2022 in recognition of his leadership and service.

Carter began serving as the University of Nebraska System's president in 2020, according to the system's website. That system includes four universities, more than 10,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 70,000 students, according to the Ohio State press release.

What Has Carter Done as the University of Nebraska System President?

Carter saw the University of Nebraska System through the COVID-19 pandemic and presided over enrollment growth as well as spearheading new initiatives to increase higher education accessibility, according to the system's website.

Carter launched the Nebraska Promise, which guarantees free tuition for low- and middle-income state residents, according to the system website, and also implemented tuition freezes during the pandemic. That led to "system-wide growth in enrollment, including record gains among underrepresented students," according to the system website.

The university system's National Strategic Research Institute also received a $92 million federal contract during Carter's tenure, according to the website.