Allegations: OSU Officials Tamper With Band Director Search

Allegations: OSU Officials Tamper With Band Director Search (Image 1)

The search for a new Ohio State Marching Band Director continues, but the process has been less than transparent according to multiple people involved with that search.

One search committee member, OSU student Lindsay Conkel, has resigned saying, “Things seem predetermined. It just raised a lot of red flags, I think.”

Conkel explains, “I believe people outside the search committee are directly influencing decisions regarding the search process.”  Conkel cites candidates being removed from the process without a word and other candidates being added to the top of the list without discussion by the search committee as evidence this search has been tampered with by university officials.  These claims were confirmed by others close the search.

The most recent finalist interviewing at Ohio State University, Dr. Douglas Henderson from Oklahoma State University, was not even on the original list of top 8 candidates according to Conkel. 

NBC4 asked Conkel if the best candidates are being considered for the vacant Ohio State Marching Band Director job based on search committee rankings.  She said, “No. Two of the really strong candidates removed themselves. Another was told they were not considered.  And another one wasn’t even given an interview.”

Conkel is calling for an independent university investigation to specifically address allegations the search process lacked transparency and was tampered with or influenced by outside sources.  She adds, “If this search process, one that is so closely watched, is being tampered with then what else is going on? I think this seriously needs to be looked into.”

The past year has been very difficult for members inside the Ohio State Marching Band where Conkel served as a squad leader this past season. She says, “We just want the best for our organization. We are going to get the best with the truth. And, I think the truth just needs to be looked into.”

Ohio State University was asked for comment on these new allegations.  NBC4 has not received a response.

Former Ohio State Marching Band Director Jonathan Waters was fired by the university in late July 2014.  An OSU investigation claims he failed to stop the sexualized culture present in the marching band. Jonathan Waters has filed a federal lawsuit against Ohio State for gender discrimination and is asking for his job back and more than one million dollars.

The Ohio State University responded with the following statement:

As has been our practice, in order to ensure that the search can proceed unimpeded, we are not going to publically comment on or discuss the details of the process. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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