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Herman Gerlach James, J.D., Ph.D., LL.D., 1887-1959

Twelfth President of Ohio University, 1935-1943

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Educated at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Columbia, and the University of Berlin, Dr. James came to the presidency at age 48 from the same position at the University of South Dakota. With a goal of developing a true university, departments, many of which were duplicated between the existing colleges of Liberal Arts and Education, were regrouped in five colleges. Students entered a degree college after at least one year in the newly created University College which set minimum standards. A graduate college was initiated in 1936, the same year a voluntary ROTC program was established over widespread protests. A Faculty Advisory Council was instituted at the same time. The student newspaper changed its name to the Post in 1939.

Dr. James served during the period which adjustments to economic depression collided with adjustments to a war economy. The first attempt with branch campuses in Portsmouth and Zanesville ran from 1938 to 1941. In the spring of 1943 there was a mass exodus of men headed for World War II. A desire to participate directly in the war effort, coupled with illness that forced curtailment of a leave under State Department auspices, prompted James' resignation. He continued teaching and consulting activities following his resignation.

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