COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Twenty-five people applied to direct Ohio State University’s celebrated marching band after the firing of its last director, according to records released Friday.
The resumes and cover letters submitted to a search committee charged with replacing Jonathan Waters were released to The Associated Press in response to a public records request. They come a day after the committee announced associate band director Christopher Hoch as interim band director.
Waters’ resume was among the applications, as had been previously reported.
Other applicants included professors and band leaders from other Big Ten schools, such as Michigan State University, the University of Maryland, Purdue University and Penn State University. At least two job seekers included YouTube links to their work. A couple wrote about their Ohio ties.
Waters was fired in July after an internal investigation concluded he ignored a “sexualized culture” inside the band, findings he disputes. He is fighting his dismissal in two separate lawsuits.
In a filing Friday in federal court, Ohio State fought an effort by Waters’ legal team to extend evidence-gathering in his civil rights case to employment decisions of the school’s board of trustees.
Attorneys reminded the judge that the sole remaining issue in Waters’ case — in which due process claims were dropped — “is whether Mr. Waters was fired because he is a man.” They described the effort at expanding the scope of discovery premature, unnecessary and irrelevant.
One applicant for the band director’s job expressed frustration at seeing the marching band mentioned in negative news reports, saying he believed his experiences could help guide the band through a challenging time.
Hoch said in an application letter that one of the reasons he was seeking the director position was because he wanted to ensure that the band “remains at the forefront of college marching band innovation while reinventing itself as ‘The Best Damn Band in the Land’ off the field as well as on.”
He said he had learned a lot from the difficulties of the last season.
“They have made me acutely aware of university regulations and federal laws governing student behavior (particularly Title IX and hazing issues),” he wrote, noting that they also brought to his attention the resources the university offers in dealing with such issues.
“Having been through this past season, I feel that I am in a unique position to confront the challenges that may arise in the future, and I feel very comfortable communicating with the wide variety of people at the university who can help resolve them,” he said.
The search process is not entirely over. Hoch’s appointment will be revisited after the upcoming band season, at which point extending or replacing him would be decided. The university overshot its self-imposed deadline of four to six months for conducting the search by some four months.
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