Ohio State unsure about future of student housing vice president after weekend arrest

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Ohio State said it’s shocked at the arrest of one of its vice presidents. The university said it’s uncertain what the future holds for its assistant vice president of housing while an investigation continues.

Ohio State said it’s too soon to know what the future is for assistant vice president of housing Ronald Kochendoerfer. Kochendoerfer was arraigned in Franklin County Municipal Court Saturday for felony possession of methamphetamine. OSU Student Affairs communications director Ruth Gertsner said he’s been suspended with pay while police continue their investigation.

Gerstner said Kochendoerfer was always dedicated to his job.

“He was very conscientious, a hard worker, punctual, you know. He had some health problems a couple of years ago, and so, I think sometimes people thought he looked tired, but put that off to his health problems,” Gertsner said.

Gertsner said Kochendoerfer started working for Ohio State in 1995 as a student housing hall director.

“He has held a variety of different positions all in university housing since then. His more recent roles have been primarily administrative. When our director of housing left for another opportunity at the first of the year, Ron was placed in the acting position,” Gertsner said.

Gertsner said there’s no indication Kochendoerfer was supplying drugs to Ohio State students, but she said that also will be looked into.

Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Kochendoerfer Friday at his Italian Village home after they found less than an ounce of crystal meth while serving a warrant. Kochendoerfer was part of an investigation into drug smuggling at the county jail. Chief Deputy Steve Martin said the probe started around the first part of April when heroin was discovered hidden in a magazine brought to an inmate.

“Actually he wasn’t the one who was doing it. It was another individual who was bringing the heroin to the county jail. And he, this individual, implicated Mr. Kochendoerfer,” Martin said.

Martin said Kochendoerfer is not charged with drug smuggling at this time, but an investigation is pending. Kochendoerfer is due back in Franklin County Municipal Court later this month for a preliminary hearing.