Independent Colleges

Tiffin University to Join The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges

L to R: Francie Henry, Regional President-Central Ohio, Fifth Third Bank and OFIC Board Chair; Bill Spiker, President, OFIC; Lillian Schumacher, President, Tiffin University

L to R: Francie Henry, Regional President-Central Ohio, Fifth Third Bank and OFIC Board Chair; Bill Spiker, President, OFIC; Lillian Schumacher, President, Tiffin University


The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) announced today that Tiffin University, located in Tiffin, Ohio, will be added as the 33rd collegiate member of their organization. Tiffin joins 32 other independent, non-tax-funded, liberal arts colleges and universities from Ohio. The University is led by Dr. Lillian Schumacher, inaugurated in November of 2016, as the University’s first female president.

Making the decision to apply for membership in OFIC for Dr. Schumacher was an easy one. “Since accepting the position of Tiffin University President,” explained Schumacher, “I have been asking myself: Why does our University exist; why do we do what we do? The answer is rather simple: Because of our students. We are here to serve our students. OFIC’s mission is the same - their fundraising efforts help Ohio’s students reach their goals of a college education.”

“OFIC helps students in need by partnering with corporate and foundation donors that believe strongly in higher education and want to create scholarship programs which help the flow of students from our member campuses to careers with corporate Ohio,” said Bill Spiker, OFIC President. “We welcome Tiffin University and look forward to a strong relationship that will have a direct impact on students and the economic future of Ohio.”

Schumacher went on to explain why scholarships from OFIC donors are important. “Our students, like so many of those attending the other 32 member institutions, rely on scholarships to achieve their academic goals. More than 90 percent of Tiffin University's students receive some form of financial aid. With financial support, students' lives are positively impacted, and our communities are stronger by having a growing college-educated workforce.”

Tiffin University will join 32 other Ohio independent colleges and universities as a member of OFIC including: Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Bluffton University, Capital University, Cedarville University, Defiance College, Denison University, The University of Findlay, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Franklin University, Heidelberg University, Hiram College, John Carroll University, Kenyon College, Lake Erie College, Lourdes University, Malone University, Marietta College, University of Mount Union, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Muskingum University, Notre Dame College, Oberlin College, Ohio Dominican University, Ohio Northern University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Otterbein University, Ursuline College, Walsh University, Wilmington College, Wittenberg University, and The College of Wooster.

Claire Johansen, Chair of Tiffin University’s Board of Trustees also supported their inclusion in OFIC. “Tiffin University's noble purpose is to transform lives through education,” said Johansen. “The Board firmly believes that membership into OFIC aligns directly with the University’s Guiding Principles. A majority of our students come from homes with modest incomes and are the first in their family to attend a four-year college. Our University practices financial constraint, however college is expensive. Scholarships serve as a “life-preserver" for students. Providing a sound foundation for our students’ success is why the Board strongly supports membership in OFIC.”

“We are excited to include Tiffin University in OFIC’s membership," said OFIC Board Chair, Francie Henry, Regional President-Central Ohioat Fifth Third Bank. “Many of our donors make connections with their student scholars through luncheons or visits to their company headquarters. They also find that offering internships and job opportunities, post-graduation, is a way for them to address their own corporate talent pipeline issues. Tiffin University's membership has the potential to bring new corporate partners that are working hard to build Ohio's economy. Students staying in Ohio and working here are key components of our collective success."

Tiffin University’s membership in OFIC is effective July 1, 2018.

Tiffin University
Founded in 1888, TU has become a premier university for challenging students to enhance their global competencies for success in a diverse world. The University enrolls students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Tiffin, Ohio, at several locations in Ohio, online, and in several foreign countries. The campus at Tiffin is a blend of traditional historic and modern buildings, creating a vibrant and warm home for a culturally diverse educational community. Throughout its history, TU has maintained its dedication to providing a professionally focused, learning-centered education to prepare students for successful careers and for productive and satisfying lives of excellence, leadership, and service. Tiffin University’s faculty offers a unique combination of practical application with scholarly knowledge. The TU approach to learning and skill set development insists on connecting students to the workplace as soon, and as often, as possible during their college experience through internships.

The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC), a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, is the national leader in providing student scholarships and unrestricted gifts to Ohio’s independent colleges and universities.

OFIC member colleges and universities award nearly one-third of all bachelor’s degrees in the state. Since 1950 OFIC has worked to highlight the leadership, value and excellence of independent higher education and has provided scholarship commitments and unrestricted operating gifts through funds raised in annual solicitations of businesses and foundations, thereby assuring continuation of excellence in private higher education. OFIC is governed by a board of trustees comprised of Ohio’s corporate leaders, as well as presidents of the 33 member colleges and universities. 

For more information about OFIC, visit or contact Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Karey West at or 614-469-1890.




Otterbein University President Announces Retirement


“President Krendl and her leadership team have made significant contributions to improve the campus, the experiences of its students, faculty, staff and alumni as well forming strong networks in central Ohio and beyond,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Mark Thresher, executive vice president and CFO of Nationwide. “We are thankful for the growth and leadership she has brought to Otterbein during her tenure and the strong commitment she has toward educating the whole person while creating a model community of lifelong leaders and learners.”  

Krendl has worked to position Otterbein for continued success through increasing fundraising efforts, launching new academic programs, diversifying revenue sources, building relationships with business and community leaders, establishing partnerships with women’s organizations, and collaborating with non-profits and other higher education institutions. She has also focused institutional attention on recruiting top quality students, faculty and staff to the Otterbein community.

Having joined Otterbein at the beginning of the recession, Krendl committed to identifying strategies to maintain access to an affordable four-year education. She worked with the Otterbein Board of Trustees to freeze tuition costs for students and families. As a result, tuition at Otterbein has been held constant for all students for the past four years — an unprecedented decision in higher education today.

New scholarships and merit opportunities became a key priority in launching a $50 million comprehensive campaign — the university’s largest fundraising effort in its history. Another effort to establish an affordable pathway to a degree was announced this past spring with the development of a new dual admission program with Columbus State Community College. The program drastically reduces the cost of a four-year degree for families making an Otterbein degree more affordable than most four-year public institutions in the state. 

Partnerships with local K-12 school districts have also created affordable opportunities for students graduating from Columbus City, Westerville, South-Western, and Whitehall school districts to complete a four-year degree at Otterbein through special financial award packages.

The expansion and diversification of academic programs during Krendl’s presidency have yielded strong enrollments and increased diversity in the student population. They have also helped to define the distinctive identity of the institution. Further expansion of graduate programs, including the introduction of its first doctoral program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, along with the development of unique undergraduate majors, such as Zoo and Conservation Science and Systems Engineering, heavily focused on Otterbein’s commitment to experiential learning opportunities, have further enhanced Otterbein’s academic reputation and distinguished it as a destination institution for students from across the country.

Most recently, the launch of The Point at Otterbein, an economic driver and collaborative partnership with business and industry, the City of Westerville, and the State of Ohio, has re-defined the future of higher education as students, faculty, and partners integrate the STEAM fields — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — in an experiential, hands-on learning environment. The collaboration will drive economic growth for the region through business development and job creation, while providing student experiences through internships, capstone projects, and research initiatives. This one-of-a-kind concept in central Ohio has been identified as a model of 21st century education by Fortune 500 businesses and government officials who have visited The Point.

Krendl is the first recipient of the Women for Economic Leadership Development (WELD) Riveter Award; she was also named among Ohio’s Most Powerful and Influential Women by the National Diversity Council; she was a finalist for the 2016 Columbus CEO Award; and this month she will be honored as a Progressive Woman in the Smart Women Awards ceremony. She has served on numerous boards including the Columbus YWCA, I Know I Can, Ohio Campus Compact and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation. As president of Otterbein, she has continued to teach a first-year seminar for entering students on Women and Leadership. She also founded the Otterbein University Women’s Leadership Network to support the mentoring of women and girls in various fields of interest and professional development. She is the first female president to serve Otterbein since its founding in 1847.

A search for Otterbein’s 21st president in its 170-year history will begin this fall led by Otterbein Board of Trustees member Cheryl Herbert, Senior Vice President at OhioHealth.

Wittenberg University Selects 15th President

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The Wittenberg University Board of Directors has unanimously selected Dr. Michael Frandsen, vice president for finance and administration at Oberlin College, as Wittenberg’s 15th president. Frandsen will begin his tenure July 1, 2017.

“Wittenberg is extremely blessed to have found in Mike an outstanding leader in higher education and a passionate advocate for the liberal arts who exemplifies our mission,” said the Rev. Jonathan Eilert, chair of the Wittenberg Board of Directors and chair of the presidential search committee. “Mike clearly sees the big picture, finds the intersections that create opportunity, seeks creative solutions, and collaborates and communicates effectively with constituents, all while staying focused on our students and their personal and professional success. We are thrilled to have attracted such a distinguished leader, and we are convinced that he will take Wittenberg to new heights of excellence.”

Frandsen’s selection follows a six-month national search led by a 15-member search committee comprised of Board members, faculty, staff, community representatives, alumni and students, and managed by Tom Courtice of TBC Search Consulting, L.L.C. A total of 90 applications were submitted for the position.

More information about Frandsen can be found online at

Lourdes University Names 10th President

Mary Ann Gawelek, Ed.D., Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, has been appointed the 10th President of Lourdes University. After conducting a national search which garnered candidates from 11 states, Dr. Gawelek was selected overwhelmingly by Lourdes University, its sponsor the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania and the institution’s Board of Trustees. She will begin her role as President on July 1, 2016, with an inauguration planned during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Muskingum University Announces 21st President

Dr. Susan Schneider Hasseler

Dr. Susan Schneider Hasseler

The Muskingum University Board of Trustees, after a unanimous vote, today announced the appointment of Dr. Susan Schneider Hasseler as Muskingum’s twenty-first president.  Dr. Hasseler will take office on July 1, 2016.  She succeeds Dr. Anne C. Steele who has served as President since January 1, 2000, leading Muskingum through 16 years of unprecedented institutional development.
“I am delighted and honored to be selected to lead this exceptional group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters into the future,” said Dr. Hasseler.  “Muskingum University provides that powerful combination of rich tradition, deep dedication to service and a robust commitment to innovation and excellence that prepares its graduates to transform the world.”
“Dr. Hasseler’s values, experience and vision uniquely qualify her to advance Muskingum’s mission and continue the University’s tremendous progress into the future,” said Harold W. Burlingame ’62, Executive Vice President Retired, AT&T Human Resources, and Chair of Muskingum’s Board of Trustees.
“Dr. Hasseler is a respected academic leader, teacher and scholar, with deep commitments to inclusivity, community engagement, service and building local, regional and national partnerships,” he added.
Burlingame thanked the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Muskingum Trustee Robert W. Patin Jr. ’64, and commended their dedicated efforts throughout the 10-month search process.
Dr. Susan Hasseler is currently senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she oversees a wide array of undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs, academic support operations and cross-disciplinary centers and institutes.
She has worked with the president and her colleagues to help Augustana broaden student audiences and build a sustainable future through developing and implementing a new strategic plan; creating an integrated student success and career center; establishing a new Office of Graduate and Continuing Education and launching multiple new graduate programs; leading a revitalization of the liberal arts core and first year experience; introducing collaborative enrollment, retention and branding initiatives; and participating in the development and launch of a new comprehensive campaign.
She was previously dean of the School of Business, Education and Social Sciences and Dean of Community Engagement at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and Associate dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher Education at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
As a faculty member, Dr. Hasseler served as professor and associate professor of education at Calvin College and as assistant professor of education at Michigan State University. She has published extensively and presented widely on the topics of educational leadership, inclusivity, international education and cross-cultural experiences.
An active leader in national higher education associations, she is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Council of Academic Deans and presents regularly for the Council of Independent Colleges. She serves in multiple community organizations including the Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls.
Dr. Hasseler holds a B.S. in elementary and special education from Calvin College, an M.A. in special education from the University of South Dakota, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy.
She is married to neuropsychologist Kenneth Hasseler, who also earned his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.  They enjoy the visual and performing arts, athletics, campus and alumni events, hiking, biking, exploring the art, architecture and geography of new places, and spending time with their daughter, Kaitlin, and their son, Jon and his wife Mallory.

Being a Globally Oriented College

By Adam Weinberg
President, Denison University

What does it mean to be a globally oriented college? Are some international experiences better than others? Are colleges doing enough to integrate international students on their own campuses? And what steps can we take to improve global education for college students?

Value of a college degree becomes more evident than ever (MSN Money)

© Andrew Rich/Getty Images   

© Andrew Rich/Getty Images 

Factory jobs dwindled over the past several decades, and instead of low-skill, low-wage service work filling the void left by manufacturing's decline, a new report shows that college-educated workers have taken over a much bigger share of the economy. 

While the makeup of the labor force has changed, the shift has not been from a manufacturing-driven economy to one underpinned by legions of people in dead-end fast-food jobs. Rather, the country's economic value is now largely propped up by college graduates.

For the report, published Monday by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown's Anthony Carnevale and Stephen Rose analyzed several sets of government data to show that job opportunities for college-educated workers have grown, and college graduates produce more than half of the country's economic value. From 1967 to 2007, the share of high- skill management and professional jobs rose 14 percent, and that those jobs represent 35 percent of all U.S. jobs. Over the same period, opportunities for low-skill workers declined 10 percent. These low-skill labor roles, such as fast-food server, retail worker, and dishwasher, now make up only 29 percent of jobs...