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Otterbein University President Announces Retirement

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“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.

Carmen Twillie Ambar Named 15th President of Oberlin College

PHOTO BY SCOTT SHAW

PHOTO BY SCOTT SHAW

The Oberlin College Board of Trustees announced today that Carmen Twillie Ambar will become the College’s 15th president and first African American leader in the institution's 184-year history. Ambar, currently president of Cedar Crest College, will be on campus full time beginning in September.

Carmen Twillie Ambar addresses the campus community during an announcement ceremony on May 30, 2017.  

Ambar’s values align closely with Oberlin’s mission. “Oberlin is a singular institution in American higher education, with an historic commitment to social justice, academic and musical excellence, and the liberal arts,” Ambar says. “I look forward to my work with Oberlin’s faculty, staff, students, board, and alumni to think creatively and collaboratively together. I am humbled to be joining this institution and excited about the opportunity to lead it into its next era.”

President of John Carroll University to Retire

The Rev. Robert Niehoff, president of John Carroll University, has announced his retirement.  (Robert Hartshorn/Hartshorn Studios)

The Rev. Robert Niehoff, president of John Carroll University, has announced his retirement. (Robert Hartshorn/Hartshorn Studios)

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio - The Rev. Robert Niehoff, president of John Carroll University since 2005, announced Wednesday that he plans to retire.

Niehoff said in the letter to the university community that the search for his successor will begin immediately.

"I have been thinking for some time about the ideal time to position the University for new leadership," he wrote. "This year has been exceptional and full of hard rewarding work. With the Higher Learning Commission's recent reaffirmation of our accreditation status; the successful conclusion of the Forever Carroll comprehensive campaign; the launch of our new strategic plan; growing recognition and prestige for our accountancy and science programs; and achieving national media coverage for beating Mt. Union in football for the first time in 27 years, it became clear to me that the time for me to retire is now."

Ohio Dominican names University's 16th President

Robert A. Gervasi, Ph.D

Robert A. Gervasi, Ph.D

Columbus, OH – The Ohio Dominican University (ODU) Board of Trustees has announced that Robert A. Gervasi, Ph.D. will serve as the University’s 16th president. Gervasi will succeed Dr. Peter Cimbolic, who is retiring after seven years as ODU’s president. Gervasi will begin at Ohio Dominican on June 26, 2017.

Gervasi has spent the last nine years serving as president of Quincy University, a private Catholic Franciscan liberal arts university located in Quincy, Illinois. Quincy has approximately 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students.

During Gervasi’s tenure as president, Quincy experienced growth and improvement in numerous areas, including enrollment. In fall 2016, Quincy welcomed its largest class on record. Over the past nine years, enrollment in the university’s Honors Program has increased from 33 to 202 students. Quincy also became a more diverse campus under Gervasi’s leadership, with approximately 17 percent of the university’s student population made up of minority students, compared to five percent in the region. 

“We are tremendously blessed and proud to have an individual of Robert Gervasi’s experience, leadership and enthusiasm serve as Ohio Dominican University’s 16th president,” said Tom Mueller, chair of ODU’s Board of Trustees. “Quincy University has experienced tremendous success and growth under his guidance. As a sitting president, Bob has successfully navigated many of the challenges currently being experienced at small, private Midwestern universities, and we’re excited for him to bring his expertise to Ohio Dominican.”