Ohio Dominican University President Connie Gallaher has shared with the university community her intent to retire this upcoming December so she can move back home to northwest Ohio and devote her full time, energy and attention to family health issues and challenges that have arisen recently. On behalf of the entire ODU community, the university’s Board of Trustees thanks President Gallaher for her strong leadership and contributions, and wishes her well in retirement.

ODU is stronger as a result of President Gallaher’s leadership. In addition to leading the university through the COVID-19 pandemic, the university launched high-demand programs in healthcare and technology, saw a return to pre-pandemic levels of new student enrollment, and experienced a record-breaking year in fundraising. While we sincerely regret her departure, we are excited to find a transformative leader to continue the positive momentum that has been generated over the past several years to further position the university for growth and sustainability in the future.

ODU’s Board of Trustees has engaged a number of highly qualified professionals to be considered to lead the university on an interim basis. We are excited about their experience in higher education and skills in the areas of academics, enrollment and advancement. All of the candidates possess strong business acumen and a passion for small, Catholic colleges. We hope to have more information to share about that process in the coming weeks.

 Ohio Dominican University's 17th President

Connie Gallaher

Connie Gallaher began her service at ODU in June 2021.

Connie GallaherA registered nurse for more than 40 years, Connie Gallaher has served in numerous executive leadership roles with all three major adult health systems in the Central Ohio region. She spent the last 14 years with OhioHealth in Columbus, most recently serving as chief operating officer, then president of OhioHealth at Home, which provides comprehensive care and treatment to patients in their home setting. During her tenure, Gallaher identified and executed various strategic initiatives to develop program offerings, expand patient access to quality care, and enhance patient responsiveness, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to her roles with OhioHealth at Home, she served as system vice president of OhioHealth Neuroscience. Gallaher retired from OhioHealth in February.

Before joining OhioHealth, Gallaher served in a wide range of roles, including vice president at Riverside Methodist Hospital; associate administrator of the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital at The Ohio State University Medical Center; and as vice president, chief nursing officer, and director of patient care services at Mount Carmel East Hospital, all in Columbus, Ohio. She served as president of the Bariatric Care Center of Ohio in Groveport; vice president and chief operating officer of Health Care Plus and Preferred Care Plus in Columbus; and administrator and director of patient care services at Grant Medical Center in Columbus. She also has served as a staff nurse, head nurse and director at The Ohio State University Medical Center.

Gallaher has served as adjunct clinical faculty at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, and has presented on a variety of topics, including health care, teamwork and leadership. She has been recognized for her leadership within the health care field, and has been credited with developing leaders who serve in a wide range of settings and environments.

Gallaher earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing Administration from The Ohio State University College of Nursing, and a Certificate in Internal Coaching from the Hudson Institute of Coaching. She has been a registered nurse since 1978.

Active in her community, Gallaher has participated in many organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Heart Association. During her work in neuroscience, she worked with many different associations that focus on neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).


Additional Information

Erskine Hall, Room 238
1216 Sunbury Road
Columbus, OH 43219

  (614) 251-4690

The Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs (now the Dominican Sisters of Peace) were founded in Somerset, Ohio, in 1830 and moved to Columbus in 1868. 

In 1911, the sisters received a charter from the state of Ohio to establish a women’s college. A successful teaching congregation for nearly 100 years, the Dominicans wanted to build on the excellence of their academy and provide college classes in an area where there was no Catholic higher education available to their graduates and to the candidates for the order. 

After a decade of experimenting, the Sisters opened the College of St. Mary of the Springs in 1924 as a four-year, Catholic liberal arts college for women. 

Until the college formally separated from the congregation, the congregation’s prioress, who served three-year terms, also served as the college’s president. 

In 1968, under Sister Suzanne Urhane’s leadership, the college changed its name to Ohio Dominican College. 

In 2002, under the leadership of Ohio Dominican’s first male and first lay leader, Jack P. Calareso, PhD, the college changed its status again to become Ohio Dominican University.

Past Presidents

  • Sister Stephanie Mohun, 1911 - 1914
  • Sister Constance Keelty, 1914 - 1917
  • Sister Justina Hogan, 1917 - 1920
  • Sister Maria Theresa, 1920 - 1923
  • Sister Regina Murphy, 1923 - 1926
  • Sister Adele Heffley, 1926 - 1932
  • Sister Bernardine Lynam, 1932 - 1935
  • Sister Aloyse Fitzpatrick, 1935 - 1944
  • Sister Anacletus Oger, 1944 - 1947
  • Sister Angelita Conley, 1947 - 1964
  • Sister Suzanne Uhrhane, 1964 - 1978
  • Sister Mary Andrew Matesich, 1978 - 2001
  • Jack Calareso, Ph.D., 2001 - 2007
  • The Most Rev. James A. Griffin, 2007 - 2008 (interim)
  • Brian Nedwek, Ph.D., 2008 - 2009
  • Ronald J. Seiffert, 2009 - 2010 (interim)
  • Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D., 2010 - 2017
  • Robert Gervasi, Ph.D., 2017 - 2021
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