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Ohio Dominican University President Peter Cimbolic Announces Plan to Retire in 2017

Dr. Peter Cimbolic

Dear Ohio Dominican University Community,

When I came to Ohio Dominican University as President in 2010, I was thrilled to be joining this community of learners, a community devoted to the student experience and firmly rooted in its identity as a Catholic Dominican university. Still, at that stage of my career, I knew that the length of my tenure was likely to be measured in years, not decades, as some of our past presidents have enjoyed.

So at this afternoon's University Assembly, I announced my plans to retire as ODU's President next summer. As I enter this final year as President, I remain committed to our shared goal of strengthening ODU's position as Central Ohio's Catholic university. Kristi and I are blessed to be a part of this wonderful campus community and cherish the relationships we have forged here with faculty, staff, administrators, Trustees, alumni, the Dominican Sisters of Peace and especially, the wonderful students whom we all serve. 

I am proud of the positive accomplishments we have realized together during my time here. The academic profile of our entering first-year students has improved dramatically, with the average entering GPA now at 3.3, compared to 2.9 in 2010. As a result, we’ve seen a jump of more than 10 percent in our freshman-to-sophomore retention rate during that time. We've moved into the top tier of U.S. News and World Report's annual ranking of Midwest Regional Colleges and Universities. We launched Central Ohio's first Physician Assistant master's program, which has quickly become Ohio's largest and best PA program. We've introduced other new majors and online programs to meet the demands of the marketplace in Central Ohio, a strategy which I believe is vitally important to the long term health and stability of the University. Since the move to NCAA Division II, our athletic teams have enjoyed great success on the national stage and brought even greater notoriety to the University. Outside of the classroom, we have seen the amazing impact our students, faculty and staff have made through service projects, mission trips and the many other ways in which we showcase our Catholic and Dominican values. We have expanded and enhanced the campus environment through the acquisition of the Brentnell property and our work with the city to complete the Alum Creek Bike Trail. I feel blessed to have been a part of this amazing community. 

As noted in the Assembly, the search process for our next president is already underway. Board member and 1972 ODU alumnus Tom Winters will serve as chair of the Presidential Search Committee. The Board has engaged the services of Dr. Tom Courtice, a nationally respected consultant in higher education leadership, to advise on the search and the committee selection process has begun. I will continue to lead the University to the best of my abilities in the months ahead and to be supportive in the search for the next president.

Let me close by saying, while I know there are still challenges to overcome, I am proud of the many things we have accomplished on behalf of our students during my presidency. Thank you for your friendship and support, and for your ongoing dedication and commitment to this special place we so dearly love. 


Dr. Cimbolic
Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D.
August 31, 2016

Read the Press Release
  • Contact the President's Office
    President's Office
    Erskine Hall, Room 238
    1216 Sunbury Road
    Columbus, OH 43219

    Phone: (614) 251-4690
    Email: presidentsoffice@ohiodominican.edu
  • President's Report
    You’ll find news and information on the state of Ohio Dominican University, its academic and athletic programs, students and faculty in the President’s Report.
    Alumni, submit your news here.
  • Past Presidents
    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 - present