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President Named

Daniel DiBiasio named new president of Ohio Northern University

Daniel A. DiBiasio, president of Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio, was named the next president of Ohio Northern University after the University Board of Trustees approved his appointment on Feb. 4.

DiBiasio becomes the 11th president in Ohio Northern University history and assumes his new duties on Aug. 1, 2011. He replaces the departing Dr. Kendall L. Baker, who in 2010 announced his intention to retire at the conclusion of the 2010-11 academic year.

“I am extremely proud and happy to introduce Dan DiBiasio as the next president of Ohio Northern University,” said John Bishop, head of the presidential search committee and vice chair of Ohio Northern’s Board of Trustees. “He is a proven and experienced leader who is very well prepared to both address future challenges and capitalize on growth opportunities for the University.”

Since 1995, DiBiasio has been president of Wilmington College, overseeing excellent growth in the college’s academic and advancement affairs. In his 16 years, the college added four undergraduate academic programs and the college’s first graduate program.

Under DiBiasio’s leadership, the college built and renovated two student apartment complexes, built an equine science center, and renovated and expanded the Boyd Cultural Arts Center, which includes the newly constructed Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center and the David and June Harcum Art Gallery.

DiBiasio brings more than 30 years experience to his new position at ONU. He began his career in 1974 as an admissions counselor at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont., before serving as administrative associate, research associate and then assistant dean at The Ohio State University from 1975-84. Next, he was an executive officer on the council of presidents for the New England Land Grant Universities from 1984-87. At the University of New Hampshire, DiBiasio served as executive assistant to the president from 1987-91 and as interim vice president of student affairs from 1991-95.

DiBiasio has held leadership roles in higher education on the national and state levels. He served on the Board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and chaired its Student Aid Committee. He also served on the Division III Presidents Council of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, as vice chair elect of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, and as chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio.

After earning a bachelor of arts in English from Ohio Wesleyan University, DiBiasio received his master’s degree and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Throughout his career in higher education, he has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels, published, and presented scholarly presentations at national and regional conferences.

DiBiasio is married to Chris Burns-DiBiasio, with whom he shares a great enthusiasm for community involvement. Burns-DiBiasio, who is director of community relations at Wilmington, serves on numerous community boards, including two four-year terms on the Wilmington City Schools Board of Education. She is a member of the Outstanding Women of Clinton County Awards Committee, the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) Advisory Board, Clinton County Fresh Network Executive Committee, and the Clinton County Bicentennial Committee. She also is a college spokesperson for the Grow Food, Grow Hope Community Garden Initiative.

The DiBiasios have two sons. Matthew, 26, is an actor in Portland, Ore. Michael, 22, is a reporter for the Gillette News-Record in Gillette, Wyo.


Presidential Search

ONU Seal

November 5, 2010

TO: The ONU Community
FROM: John J. Bishop, Trustee
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

This is another in the series of informational memos intended to keep you apprised of the work of the presidential search committee.

The search committee met on Monday, November 1, to review our progress and to affirm our schedule over the next several months.  We began the actual review of candidate papers and we discussed a more precise evaluation process that will help us focus on the desired attributes of ONU’s next president. We will use this process in assessing applicants for the presidency in the weeks ahead. The search profile continues to be available for your review at    

Our advertising continues to appear this month in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Women in Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook, Diverse and Inside Higher Education. We have distributed roughly 3,000 search profiles nationally to inform selected individuals about the search and to request their suggestions of persons we should consider.    

We ask again that you too suggest people who might be attractive to Northern in this search. Please contact our consultant,, with names and additional contact information related to any potential candidates. The nominations and suggestions that we receive from those closest to the ONU program can be among the most meaningful in the process of candidate generation.

We will meet again early in December to evaluate our general progress and to begin reducing the pool to a smaller group.

The committee will continue to stay in touch with you throughout the process. I welcome your comments and questions at any time ( Be reassured that we will treat all information from you in total confidence.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.

October 4, 2010

TO: Members of the ONU Community
FROM: John J. Bishop, Trustee Chair, Presidential Search Committee
SUBJECT: Search Update

The presidential search is underway, and we are writing with this additional update. The search committee has completed the development of the Presidential Search Profile for Ohio Northern University.

As you review the Search Profile, please pay particular attention to the attributes most highly desired in ONU’s next president. We urge you to suggest people you know who could serve effectively as our next president and/or those who might know potential candidates. Please forward their name(s) to our consultant, Tom Courtice, at The search committee is well aware that the success of our search depends on the involvement of all members of the Northern community. By nominating strong candidates, you can immediately be involved in the search process.

Over the next few months, we will generate the candidate pool through nominations received from you, contact with national educa tion and founda tion officials, inquiries at other colleges and universities, letters to friends and alumni of ONU, advertising in the Chronicle of Higher Education and other publications, and the work of our consultant.

The search is off to a good start. We will write to you again as we enter subsequent stages of the process. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me ( if you have questions. Thank you for your interest and your support.

September 28, 2010

TO: Members of the ONU Community

FROM: John J. Bishop, Trustee Chair, Presidential Search Committee

SUBJECT: Search Update

I am writing to keep you posted on the early planning and progress in the presidential search. The search committee met on Monday, September 27, and reviewed the pre-search report drafted by our consultant, Tom Courtice. The report resulted from Tom’s research and his time on campus earlier this month, during which many of you provided helpful and informative insights about the Ohio Northern presidency.

The committee was encouraged by the content of Tom’s report and we are moving quickly to convert this material into the important search profile, the primary informational piece to be used in generating the candidate pool.

We hope to complete the profile by early October at which time we will share it directly with you. Don’t hesitate to contact me ( if you have any questions. I will be writing to you again soon.

May 25, 2010

To: The Ohio Northern Community

This is the first of several messages you will receive from me over the next few months, all intended to keep you informed about the progress of the search for Ohio Northern’s next president. The Presidential Search Committee (scroll down for a list of committee members) met for the first time on Saturday, May 22, and accepted its charge from the Board of Trustees. In so doing, we spent considerable time discussing the necessity of maintaining strict confidentiality throughout the search.  We also reviewed and approved a preliminary search timeline, and discussed the next steps in the search process. At this time, we hope to conclude the search by the middle of the winter quarter, with an effective starting date for the new president on or about July 1 of 2011.

The committee will be assisted by Academic Search of Washington, DC, a consulting firm that has worked exclusively for over 30 years in searches for presidents and senior administrators in higher education. Dr. Thomas B. Courtice will serve as our consultant and will provide counsel for the committee’s work throughout the course of the search.

In that regard, Tom will launch the search process by visiting the campus early in the Fall term, September 9–10, to talk with all ONU constituencies. His interviews and conversations will result in an important written profile which will outline our key institutional needs and priorities, and a related set of desired characteristics and talents for our next president. 

Sharon Hawkins will be serving as the Search Committee’s administrative coordinator to the campus. We will work through her to build an inclusive schedule for Tom’s visit that will encourage your participation. The detailed schedule and more information about ways in which you will be able to provide your input will be announced when the University reconvenes this Fall. We realize that Tom’s visit is scheduled at the very busy opening of the term, but it is critical that he can be on campus and hear from you early in the year. We strongly urge you to share your thoughts and ideas in these discussions at an appropriate time during the two-day period.

I will continue to write to you, on behalf of the search committee, throughout the coming months to keep you posted on our progress. Thank you for your interest and support.

Best regards,

John Bishop, Trustee
Chair, Presidential Search Committee


A brief history of ONU presidents


ONU Presidential Search Committee

Mr. John Bishop, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee
Mr. Michael Kaufmann, Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Oscar Mifsud, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
Mrs. Joanne Lipski, Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Anthony Moore, Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Douglas Mock, Member, Board of Trustees
Mrs. Jennifer Frommer, Member, Board of Trustees
Dr. Charles Yoost, Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. James Kennedy, Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Robert Kerscher, Member, Board of Trustees

Mr. Michael Hamper, President, Student Senate and Member, Board of Trustees
Ms. Kendra Hearn, Member of Student Senate
Dr. Jonathan Smalley, Professor of Civil Engineering
Dr. Natalie DiPietro, Asst. Prof. of Pharmacy Practice
Mr. Jason Duff, BSBA ’05; member of Business Advisory Board
Mr. James Dicke III, Friend of University
Mr. Robert Smith, Ex Officio; Chair, Board of Trustees
Dr. Kenneth Elshoff, Ex Officio; Life Trustee
Dr. Clayton Mathile, Ex Officio; Friend of University