Ohio Northern University (ONU) has appointed Dr. Melissa J. Baumann as president. She will be the first woman to serve in the role.
Baumann has more than 30 years of experience at private and public colleges. She is currently provost and chief academic officer at Xavier University, where she is also a professor in the Department of Physics. There she is credited with helping to establish Xavier's College of Nursing in 2019, attracting a more diverse faculty and student body and enhancing its strategic budgeting and planning operations.
Prior to joining Xavier, she was an assistant provost and head of the Honors College as well as a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Auburn University. Before that, she taught materials science and engineering at Michigan State University, where she began her administrative career as the associate dean for the MSU Honors College.
“ONU’s commitment to an affordable, accessible education not only supports students as they prepare to engage the world, but also distinguishes ONU as an institution of purpose, positioning the university well to confront the lingering challenges of the pandemic and the rapidly approaching demographic cliff among traditional aged college students,” said Baumann. “My promise is to lead from a place of authentic commitment and connection, characterized by genuine engagement with board members, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends, and to continue the legacy of President Daniel A. DiBiasio in advancing ONU’s 150-year record of academic excellence and achievement. I take seriously the opportunity to steward the institution consistent with its Methodist roots and core values.”
An Ohio native, Baumann is a first-generation college student and a first-generation American. She holds a Ph.D. and a master of science degree in materials science and engineering at Case Western Reserve University.