Ohio Northern University in Ada Names Melissa Baumann as Its Twelfth President

The board of trustees of Ohio Northern University in Ada has named Melissa J. Baumann as the university’s twelfth president. When she takes office on July 1, Dr. Baumann will be the first woman to lead the university in its 151-year history.

Ohio Northern University, a private educational institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church, enrolls just over 2,100 undergraduate students and nearly 700 graduate students, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. Women make up just 45 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Dr. Baumann has been serving as provost and chief academic officer at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Prior to Dr. Baumann’s arrival at Xavier, she was an assistant provost and head of the Honors College at Auburn University in Alabama, where she was a professor of mechanical engineering. She began her academic career at Michigan State University where she taught materials science and engineering and focused on research on biomaterials and tissue engineering.

“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,” Dr. Baumann said. “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. My career has been characterized by a commitment to partnering with faculty and staff to provide a challenging yet supportive environment where all students are able to develop the tools, qualities, and habits of mind that propel them to leadership in service to society.”

Dr. Baumann earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering at Michigan Technological University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.


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