NEWARK, OH — The Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) Board of Trustees has named John Berry, Ph.D., to become the next president of COTC, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Berry will succeed longtime COTC President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., who has held the role at the two-year institution since May 2004.
“It is my pleasure to announce that the COTC Board of Trustees has unanimously agreed that Dr. Berry possesses the strategic vision and passion for technical education that will continue to advance COTC’s reputation for high-quality educational programs supporting workforce development,” said Board Chair John Hinderer. “He is a proven, results-driven leader with a deep understanding of the higher education landscape and commitment to a student-focused, inclusive environment.”
Berry is currently the vice president of student affairs and college advancement at BridgeValley Community and Technical College in Montgomery, West Virginia. The college is one of the nine independently accredited colleges within the West Virginia Community and Technical College System. Berry previously served at Rhodes State College as vice president for student affairs; Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina, as vice president for student services and student development; and at COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark as the director of student life for COTC and dean of students for Ohio State Newark. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from The Ohio State University, a Master of Science in Education from Southern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Berry will become the second sole president of COTC. In 2004, Coe became COTC’s first sole president. At that time, Newark campus leadership and the boards of trustees decided to appoint independent leadership for COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark, as opposed to sharing a single chief administrator as they had done since COTC’s creation in 1971. The long-standing COTC/Ohio State Newark cost-share agreement, however, remained in place, allowing the two institutions to retain efficiencies gained by the sharing of personnel and facilities.
“Bonnie’s vision for COTC has been in perfect alignment with the board,” said Hinderer. “Growing the college and strengthening its financial position were our two major directives to her as president, and she has achieved these goals and more. We will be forever indebted to Bonnie for her contributions to COTC.”
Coe announced her planned retirement in early January 2018. A national search began in April 2018 led by Presidential Search Committee Chair Robert Montagnese, COTC board vice chair, and president and CEO of Licking Memorial Health Systems, with executive support from Jacqueline Parrill, Ph.D., COTC vice president for institutional planning and human resources.
“I want to extend my deepest appreciation to the presidential search committee,” said Hinderer. “Your professionalism, dedication and thoroughness have been evident throughout the entire search process. I also extend a special thank you to Rob for his outstanding leadership during such a pivotal time in the college’s history.”
COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.