John Comerford, Otterbein University’s 21 president, has brought a considerable amount of change to campus since he began in July. 

His goals for the university began with a collaborative effort between the Marketing and Communications Department and the Admissions Office to begin the Only Otterbein Campaign. The campaign includes advertisements in newspapers, radio broadcasts and billboards throughout central Ohio.  

“Every meeting I have on campus highlights two things to me. First, we are doing remarkable things. Second, not enough people know about it,” said Comerford in a letter to the campus. “That will always be a struggle, but I have concluded that Otterbein needs to invest time, energy and money into marketing our great undergraduate and graduate programs.” 

Comerford also saw the initiation of a new partnership between the university, JPMorgan Chase, the City of Westerville, and JobsOhio. The partnership allows students to work closely with the three companies at innovation spaces on campus and gain opportunities to earn a scholarship.  


Also new is the Tuition Transparency initiative. This change to tuition means that any fees that were not included in the expected tuition for students would now be included, creating a $600 increase per year to the university’s tuition. 

The university welcomed former Governor John Kasich, who now has a permanent office on campus, giving the university a level of publicity during his press conferences and public announcements. He also brings a unique opportunity for student governance and political science students. 

Comerford has made it clear that the university will continue its devotion to inclusion. Following the recent announcement from the United Methodist Church that upheld its ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy, Comerford issued a campuswide announcement standing with members of the LGBT community.  


“We respect, value and recognize the emotional, spiritual and intellectual volatility of this reality, but we pledge to stay true to our values and make intentional decisions with all of our community members in mind,” said Comerford. “Otterbein continues to stand as a leader in the country for inclusivity.  This will not change, and all should know they are welcome here.” 

President Comerford was officially inaugurated on Friday, April 12.