Otterbein University’s Board of Trustees met and discussed updates on the United Methodist Church, email security and enrollment updates on Saturday, February 8. 

President John Comerford delivered updates on Otterbein’s affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Comerford let the board know that there is a plan that allows the Wesleyan Covenant to split from the United Methodist Church. If this split occurs, the United Methodist Church would better align with Otterbein’s values. 

Chris Kaiser, chair of the audit and risk management committee, spoke to the Board of Trustees about cyber and email security. Kaiser said cyber security is the committee’s “highest priority.” The committee is hoping the two-factor identification system for emails will help prevent email hacking. Alumni emails are also being suspended in order to avoid scamming. Emails can be renewed if wanted. 

Jefferson Blackburn-Smith represented the enrollment and advancement committee and spoke to the board about the status of enrollment at Otterbein. Undergraduate and graduate enrollment have gone up since last spring. The number of students from central Ohio has decreased while the number out-of-state students enrolling at Otterbein has increased. Blackburn-Smith also said that families of students enrolled at Otterbein are happy with their financial packages. 


The Board of Trustees approved Comerford’s proposal to grant eight faculty members emeritus status. Comerford said that these faculty members have had a “conscientious and strong commitment to the community,” and have collectively served Otterbein for 212 years. 

The Board of Trustees also approved 26 faculty member sabbaticals for the 2020 year.