Ohio Wesleyan’s Presidential Search Committee received more than 100 applications to become the University’s 17th president. Work began on the search in spring 2022, following the announcement by President Rock Jones that he would retire after 15 years at the conclusion of the 2022-2023 academic year.

Following an exhaustive search, and with the full endorsement of the Presidential Search Committee, the Ohio Wesleyan Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Matthew P. vandenBerg, Ed.D., as the University’s 17th president, effective July 1, 2023.

The Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Kara Trott ’83, vice chair of the OWU Board of Trustees, was assisted in its work by Washington, D.C.-based Academic Search. The Academic Search team included Stuart Dorsey, senior consultant, and OWU alumna Maya Ranchod Kirkhope ’87, vice president, senior consultant, and senior executive coach.

To help identify the wishes of the OWU community – including students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends – for the University’s new president, Academic Search held constituent meetings on campus in May, June, and August, and helped the Search Committee administer a detailed survey in July and August to gather input. The considerable information they gathered played a valuable role in creating a search profile that drew the attention of so many higher education leaders and in guiding the Search Committee in its work.

Applications were accepted through Oct. 28, and the Search Committee worked in November and December to evaluate and interview a diverse pool of candidates to recommend OWU’s next president.

As noted by Nick Calio ’75, chair of the OWU Board of Trustees and a member of the Search Committee, in making the Jan. 11 presidential announcement: “It is truly a great day to be a Bishop. ... After a vigorous and exhaustive review of all of the applications, dozens of interviews and discussions, one candidate rose to the top: Matt vandenBerg. ... We are all very excited and know that you will be, too, as you get to know Matt, his wife, Melissa, and their two children, Jackson and Sylvia.”