President Kathy A. Krendl, the 20th president and the first woman to lead Otterbein University, took office July 1, 2009. President Krendl received her bachelor's degree in English from Lawrence University, her master's degree in journalism from OSU and her doctorate in communication from the University of Michigan. After holding teaching and administrative positions at Indiana University from 1983 through 1996, President Krendl joined Ohio University as dean of the Scripps College of Communication. In 2004, she was appointed Academic Vice President and Provost at Ohio University, and then in 2007, she was promoted to Executive Vice President and Provost of the institution.
During President Krendl’s tenure, Otterbein has changed its name from College to University. It has also developed and launched its new undergraduate curriculum with its transition to semesters. The curriculum focuses on the distinctive character of Otterbein’s unique combination of curricular and experiential learning. In addition, since 2009, the institution has developed several new graduate programs in nursing, education, and business, including its first doctoral program, the Doctorate in Nursing Practice. Otterbein has also reached out to the region with the introduction of summer camps for audiences of all ages, a growing number of on-line courses, and special sections of courses for high school students. The institution has signed six new associate to baccalaureate degree agreements with six two-year institutions in the region, along with its standing agreement with Columbus State Community College.
Recognition for Otterbein since President Krendl’s appointment: Otterbein’s emphasis on innovations in student learning earned it national recognition in 2010 by both U.S. News & World Report as an “Up and Comer” institution and the American Association of Colleges and Universities, which named Otterbein as one of six national demonstration sites, including Georgetown and Tufts. Also in 2010, Washington Monthly named Otterbein a Top 50 school for contributions to the public good linked to its focus on student engagement in community service, and Otterbein was named one of 14 national finalists in the national competition for the President’s Award for General Community Service, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
President Krendl resides in Westerville with her husband, Richard S. Gilbert, who teaches journalism and communication at Otterbein. Their two children, Claire and Tom, are both graduates of Northwestern University. Claire is a doctoral student at Penn State, and Tom is a Fulbright Scholar studying in Denmark. President Krendl serves on the boards of the Westerville Area Resource Ministry, the Columbus YWCA, and I Know I Can. She is a member of Westerville Rotary, Women for Economic and Leadership Development, and the International Women’s Forum. She also leads the Steering Committee for the Otterbein Women's Leadership Network.