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 The Ohio State University 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 Executive Vice President and Provost at Ohio University.
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 opened the Otterbein Collegiate Institute, offering college 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 long-standing partnership with Columbus State Community College.
Since President Krendl’s appointment, Otterbein was named a top 10 “Up and Comer” by its peers in the “Guide to America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report and is ranked in the top 20 among 149 schools in its category. The American Association of Colleges and Universities selected Otterbein as one of six national demonstration sites for experiential learning, along with Georgetown and Tufts. The University’s emphasis on student engagement in community service led Washington Monthly to recognize Otterbein as a top school for contributions to the public good. Otterbein also has been consistently recognized with distinction on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll through 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 children, Claire and Tom, have pursued academic careers. After completing her Ph.D., Claire joined Virginia Tech. Tom is currently a doctoral student at Berkeley. President Krendl serves on the boards of the Columbus YWCA, I Know I Can, the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, and the Ohio Campus Compact. She is a member of Women for Economic and Leadership Development, American Association of University Women, and the International Women’s Forum.