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Gellman-Danley to leave Antioch McGregor, join OBR

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Antioch University McGregor President Barbara Gellman-Danley will leave her position in August to work for the Ohio Board of Regents, according to an Antioch University press statement released Tuesday.

Gellman-Danley and Antioch University Chancellor Toni Murdock made the announcement to McGregor staff on Tuesday morning, according to Gellman-Danley in an interview Tuesday.

“During her nine years as Antioch University McGregor president, Barbara has exhibited the utmost in leadership skills,” Murdock stated in the press release. “It is no surprise that she should be asked to take the state stage in Ohio higher education leadership. Barbara’s stewardship of Antioch University McGregor has represented best practices in higher education that Ohio is looking for statewide.”

According to the press release, Murdock has begun the process of finding an interim president for McGregor and will soon initiate a national search for the school’s next president.

Gellman-Danley will fill a new position as the vice chancellor of academic affairs and system integration for the OBR, according to OBR spokesperson Mike Cheney on Tuesday. Specifically, he said, as part of Governor Ted Strickland’s 10-year plan for higher education, the OBR seeks to integrate a variety of educational programs so that those seeking higher education in the state can more easily navigate educational options, whether they are transferring from a community college to a university or from high school to college.

“We want to transition to a seamless system for all points in higher education,” he said, and Gellman-Danley would be involved in this process.

According to Gellman-Danley in an interview Tuesday, her career change is “not about what I’m leaving but what I’m going to.” Specifically, she said, her new position is an opportunity to “help Chancellor Eric Fingerhut [of the OBR]. He asked that I be more involved in a high-level leadership role in implementing the 10-year plan.”

In January, Gellman-Danley took a sabbatical during which she worked for the OBR and helped to create the adult learning segment of the 10-year plan, which was launched during the spring.

As part of her position, Gellman-Danley will be involved in the process of approving degree-granting authority to new educational institutions, according to Cheney, but she will not have ultimate authority. Most important in the degree-granting approval process, he said, is the position taken by the accrediting agency rather than the OBR.

“We work with them through the process but we follow their lead,” he said. A team of consultants is directly involved in making the decision, he said, and ultimate authority rests with Fingerhut.

If Antioch University trustees and Antioch College alumni reach an agreement for making the college independent, the OBR would need to approve the college’s ability to grant degrees.

Asked about her involvement in the degree-granting process regarding Antioch College, Gellman-Danley stated that “I will have a role in that, but it goes to the chancellor for the final decision.”

Fingerhut was out of the office and unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

As part of her tenure at McGregor, Gellman-Danley oversaw a successful effort to achieve teacher accreditation through the National Council on Accreditation for Teacher Education, or NCATE, created the McGregor Institute on Intellectual Development, or MIIND, launched the “Classroom of the Future” room technology stimulation program and launched new masters programs, such as the masters in community college management, according to the press release.

Gellman-Danley also spearheaded the effort to build a new building for McGregor, which now sits on the western edge of the village in the Center for Business and Education.

McGregor students and faculty appreciate the building, Gellman-Danley said on Tuesday, and 35 area and village groups have used it since it opened in September.

“Our students love it. It’s a great learning environment,” she said.

Overall, according to Gellman-Danley, McGregor is doing well. Enrollment is “solid,” she said, and the school’s 2007 budget had a surplus.

“McGregor is in great shape,” she said, “and it’s time to take my background to the state level.”


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