Ashland U. selects next president

Ashland U. selects next president
Vincent Ricardel

Jon Parrish Peede will take over on June 1 as the next president of Ashland University and Ashland Theological Seminary.


Jon Parrish Peede, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has been selected as the next president of Ashland University and Ashland Theological Seminary. The AU Board of Trustees unanimously approved Peede’s appointment following a search process conducted by a presidential search committee that included trustees, alumni, faculty, staff and a student representative. Peede will begin his role as president on June 1.

With more than 25 years in leadership positions in higher education and federal agencies, Peede brings experience to Ashland. He has been a faculty member, fundraiser, public speaker, fiscally sound manager and strategic communicator. He has developed relationships with a variety of stakeholders to achieve common goals.

“Jon Peede stood out in our presidential search. His past experiences as a leader and unifier will benefit Ashland University as we sharpen our focus on branding and navigate the changes in higher education,” said Jim Hess, chairman of the AU Board of Trustees. “Jon is an innovative and strategic thinker who will build on all the good that is currently in place and move us forward to a brighter tomorrow. Jon aligns well with our AU values and brethren identity. He shares our passion for shaping graduates who work, serve and lead with integrity. Jon will lead our university community in passionately pursuing excellence in everything we do.”

Peede’s career has spanned six institutions, and his credentials are headlined by a term as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C. He led the agency from July 2017 to January 2021. The NEH chairman position is presidentially nominated and Senate confirmed, and Peede was unanimously confirmed within seven weeks of nomination, an example of the bipartisan support he received.

“I am honored to serve the Ashland students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and supporters. I admire the university’s steadfast commitment to its Christian heritage, liberal arts core, graduate programs and high teaching standards,” Peede said. “I look forward to building upon the momentum of Dr. Campo’s administration. And I cannot wait to work with the faculty and staff who give so much of themselves to mentor students and transform lives. Nancy and I are overjoyed about joining the Ashland community.”

Peede’s appointment is the culmination of a search that began last fall, following Carlos Campo’s decision to become CEO of the Museum of the Bible after nine years leading AU. Peede emerged from a pool of more than 60 applicants for his years of service in higher education, his leadership and academic acumen, and his fundraising experience over his 25-year career, according to Steven Cole, an AU board member and co-chair of the search committee.

Paul McKnight, the other co-chair of the search committee, said, “Peede had researched AU the most and presented a full slate of ideas for the future.”

Peede, 55, is married to Rev. Nancy Hollomon-Peede, who has been a spiritual director and minister for various denominations and churches during her 35-year career in ministry. She also served as a chaplain at Harvard University. They have a daughter, Somerset, who is pursuing a postgraduate viola performance degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia.

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