Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., is the 23rd president of The University of Olivet.
Dr. Corey joined The University of Olivet in the fall of 2010. Located in southcentral Michigan, The University of Olivet is a private liberal arts institution guided by its values-based motto, Education for Individual and Social Responsibility. Founded as the first higher education institution in Michigan to admit women and persons of color on a co-equal basis with white men, it has become known for successfully preparing a diverse and inclusive student community for not only success in career and graduate school, but also for equipping students to make a positive difference in their local and global communities.
Under Dr. Corey’s leadership and with the unanimous approval of its Board of Trustees, Olivet College became The University of Olivet on August 1, 2023, reflecting its becoming a more comprehensive institution driven by a bold strategic plan, Olivet 2030: Vision for a Prosperous Future. The plan calls for the University to remain firmly committed to making a private college education more accessible to students who desire a small, immersive, relationship-based experience, especially first-generation students and those from low-to-moderate-income families throughout Michigan and the upper Midwest, while also launching a robust portfolio of online degree completion, graduate and workforce development programs to benefit students throughout Michigan, across the nation and around the world.
In 2022, Dr. Corey announced The University of Olivet ADVANTAGE Scholarship, which covers the full cost of tuition for students that qualify for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, are Pell-eligible and have been a Michigan resident for at least one year. More than 80% of first-time students will be supported through The University of Olivet ADVANTAGE Scholarship.
Also launched in 2022 was Olivet Direct!, a direct-admission partnership program with school districts that makes the admissions process faster and easier for qualified students, improving college access for all students.
Dr. Corey is also leading efforts to create several international strategic partnerships. Presently, Olivet has international partnerships in India with Christ Academy Institute for Advanced Studies, St. Bede’s College and St. John Technical and Educational Campus, connecting Olivet’s high quality MBA program to students from India.
Earlier in his tenure as president, Dr. Corey led the development and successful execution of the Olivet College 2020 and Beyond plan that set the foundation for the future of Olivet in the decade ahead. He also inspired and led the establishment of the Olivet College ADVANTAGE, which guarantees that students graduate in four years and opportunities for study abroad, internships and research experiences, and community service. Dr. Corey has also established a University commitment to leadership development by initiating the President’s Leadership Institute, Employee Leadership Academy, and the Women’s Leadership Institute.
Under his leadership, the University has completely redesigned its enrollment strategy, achieving five of the six largest entering classes in its history, increasing the number of on-campus residents, more than doubling the percentage of minority students, and achieving a four-year graduation rate higher than the benchmark for similar student bodies.
The University has also dramatically increased its financial strength, increasing total net assets, endowment, and total enrollment-related revenue. Dr. Corey has also led a record-setting fundraising effort, launching the University’s first comprehensive campaign, which raised over $47 million in four years, more than double any previous campaign in the University’s history. He also secured the largest single gift in Olivet history at $17.5 million, led the University to achieve fundraising records in four successive years, and secured planned gift commitments that double the future expectancy of the endowment. The campaign radically transformed the campus with millions of dollars invested in renovation and new construction projects across campus. The culminating accomplishment, the $21-million new Cutler Student Center, is scheduled to be completed and open to the Olivet community in January 2024.
Under his leadership, the University has accomplished unprecedented new program development, launching numerous new academic, athletic, and co-curricular programs.
Dr. Corey has also ensured the University’s strong commitment to the greater community through the establishment of the ONE Olivet Initiative, recognizing that a strong and thriving institution is dependent upon a strong, thriving and sustaining community.
Prior to joining Olivet, Dr. Corey served as executive vice president at Prescott College. He was responsible for planning and directing all aspects of the college’s administrative and operational policies, objectives and initiatives. While at Prescott, he also served as an associate Ph.D. faculty member and an adjunct faculty member in higher education finance, higher education organization and administration, nonprofit management, and other business management-related areas.
Before joining Prescott College, Dr. Corey held the position of fellow for administrative collaboratives with the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. Previous to TICUA, he spent 10 years with Cumberland University, where he held the positions of vice president for administration, vice president for athletics, director of sports medicine, and was a member of the teaching faculty.
In 2006, Dr. Corey was appointed by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and reappointed by Governor Jan Brewer to serve on the Arizona State Commission for Postsecondary Education, where he served as chair of the commission for three years.
He holds a doctorate in higher education finance from the University of Arizona, a Master of Business Administration from Cumberland University, a Master of Science from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Science from California State University at Fresno.
Dr. Corey was born and raised in Clovis, California. He is married to Kelly Corey, Ph.D., and has one adult daughter, Karli, a marine scientist living in Florida.
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