The University of Olivet Extends Presidency of Steven M. Corey, Ph.D.

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Transformational Leadership Recognized

The board of trustees of The University of Olivet has unanimously voted to extend the presidency of Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., for an additional five years. President Corey, who has led the institution since 2010, will continue to guide its strategic initiatives and vision through June 2029.

“The board of trustees is elated that Dr. Corey will continue to lead The University of Olivet for five additional years. History will show him as one of the most influential leaders ever at The University of Olivet. Dr. Corey is an incisive and compassionate leader. He has served Olivet College and The University of Olivet well for over a decade, steering the organization through the enormous challenge caused by a global pandemic and now setting us on a course for success through the transition from ‘college’ to ‘university,’” said Timothy Hodge ’83, D.O., chair of The University of Olivet Board of Trustees.

Under President Corey’s visionary leadership, the institution evolved from Olivet College to The University of Olivet on August 1, 2023, marking its progression into a more comprehensive institution. The University of Olivet has implemented the bold strategic plan, Olivet 2030: Vision for a Prosperous Future, aimed at enhancing accessibility and expanding educational opportunities. The University remains dedicated to providing a personalized, relationship-based educational experience, particularly for first-generation and low-to-moderate-income students.

Key achievements under President Corey’s leadership include:

  • Introduction of the UOlivet ADVANTAGE Scholarship: Offering full tuition coverage for eligible Michigan students, supporting over 80% of first-time students. The University was among the first in Michigan to announce a free tuition program for first-time students.
  • Establishment of The UOlivet ADVANTAGE: Four guarantees are made to students: graduation in four years (when an agreed academic plan is followed), internship and research experience, study abroad opportunity, and service opportunity.
  • Launch of Olivet Direct!: A direct-admission partnership program simplifying the admissions process for qualified first-year students. Presently, there are 18 partner institutions, including high schools, community colleges and community organizations.
  • Establishment of The Graduate School: Offering three online graduate programs with multiple concentrations in Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Leadership and Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, with others in development.
  • Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB): Achieved a senior leadership team of 50% women and 20% persons of color and established the first UOlivet Office of DEIB.
  • Advancement of International Strategic Partnerships: Connecting UOlivet’s high quality MBA program to students from India. Presently UOlivet has partnered with five India institutions and launched its first course in the spring 2024 term.
  • Launch of 15 New Undergraduate Academic Programs: New bachelor’s degree programs include social work, nursing, chemistry with forensic science and degree completion programs in business, psychology, liberal studies and criminal justice.
  • Commitment to leadership development: Created the President’s Leadership Institute (PLI), Womens’ Leadership Institute, Employee Leadership Academy, and most recently, the Master of Arts in Leadership. PLI has served more than 200 students thus far (63% women, 24% minority).
  • Increased the Number of On-Campus Residents by 47%: Achieved the largest on-campus residency in UOlivet history, with 85% of students living on campus.
  • Increased High-Impact Student Engagement Opportunities to Enhance Student Learning, Development and Satisfaction: Highlights include 91% of first-year students and 100% of seniors participating in a high-impact experience, 93% of first-year students participating in service learning, and 92% of seniors participating in an internship or field experience. UOlivet has launched seven new athletic programs, a Gospel choir, other vocal and instrumental ensembles, and new service and leadership programs, and it has reinstated the marching band.
  • Increased Commitment to the Greater Community: This includes joining the Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Detroit promise programs, providing scholarship opportunities for graduates of Olivet Community Schools, and establishing a grant program for education and community support in the City of Olivet.
  • Recognized as “Best College” Multiple Years: US News & World Report Best Regional Midwest College and Washington Monthly Best College for Social Mobility.

Under President Corey’s oversight, The University has completely redesigned its enrollment strategy, achieving six of the seven largest entering classes in its history, more than doubling the percentage of underrepresented minority students to 32%, and achieving a four-year graduation rate 19 percentage points higher than institutions with similar student bodies as surveyed by The UCLA Higher Education Research Institute (HERI).

The University has also dramatically increased its financial strength, increasing total net assets, endowment, and total enrollment-related revenue. President Corey 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. The campaign radically transformed the campus, with the culminating accomplishment, the $21-million new Cutler Student Center, which opened in January 2024.

“It’s been a privilege to serve The University of Olivet community for the past 14 years as its president. This institution is a special place with a distinctive 180-year commitment to changing lives through a relationship-based educational approach, particularly for those who have traditionally been underserved,” Corey said. “I’m excited about our evolution to university status and look forward to working with the board, faculty and UOlivet community in the years ahead as we bring a UOlivet education to new types of students in new programs here in Michigan, across the country and around the world.”

President Corey 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.

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at admissions@UOlivet.edu or 269-749-7635.


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