Ohio University

Ohio University Board of Trustees names Dr. Hugh Sherman as President

Published: May 27, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. Hugh Sherman as 22nd president of Ohio University for a two-year term effective June 14, 2021.

Before stepping down in January 2021 with plans to return to faculty, Dr. Sherman served as the dean of the highly ranked College of Business. A professor of management, Dr. Sherman started his career with Ohio University as an assistant faculty member in 1995.

Under Sherman’s leadership, the College of Business was consistently ranked as one of the top 50 public undergraduate business colleges in the country, increasing its focus on student outcomes including retention, professional competencies, experiential education, and career placement, resulting in more than doubling the number of enrolled students.

"Hugh Sherman is a respected leader who accomplished a great deal during his time as dean of the College of Business and will make an excellent President during this time of transition,” Board of Trustees Chairman Cary Cooper said. “This two-year appointment was implemented to effectively position Dr. Sherman and the University for success as he steps into this critical role. My fellow Trustees and I have every confidence that Dr. Sherman will not only provide continuity but also be an inspiring and strategic leader for the institution for the next two years. We are thankful for his continued commitment to Ohio University.”

The Board intends to launch a search for the University’s 23rd president in early fall of 2022 with plans for an appointment to begin no later than July 1, 2023.

From 2007-2021, Dr. Sherman served as dean of Ohio University’s College of Business and as the Corlett Chair of Strategy and Senior Economic Policy Fellow in the Voinovich School for Leadership & Public Affairs. As dean, Dr. Sherman provided strategic vision for and oversight of the college’s undergraduate and graduate academic programs, research, student recruitment, alumni relations, fundraising, and industry relations.

“It is a great honor to serve a University and a region that I love and that I have called home for more than 20 years,” Dr. Sherman said. “I take this charge very seriously, and I am fully committed to partnering with students, faculty, staff and community members to move Ohio University forward in a way that honors our 217-year history but also positions us for future success.”

Following a 22-year career in business, Sherman moved into academia in 1995, first directing the MBA program at Ohio University as assistant dean. He subsequently rose into a number of critical leadership positions, including Chair of the Department of Management Systems, Associate Dean of Operations and Strategy, Associate Director of the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs, and Assistant to the University Provost for Strategic Planning. He currently serves as a senior fellow at the Voinovich School, providing strategic oversight of economic development and leadership programs.   

He launched his professional career with Swatch Watch (formerly SMH Corporation), a large Swiss watch and electronics manufacturer in 1974. He served as vice president of marketing until 1986 and during that time, was responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for a $50 million division as well as assisting the North American group president in developing strategic marketing and operational plans in the United States. During his time in the private sector, he also served as a consultant and founded International Footwear, operating eight factory outlet shoe stores throughout the U.S. East Coast.

Sherman and his wife, Cynthia (better known as Nikki), are active members of the Athens community and the larger Southeast Ohio region, recently establishing a scholarship for Appalachian students. Dr. Sherman also volunteers his time with various community organizations throughout the State of Ohio. He currently serves on the board of directors for TechGROWTH Ohio and the Ohio University Inn.

Dr. Sherman holds a B.A. in economics and finance from Guelph University (Canada), an MBA from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in strategic management and international business from Temple University. His research interests include corporate governance, international business, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

As announced to the University community on May 13, 2021, the University’s 21st President, Dr. M. Duane Nellis will transition to a faculty role at Ohio University effective July 1, 2021.