BGSU VP is Owens interim president

By Marie Thomas-Baird -

William K. Balzer

William K. Balzer

supplied photo

PERRYSBURG — A Bowling Green State University vice president will serve as interim president at Owens Community College for the next year.

The college’s board of trustees on Tuesday named William K. Balzer, Ph.D. to serve as interim president.

Balzer will start Aug. 10. He is taking a leave of absence as a professor of industrial-organizational psychology at BGSU and will return to that campus when his year at Owens is up.

He will be paid $200,000 for the term.

Former President Steve Robinson departed July 17 to serve as president of Lansing Community College. Robinson served as president of the college since 2018 after serving as provost and vice president of academic affairs.

“We are very excited to bring Dr. Balzer’s depth of experience to Owens as we search for our next president,” said Mary Beth Hammond, trustee chairperson. “We will benefit greatly not only from that experience but also the relationships of mutual respect he has built with his colleagues at BGSU and the other four-year institutions that Owens has built partnerships with over the years.”

Balzer has more than 35 years of experience in higher education. He has served as vice president for Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at BGSU since 2013. His responsibilities include providing leadership in the implementation of the collective bargaining agreement with the BGSU Faculty Association, representing the administration on issues related to the contract, and supporting the professional development of Department chairs and school directors at the university. In addition, he had the responsibility of helping support strategic planning and implementation and other strategic initiatives to advance the University.

“I want to thank the board of trustees for both their confidence and the privilege to serve as interim president at Owens Community College,” Balzer said. “I look forward to working closely over the coming year with the leadership team, faculty, and staff to continue to advance the college’s success in providing students with an affordable and high-quality education to meet their professional and personal goals and enrich the economic vitality of northwest Ohio.”

Balzer earned a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from New York University, a master of science in industrial-organizational psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor of arts in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Balzer is a member of the Association of Academic Personnel Administrators, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Society. He has also served as a member of several community boards.

The board of trustees is in the process of conducting a president search.

Hammond said at Tuesday’s meeting the search committee consists of six volunteers — identified for their community service as well as their service to the college — as well as herself and trustees Dee Talmage and Karil Morrissey.

They soon will start reviewing the proposals from search agencies, Hammond said.

The deadline has passed for requests from agencies to conduct the search, and Hammond said she was pleased with the response.

William K. Balzer K. Balzer supplied photo

By Marie Thomas-Baird