NEWARK — Central Ohio Technical College President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., has announced that she will retire from the presidency effective January 1, 2019. Coe assumed the role of president at the two-year institution on May 24, 2004. She had previously served the college as vice president and dean of faculty from 2001.

  • Joshua Morrison/News Central Ohio Technical College President Bonnie Coe, with help from Zanesville Police Officer Steve Carles, right, unveils the new memorial honoring the students and alumni of the Institute for Public Services and Safety killed in the line of duty. Newark Police Officer Derrick Beach, kneeling, lays flowers at the base. The memorial was unveiled on Monday and includes the name of Danville Police Officer Thomas Cottrell who died in the line of duty on Jan. 17, 2016.
  • Virgil Shipley/News Award winners at the Knox County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner include, front row, from left, Michele Engelbach of The Ohio Eastern Star Home, Heart Award; Karen Buchwald Wright of Ariel Foundation, Quality of Life Award; Mark Ramser of Ohio Cumberland Gas, Lifetime Achievement Award; Kelly Brenneman of United Way of Knox County, Paul Slaughter Volunteer of the Year; and Lorraine Davis of Buckeye Stoves, Small Business of the Year; second row, Dr. Bonnie Coe of Central Ohio Technical College, Business of the Year; Deb Kirk of Peoples Bank of Gambier, Judy Klavins Ambassador of the Year; Randy Canterbury of Knox Recycling, Environmental Sustainability Award; Kathy Greenich of Knox County Career Center, Investor in the Future Award; and Cindy Higgs of First-Knox National Bank, Women in Business Award.
  • Sarah Poole/News Dr. Bonnie Coe has made it her life’s mission to help students through educational opportunities through her career as Central Ohio Technical College president.

“I am confident of COTC’s promising future, an excellent team is in place, and the faculty and staff’s continued belief in the transformative power of higher education will carry COTC into its next 50 years,” said Coe.

After assuming the presidency at COTC, Coe reaffirmed the college’s longstanding mission of providing high-quality programs of technical education leading to in-demand jobs. While keeping COTC’s commitment to accessibility at the forefront, Coe positioned the college for growth by implementing critical advances in the college’s infrastructure, resources, programming and leadership, resulting in increased institutional efficiency, productivity and quality academic programming. Through Coe’s leadership fiscal management was also a top priority and by June 30, 2011, the college had eliminated or covered all debt and remains debt free.

Additionally, Coe became a champion for the state’s College Credit Plus program, which establishes clear pathways for high school and middle school students to earn college credit at no cost. During the autumn 2017 semester, COTC enrolled more than 1,200 CCP students.

The COTC of today is a dramatically different college from 2004. Under Coe’s leadership, COTC implemented an aggressive plan for outreach and growth, establishing three Higher Learning Commission accredited full-service campuses in Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala in addition to its main campus in Newark. The COTC Gateway, a one-stop shop for admissions, advising and records, was recognized nationally as a model for seamless student service in a centralized location.

“Bonnie’s vision for COTC has been in perfect alignment with the board,” said COTC Board Chair John Hinderer. “Growing the college and strengthening its financial position were our two major directives to her as president, and she has achieved these goals and more. We will be forever indebted to Bonnie for her contributions to COTC.”

The 12-month period until her retirement will allow a smooth transition of leadership between Coe and her successor. Robert Montagnese, COTC board vice chair, and president & CEO of Licking Memorial Health Systems, is chairing the presidential search committee with executive support from Jacqueline Parrill, Ph.D., COTC vice president for institutional planning and human resources.

Coe previously served at Sinclair Community College, as a high school principal and teacher and hospital administrator. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Dayton, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from The Ohio State University.

For those wishing to recognize Coe’s years of service to the college, she gratefully asks that any contributions be made to COTC’s Premier Scholarship fund. Additionally, Coe asks colleagues and friends to provide personal notes and cards that she can read after departing the college. Cards should be labeled “retirement” and dropped off or mailed to the COTC Office of the President, 1179 University Dr., Newark, OH 43055.

Previous presidents of COTC are: Robert A. Barnes, Ph.D., 1971-1979; Julius S. Greenstein, Ph.D., 1980-1994; Rafael L. Cortada, Ph.D., 1994-1999; Anne C. Federlein, Ph.D., 1999-2004; and Coe, 2004-2018.

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  • Under President Coe’s leadership and vision for broadening access to education, COTC became and remains the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campuses. Aggressive outreach spearheaded by Coe included the establishment of three additional Higher Learning Commission accredited full-service COTC campuses in Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala, dramatically furthering the college’s ability to provide access to Ohioans. Each extended campus has its own Gateway for student services, as well as tutoring, computer labs and library resources.

  • Coshocton campus — coordinated efforts with community leaders in Coshocton and representatives from education, business and healthcare resulted in the establishment of the Coshocton campus. Montgomery Hall opened in 2008 in historic Roscoe Village as the permanent site of COTC’s Coshocton campus. The college had been offering classes in the county since 1977. The Coshocton Campus Capital Campaign concluded with just over $5 million.

  • Knox campus — Ariel Hall opened in 2012 as COTC’s permanent Knox campus, although the college had offered courses in the county since 1977. The Knox Capital campaign raised just over $5 million. Additionally, $1 million in supplemental capital dollars were awarded for the Knox Campus Arial Hall project. This was the first time in college history supplemental capital dollars were received.

  • The Pataskala campus — opened in its current location in western Licking County in 2010, just five years after the college began offering courses in Pataskala. It is the command center for the Institute for Public Safety.

  • Coe oversaw the development and implementation of the COTC Gateway, a groundbreaking concept for student customer service featuring a one-stop shop for admissions, advising and records. This student-oriented model increased capacity and provided a single point of access for students seeking seamless service in a centralized location. The Gateway was recognized in 2008 as Innovation of the Year by The League for Innovation in the Community College. Its replication on each of the extended campuses has been incredibly successful. The Gateway also was nominated for a Bellwether Award by the Community College Futures Assembly, which recognizes cutting-edge, trend-setting programs around the country that are successfully leading community colleges into the future.

  • Under Coe’s leadership, COTC continued as a model of efficiency in the state with its long-standing partner, The Ohio State University at Newark. The co-located institutions have shared the Newark regional campus, its land, its buildings and its people, in a partnership of fiscal efficiency and collaborative campus planning. This long-standing partnership is at the forefront of daily operations and long-term planning, and is a recognized model of shared services and resources.

  • Coe led COTC to the highly successful completion of the Next Generation Challenge scholarship campaign. In close collaboration with Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, the campaign raised more than $20 million in endowed scholarships for students at both institutions, creating a broad range of new opportunities in educational access.

  • Due to aggressive fiscal management along with the implementation of institutional efficiencies, Coe led COTC to fiscal solvency. By 2011, the college had eliminated or covered all debt and remains debt free.

  • During Coe’s tenure, COTC launched its first cultural immersion program. Privately funded through philanthropists J. Gilbert and Louella Reese, the Italian/American cultural immersion program offers a unique opportunity for a two-year institution to expose students to other cultures and expand the learning experience beyond the classroom.

  • Coe initiated the development of COTC’s Institute for Public Safety to manage the college’s law enforcement, criminal justice, basic police academy, fire science and emergency services programs under one academic umbrella.

  • Coe launched COTC’s Workforce Development Innovation Center (WDIC) in 2011 to offer customized for-credit and non-credit training and education to further meet the needs of area employers.

  • Under Coe’s guidance, COTC worked to continually re-access the needs of local employers, leading to new program development in high-demand areas such as: Culinary Science, Fire Science and Manufacturing Technology, among others. The Business Management Technology associate degree was approved to be offered completely online and the Associate of Technical Studies, Associate of Arts and Associate of Science were added to degrees offered by the college (the latter two allowing for the seamless transition from COTC to other four-year public institutions in the state).

  • Program accreditation was a high priority during Coe’s presidency, providing external validation of the high quality of COTC’s programs. Just a few of the many program accreditations held by COTC during her tenure include: international accreditation by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ETAC/ABET), Associate Degree in Nursing program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Fire Science technology accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress, and Radiologic Science Technology degree program accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

  • Coe became a champion for the state’s College Credit Plus (CCP) program, which establishes clear pathways for high school and middle school students to earn college credit at no cost. During the autumn 2017 semester, COTC enrolled more than 1,200 CCP students.

  • Coe oversaw the transformation of COTC’s Newark campus, which is shared with Ohio State Newark. New buildings completed during her presidency include:

    • John L. and Christine Warner Library and Student Center dedicated in 2008. This 81,000 square foot building with 25,000 square feet of dedicated library space includes a student center with food court, student affairs and student organization offices, learning commons, student lounge and activity areas and a bookstore. More than 90 percent of the Warner Center’s $20 million construction costs were private funds.

    • A new 15,000 square foot Facilities Operations Building opened in May 2016. The $3.65 million project was financially supported by both COTC and Ohio State Newark.

    • The Adena Recreation Center opened in 2017. The $3.7 million renovation project was funded by both COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark through state funds.

    • The 40,000 square-foot Jane C. and William T. McConnell Residence Hall opened in August 2017. The $13.9 million project is open to both COTC and Ohio State Newark students.

  • Coe led the launch of COTC’s College ASPIRE summer camp to provide local middle and high school students with an educational summer program to showcase hands-on learning experiences and introduce new career paths.

  • Coe reactivated the college’s Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness to facilitate

  • During Coe’s tenure COTC broke the 3,000 mark with total headcount for the first time in the college’s history.

  • COTC completed the highly successful quarter to semester conversion under Coe’s leadership.

  • Coe established both a COTC Alumni Program and Alumni Council.

  • Under Coe’s guidance, a new enterprise system was implemented to meet escalating operational needs. This massive college-wide project provided automated institutional business processes, convenient web access and self-service for students and employees.

  • COTC was approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program to accept students on F-1 Visas at all four of its locations in Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.

  • During her tenure, COTC generated more than $58 million per year in economic activity, according to a 2014 Impact Data Source research study.


  • In 2004, Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., became the first sole president of Central Ohio Technical College. At that time, Newark campus leadership and the boards of trustees decided to appoint independent leadership for COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark, as opposed to sharing a single chief administrator as they had done since COTC’s creation in 1971. The long-standing COTC/Ohio State Newark cost-share agreement, however, remained in place, allowing the two institutions to retain efficiencies gained by the sharing of personnel and facilities.

  • 2004-present – president, Central Ohio Technical College (COTC)

  • 2001-2004 – COTC vice president and dean of faculty

  • 1995-2001-Sinclair Community College AIM Center/NSF project “National Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing Education,” interim director and co-principal investigator

  • 1994-2001 – International educational consulting (private contracts)

  • 1990-1994 – principal, Tri-Village High School

  • 1986-1989 – teacher, chemistry and physics, Tri-Village High School

  • 1974-1976 – Director of Nursing Staff Development, Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

  • 1970-1974 – Director of Education and Training, B.W. Martin Memorial Hospital, Mount Vernon, Ohio


  • 2017 Woman of the Year Leadership Award – Zonta Club of Newark, Newark, Ohio

  • 2015 Excellence in Higher Education Leadership Award – ACE Ohio Women’s Network

  • 2011 Regional U.S. Chief Executive Officer Award – Association of Community College Trustees Conference, Central Region

  • 2010 Bravo Award – Newark Rotary

  • 2008 Community Leader of the Year – LEADS

  • 2008 Women in Business Leadership Award – Knox County Chamber of Commerce

  • 2005 Licking County Women of Achievement

  • 2003 Mayor’s Proclamation – “Commendation for Visionary Leadership and Commitment to the Coshocton Education Center,” Coshocton, Ohio

  • 2001 The Bing Davis Lifetime Achievement Award, Appalachian Unsung Hero Award Program

  • 1990 Recognition from the Ohio House of Representatives for “tremendous contributions in the field of education”


  • First Federal Savings and Loan, Newark, Ohio (current)

  • The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology, Newark, Ohio (2004-2011)

  • Kendal at Granville, Granville, Ohio (2005-2011)


  • Harvard — Graduate School of Education July 2005; Post-Doctoral: Harvard Seminar for New Presidents; Graduate School of Education July 2002; and Post-Doctoral: Institute for Educational Management.

  • The University of Dayton — Ph.D. August 2002 and Educational Leadership.

  • The Ohio State University — Master of Science: Education, Communication & Administration 1973 and Bachelor of Science: Zoology 1970.



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