Dr. Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D
The passion that the students, faculty, staff, and alumni have for John Carroll is inspiring, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this community ~Dr. Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D
John Carroll University Welcomes 25th President

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, OH — Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D.has been elected by the John Carroll University Board of Directors as the institution’s 25th president. The Board approved the decision on December 6, 2017. Dr. Johnson will join John Carroll on July 1, 2018, with an appointment that runs through 2023. 

Dr. Johnson currently serves as Provost of Babson College, the top-ranked school for entrepreneurship in the United States, where he is also Professor of Marketing. Prior to his role at Babson, he served for ten years as Dean, E.M. Statler Professor and Professor of Marketing at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, a global leader in hospitality education. Dr. Johnson was a Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan for 24 years, where he became the D. Maynard Phelps Professor, before joining Cornell University in 2006. 

“The passion that the students, faculty, staff, and alumni have for John Carroll is inspiring, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this community,” says Dr. Johnson. “As one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the country, John Carroll University is poised for growth with many distinctive programs and an exceptional faculty and staff.” 

He earned a doctorate in behavioral science and marketing and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.“Dr. Johnson was a transformative academic leader while Dean at Cornell, and will build upon John Carroll’s distinctive programs and strengths,” says John Carroll alumnus and chair of the Board of Directors, Michael Merriman. “Known for his transparent and collaborative leadership style, Dr. Johnson has excellent operational management, planning, and financial skills,” he adds. 

In his new role, Dr. Johnson has the full support and endorsement of the Very Reverend Brian Paulson, SJ, Provincial of the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus. 

“In my conversation with Dr. Johnson, I was deeply heartened to hear him say that as a committed Catholic, the opportunity to lead a Jesuit Catholic university will allow him to grow and deepen in his own faith, learn from our Jesuit tradition and serve the church and the world," says Paulson. 

Dr. Johnson emphasized his respect for the University’s mission, saying, “John Carroll University has a rich history in the Jesuit tradition of developing men and women for and with others; this community was built through the leadership of 24 Jesuits and I hope to honor their legacy with my service to this great university.” 

Dr. Johnson will succeed Jeanne M. Colleran, Ph.D., who has been serving as interim president since June 2017, when president Rev. Robert L. Niehoff, SJ, retired. 

In announcing the new president, Merriman noted, “The entire university community is deeply grateful to the leadership of Dr. Colleran. Her vision and high standards of excellence for our students, faculty, and staff over the past 30 years, and her keen sense of fairness and optimism during this transition year have positioned the university for continued success.” 

A 12-person Presidential Search Committee included members of the John Carroll University Board of Directors and its Jesuit community, as well as students, faculty, staff. It was conducted with the assistance of search consultant firm Issacson, Miller. 

Born in Bottineau, ND, Johnson grew up in Madison, WI. He is married to Jill Kobus Johnson. They have three adult sons: Alexander, Andrew, and Thomas. 

For more information on Dr. Johnson, and to view his welcome video, visit

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