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Loeschner, Ray B.

 Person

Biographical Note

Ray B. Loeschner was born in McCordsville, Indiana, and grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended Grand Rapids Junior College where he earned an associate of arts degree in 1951. In 1953, he graduated from Albion College with a B.A. He completed his education by earning an M.A. and a Ph.D. in psychology-guidance and administration at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In 1970 Loeschner as appointed the president of Olivet College, and he became president of Ohio Northern University in 1977.

One of Loeschner’s first priorities was to prepare Ohio Northern for an anticipated enrollment decline in the 1980s. For Loeschner this meant looking at potentially cutting costs through curricular changes (primarily in the College of Liberal Arts) and an attempt to overhaul the tenure system for faculty. Loeschner’s approach to these issues, along with his handling of dismissals for a small number faculty, caused almost immediate tensions between himself and the campus faculty. Additionally, a decision to switch from a quarter based academic calendar to a semester based calendar despite faculty objections further exacerbated campus tensions.

During his brief presidency Loeschner also worked to add new programs to the university, including the creation of a new College of Business Administration (the college was formed by moving the Business Administration and Economics Department out of the College of Liberal Arts), and the reinstatement of the university marching band and swim team. Unfortunately, tensions remained high between the President and other campus stakeholders, most notably the faculty. The faculty drafted a white paper that was highly critical of the President, and shared it with the Board of Trustees. Shortly afterwards, Loeschner decided not to renew the contract of the Dean of Liberal Arts, who was the only Dean to sign the letter. This led to the faculty organizing a meeting to hold a vote of no confidence in the president. A vote was avoided when Loeschner resigned on the morning of April 26th 1979, the same day the meeting was to be held.

To address growing tension between Dr. Loeschner and both faculty and staff a white paper was drafted. The only dean to sign it was the the Dean of Liberal Arts Bernard Linger, coincidentally his contract was not renewed. On July 31, 1979 Dr. Loeschner resigned and in August 1979, Dr. Harry Bolz was named Interim President. Previously he had served as the Dean of the College of Engineering. His tenure lasted only a month before his replacement was found.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Ray B. Loeschner

 Series
Identifier: 4
Collection Overview From the Collection: This collection contains various records related to the Office of the President beginning in 1930 with the Presidency of Robert Williams. Common records found in the collection include reports, memos, inauguration records, speeches and various printed materials.
Dates: 1930-2011