Office of the President


President John M. Berry, PhD

President John Berry

John M. Berry, PhD, assumed the role of COTC president on January 1, 2019, and is the college’s second sole president. He was unanimously selected by the COTC Board of Trustees after a nationwide search.

Having previously served as director of student life at COTC, Berry returned to the college after positions at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina; Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio; and most recently, BridgeValley Community and Technical College in Montgomery, West Virginia.

After starting his own education at a community college, Berry went on to earn a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration from The Ohio State University.

Meeting the needs of our students

Friends of Central Ohio Technical College (COTC),

In March, when COTC took the immense and extraordinary step of shifting all services to remote delivery formats due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we could scarcely imagine that six months later we would begin autumn semester continuing most services in that mode.

Throughout the pandemic, the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff have remained our top priorities, as did our commitment to continue offering exceptional academic experiences for our students. We were exceptionally gratified, then, that amid widespread health and economic uncertainty across the state and country, COTC exceeded our summer semester 2020 enrollment goal. Additionally, enrollment trends for autumn showed a 7% increase in online enrollment and a 10% increase in transfer student enrollment.

My friends, the message is clear – even during the challenges brought about by the pandemic, our community members trust COTC to continue offering high quality, relevant and affordable education that prepares them to immediately step into local in-demand jobs and transfer to four-year institutions.

Affordability, accessibility, student-first philosophy key to success

I’m also very proud to report that COTC responded quickly to the crisis with multiple bold and supportive measures. In April, we announced the availability of more than $1 million in scholarships for the 20-21 academic year – with a special allocation specifically for displaced workers impacted by the pandemic. Broad availability of scholarship dollars has long set COTC apart from other area institutions, an advantage the college enjoys directly because of the incredibly generous support of our donors.

In continuing our student-first philosophy, COTC also announced our “We’re Here for Our Students Promise,” in which the college promises to do everything in our power to ensure that students’ educational paths are not adversely affected due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, COTC announced the temporary modification of our admissions policy to “test optional” through autumn 2020 to allow all who want to take advantage of COTC’s career training and upskilling opportunities to enroll without delay. Finally, COTC is further adapting to meet the current needs of students by offering a selection of accelerated-format (eight weeks versus 15 weeks) general education courses during the second term of autumn semester. All courses will be taught remotely, offering peace of mind during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On-campus safety protocols

For the continued health and safety of students, faculty and staff, COTC is conducting the majority of our autumn semester classes remotely, with face-to-face instruction only occurring for classes that require a student’s physical presence in a laboratory (primarily healthcare program labs). All COTC student support services and academic advising will remain available remotely at this time, with limited on-campus services for those needing them. On campus, COTC is also following CDC guidelines to lessen the spread of COVID-19, including classroom occupancy limits, physical distancing, enhanced daily cleaning, safety signage and the use of personal protective equipment. COTC will follow this academic plan for the entire autumn semester regardless of any positive developments around the pandemic.

Unfortunately, due to the state-wide economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), COTC’s state share of instruction for FY20-21 was cut by 4.38% in early July. After extensive deliberation and careful consideration, the college has made a number of significant and difficult decisions to respond to budget shortfalls through organizational changes, academic program eliminations and restructures, as well as operational budget cuts. These budgetary adjustments will be combined with a plan to use both institutional reserves and CARES Act funding allowing COTC to manage the exceptional financial challenges presented by COVID-19. Although the state of Ohio is certainly not yet beyond the effects of the crisis, we are confident that the college’s decisions are right for COTC at this time and that these actions, while extremely difficult, will help ensure the future fiscal health of the college. 

Lastly, the Office of the Provost will continue to evaluate all credit program offerings to ensure they are both viable and serving students in the best and most efficient ways possible. These reviews will be ongoing for at least the next two academic years and may result in further restructuring in the future.

Against this evolving backdrop, the urgent calls for social justice reforms in the United States compelled us to recommit to being a positive force for change, helping our campus and larger communities listen, learn, understand and heal during this time.

I am incredibly proud of our college. I again convey my deep thanks to the COTC faculty, staff and students. I thank them for their creativity, for their diligence and dedication, and most especially for their resilience.

My goal is to maintain the standard of excellence COTC has always continued to offer. Together, we will move ahead with a singular focus to help our students build successful futures by engaging with our industries, communities and employers to uncover opportunities that will address workforce needs, positively influence communities and impact lives for decades to come.

Stay Healthy, Stay Helpful, Stay Hopeful,

John M. Berry, Ph.D.


COTC Legends of Loyalty

Legends of Loyalty Logo

The “Legends of Loyalty” award was established by the Office of the President to identify and recognize the recipients’ dedication and commitment to the college. It spotlights individuals who have, over the years, made a significant impact on the history of the college, and have gone above and beyond their required duties and proven unselfish allegiance.