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As a Jesuit Catholic university committed to academic rigor, inclusive excellence, and care for the whole person, John Carroll inspires individuals of intellect and character to learn, lead, and serve in the community and throughout the world.

JCU picture with person in a leadership position


25th President of John Carroll University


Welcome to John Carroll University! It is a great time to be a Blue Streak, and an exciting time for our University. We are proud to welcome the Class of 2023 and to celebrate our recognition as the #2 regional university in the Midwest in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings. This is a milestone, as it represents our 31st consecutive year in top 10.

At John Carroll, we inspire individuals to excel in learning, leadership, and service in the region and in the world. Our values and mission challenge us to lead in a very particular and effective way. Jesuits refer to it as “our way of proceeding.” I call it “Inspired Leadership” – leading not by power, position, or authority, but by supporting those around us, leading by example, encouraging excellence, and inspiring others to do the same. It is the development of a group that collaborates and innovates, just as Saint Ignatius did with the Society of Jesus so many years ago.

Thank you for your interest in John Carroll. I hope you will have the opportunity to visit our campus and learn more about the lasting impact and value of a JCU education.

Best wishes,
Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D.

Michael D. Johnson became the 25th President of John Carroll University in May of 2018. Dr. Johnson also joined the Boler College of Business as a professor in the department of Management, Marketing and Supply Chain. A social scientist by training, Dr. Johnson previously served as Provost of Babson College (2016-2018) where he was Professor of Marketing. Prior to becoming Provost at Babson, Dr. Johnson served as Dean, E.M. Statler Professor and Professor of Services Marketing at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration for 10 years.  He was previously at the University of Michigan, where he was the D. Maynard Phelps Collegiate Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Marketing at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. 

During his time at John Carroll, President Johnson has focused his efforts on the University’s academic accreditations, fundraising, strategic planning, managing through COVID-19, cost restructuring, and improving facilities. In academic year 2018-2019 John Carroll received highly successful reaccreditations from three major accrediting bodies, the Higher Learning Commission, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (both in Business and Accounting), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Fundraising success to date includes $36 million in new gifts and commitments in fiscal year 2019, a record high for the University, and naming gifts for the Boler College of Business, the Kramer School of Accountancy and Information Sciences, and the Donnelly School of Leadership and Social Innovation. 

From fall of 2019 through fall of 2020, President Johnson led the University community through the development of Igniting the Future: The Strategic Plan for John Carroll University 2021-2026. Focused on new academic programs and an integrated approach to student success, the plan was formally approved by the Board of Directors in December 2020. Highlights include:

  • A vision that builds upon John Carroll’s strengths in the arts and sciences while enhancing its reputation through distinction in health, business, analytics, and experiential learning. 
  • A strong commitment to building and sustaining a more diverse living, learning, and working environment. 
  • Growing underleveraged degree programs in biology and business while developing new programs in health, business, STEM concentrations, and integrated analytics. 
  • Expanding student populations with a focus on graduate and transfer students. 
  • Reimagining academic structures to be more impactful, effective and efficient. 
  • Development of an integrated student success model that continues to foster a culture of care. 
  • Significant investments in enrollment management, marketing, and campus facilities in support of undergraduate and graduate enrollment and retention.  

By March 2020, in the midst of the strategic planning process, the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented uncertainty in John Carroll’s finances and fundamentally changed how the University interacts with its students and other stakeholders. The University successfully transitioned to an online environment, controlled its costs, invested in classroom technology and extensive faculty training, and reopened campus in January 2021 using a HyFlex (hybrid) model of instruction.  

The President’s overall plan for John Carroll focuses on enrollment growth through implementation of the strategic plan and the reduction of historically high cost structures. In May 2020 President Johnson announced a three-year restructuring plan to reduce John Carroll’s pre-COVID staff, faculty, and general expense costs by $15 million. The plan includes an additional $5 million in temporary savings for fiscal year 2021 directly related to the uncertainties of the pandemic. As of January 2021, over $10 million in structural cost savings have been implemented and/or identified and over $5 million in temporary savings achieved. 

In 2018, President Johnson engaged with John Carroll’s Student Government to identify and implement a set of facilities projects on campus to directly enhance the student experience. Results to date include the creation of new and/or renovated campus fitness facilities, music facilities, student organization offices, student meeting and lounge spaces, remote dining options, and an outdoor patio. The University is in Phase I of a two-phase planned renovation of its library and student learning center, the future home of its student success center. The planned renovation of iconic Dolan Hall, a new tennis facility, and a renovation and repurposing of the University Book Store are all scheduled for construction in summer 2021. 

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


Ph.D., University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

MBA, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Letters and Science

Follow Dr. Johnson on social media!

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Maura Jochum '11, '14G
Executive Assistant to the President