Ashland University hires Jon Parrish Peede as president after Carlos Campo's retirement

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jon Parrish Peede is the next president of Ashland University and Ashland Theological Seminary.

His selection was announced Wednesday in a news release prepared by Hugh Howard, a university spokesperson.

Peede, 55, begins June 1.

Carlos Campo is retiring as the university's president to become the CEO of the Museum of the Bible.

Campo has spent the past nine years leading AU.

The university's board of trustees unanimously approved Peede's hiring — the presidential search committee included trustees, alumni, faculty, staff and a student representative.

Jon Parris Peede
Jon Parris Peede

"I am honored to serve the Ashland students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and supporters," Peede said in the news release. "I admire the university's steadfast commitment to its Christian heritage, liberal arts core, graduate programs and high teaching standards."

Prior experience with Ashland University

Peede’s career has spanned six institutions and 25 years.

He was chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C., from July 2017 to January 2021, a position that is presidentially nominated and U.S. Senate confirmed. In that role, Peede personally awarded more than 1,000 annual grants, managed a $237 million annual budget and oversaw a 170-person full-time staff.

In July 2017, he served as a visiting faculty member of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Ashland University, and he has spoken in Ohio at numerous public events. That experience left him with a positive impression of the university.

"Whether speaking with a conservative Ashbrook scholar at a congressional event or a progressive novelist on your campus, I found the same foundational beliefs, namely a firm commitment to intellectual rigor, freedom of expression and mutual respect," Peede said.

Peede has served the University of Virginia as the publisher of the Virginia Quarterly Review, a national journal of literature and discussion.

For the National Endowment for the Arts, Peede was director of Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, director of literature grants and counselor to the endowment's chairperson.

At Millsaps College, Peede was the director of communications. At Mercer University Press he edited academic books.

Peede is co-editor of the essay collection "Inside the Church of Flannery O’Connor: Sacrament, Sacramental, and the Sacred in Her Fiction."

Peede will be leaving Mississippi Valley State University, where he is an educational consultant and a faculty member in the department of English and foreign languages.

Since 2022, he has been co-director of the American Civics Project, which provides K-12 educators with resources and professional development opportunities.

'An innovative and strategic thinker'

Peede grew up in Brandon, Mississippi, then got his bachelor's from Vanderbilt University before earning a master's degree in Southern studies from the University of Mississippi.

He also holds and will complete a doctorate in English pedagogy at Murray State University in May 2025.

Peede is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and American Mensa.

Peede is married to the Rev. Nancy Hollomon-Peede, who has been a spiritual director and minister for various denominations and churches during her 35-year career in ministry. She also served as a chaplain at Harvard University.

They have a daughter, Somerset, who is pursuing a postgraduate viola performance degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia.

Peede joined more than 60 people in applying to be president of Ashland University.

Peede stood out because of his leadership qualities and his ability to "navigate the changes in higher education," according to Jim Hess, chairman of the AU Board of Trustees.

"Jon is an innovative and strategic thinker who will build on all the good that is currently in place and move us forward to a brighter tomorrow," Hess said. "Jon aligns well with our AU values and Brethren identity. He shares our passion for shaping graduates who work, serve and lead with integrity. Jon will lead our university community in passionately pursuing excellence in everything we do. Our Board welcomes Jon and Nancy to our Ashland University and Ashland Theological Seminary community."

Campo has been AU's president since 2015.

"I look forward to building upon the momentum of Dr. Campo’s administration," Peede said. "I cannot wait to work with the faculty and staff who give so much of themselves to mentor students and transform lives. Nancy and I are overjoyed about joining the Ashland community."


This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Ashland University has hired Jon Parrish Peede as its next president