Carol Biliczky

Alliance: Another Akron-area college president has announced his retirement: Richard Giese of the University of Mount Union.

He joins Hiram College’s Tom Chema, the University of Akron’s Luis Proenza and Kent State’s Lester Lefton as presidents who previously said they were stepping down.

“One of the most valuable services a president can render to an institution is to choose the right time to step aside,” Giese said in a media release. “After much deliberation, [my wife] Sandy and I are convinced that June of 2015 is that right time.”

Giese, 64, has spent almost 30 years at Mount Union, a private institution that enrolls about 2,200 students. He joined the college in 1978 as a faculty member teaching physical education and later held administrative jobs that included vice president for enrollment services and vice president for institutional advancement.

He left Alliance to become president of Monmouth College, a private, liberal arts college of 1,300 students in Monmouth, Ill., in 1997, then returned to Mount Union in 2005 as its president.

Since then, Giese has overseen the introduction of 19 new undergraduate programs in fields like environmental science, nursing and civil engineering, and the launch of two new graduate programs, the first on campus in more than a century.

His tenure also saw a $100 million investment in the Alliance campus, record-breaking freshman classes in 2007, 2008 and 2012, and a record full-time enrollment in 2010.

His total compensation was $431,889 in 2011, according to the industry newspaper the Chronicle of Higher Education, which tracks the pay for private college presidents through university tax returns.

Giese holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College, masters degrees from Concordia Seminary in Exile and Washington University and a doctorate from Kent State.

Mount Union trustees, chaired by Randy Hunt, will begin the search for a new president.

Carol Biliczky can be reached at cbiliczky@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3729.