Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D., is the 15th president of Thomas More University. President Chillo began his tenure on June 1, 2019, and since his arrival has been celebrated for his contributions to the community as an effective leader in values-based, Catholic education in the region. In 2021 the Northern Kentucky Tribune named President Chillo among its NewsMakers, a recognition reserved for high-achieving, community servant leaders who play a significant role in Northern Kentucky and for the second year in a row President Chillo was named by Cincinnati Magazine as one of the region’s 300 most powerful business leaders.
A visionary leader, President Chillo builds upon the distinguished legacy of the University, discovering and pursuing opportunities that advance Thomas More’s reputation as the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region. Most recently, President Chillo introduced the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan - Lighting the Way, designed to propel the University forward through innovation and agility. In support of this plan, President Chillo and his leadership team announced the largest comprehensive capital campaign in University history, the Second Century Campaign: It’s Time for More. Raising an impressive $15.7M during its silent phase, the campaign promises to secure the funds necessary to ensure continued student success, academic innovation, and a commitment to responsible stewardship. Under President Chillo’s capable leadership the University has secured record-breaking enrollment as the University’s physical footprint has continued to grow, and steps have been taken to elevate Thomas More University athletics through provisional acceptance into the Great Midwest Athletic Conference and submission of application to join NCAA Division II.
President Chillo – a first-generation college student - holds his bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University, a Master of Public Administration from Long Island University, and a Doctor of Law and Policy from Northeastern University. He has pursued executive leadership development through the Council of Independent Colleges, the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Seminar for New Presidents, and the Institute for Educational Management (IEM) offered by Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Prior to his leadership at Thomas More, President Chillo was the fifth president and professor of humanities at Newbury College, a private, independent college located near Boston. With more than 25 years of private higher education experience, prior to Newbury, his past positions include senior leadership roles at Colby-Sawyer College, Wheelock College, and St. Thomas Aquinas College. President Chillo and his wife, Laura, reside in northern Kentucky and have two teenage children – a son and a daughter who both attend Villa Madonna Academy.
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