Randy Gardner was appointed by Governor Mike DeWine the 10th Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education in January 2019. As Chancellor, he oversees the state’s two-year and four-year colleges and universities and Ohio Technical Centers. In addition, the Chancellor provides policy guidance to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly and carries out state higher education policy.
During the first year of the DeWine Administration, Chancellor Gardner made more than 100 college and university visits to 74 different campuses, an ambitious schedule meeting with university leaders, faculty, and students throughout Ohio.
Before becoming Chancellor, Gardner served a combined total of 33 years in the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives. A well-respected leader, Gardner served in seven different elected leadership positions, including Senate President Pro Tem, House Speaker Pro Tem, and Senate Majority Leader during his final term in the Senate. He also served as chairman of both the House and Senate Higher Education committees.
In the General Assembly, his work ethic was exemplified by his 100% voting record over 33 years. His 10,433 consecutive roll call votes on bills, amendments, and resolutions earned him the nickname “the Cal Ripken of the state legislature.”
Gardner received his bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in political science, both from Bowling Green State University. Prior to his career in public service, he worked as a realtor and high school history and government teacher.
Gardner and his wife, Sandy, reside in Bowling Green and are the parents of three children — Brooks, Christina, and Austin.