Johnson, J. Lee

  • Title: Senior Vice President for Business and Finance
  • Department: Business Office
  • Ph.D., University of Toledo; M.B.A., Economics, Bowling Green State University; B.S., Finance, The Ohio State University.
  • Phone: 517-264-7108
  • Campus: Adrian
  • Building: Sacred Heart Hall
  • Office #: 203
  • About
Senior Vice President for Business and Finance


Dr. Johnson serves as the Senior Vice President and Treasurer for Siena Heights University. Lee is a native Midwesterner with a history of active involvement in public and private postsecondary education. Prior to his current role, he was a senior-level administrator for Lawrence Technological University and the Medical College of Ohio (now the Health Sciences Center of the University of Toledo) and has held a number of faculty appointments.

Lee received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with a Minor in Law from the University of Toledo; a Masters of Business Administration concentrating in economics from Bowling Green State University; and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration majoring in Finance from The Ohio State University. He completed post-graduate education at Harvard University and The Ohio State University. A certified public accountant, he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and both the Ohio and Michigan societies for certified public accountants.

A respected Peer Reviewer and Team Chair for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Lee also serves on HLC’s Institutional Actions Council and is a Mentor for new Peer Reviewers and Team Chairs.  He is a founding member of HLC’s Financial Advisory Panel and consults on the early detection of institutions in financial distress. Lee identifies with and is conscious of the diversity higher education institutions offer and the essential linkages between mission and governance, planning and resources, and assessing achievement. From these experiences, Lee has gained contemporary insights that have sharpened his understanding of best practices and good judgments and often called upon for advice and consultation.

Dr. Johnson has proven to be a highly effective and personable executive with a strong commitment to quality education and cost-effective processes. His resourcefulness includes focusing on organizational change; strategic resource planning; cultivating partnerships; fostering the usefulness of website behavior-based content for students, alumni, donors, and other online visitors; reviewing undergraduate and graduate program offerings; and improving upon the efficiencies of campus services. These experiences have afforded opportunities to interact with the campus community; to receive valuable advice from faculty, staff, and students; to engage differences; to achieve consensus in support of larger purposes; and to look long-term. He has led and participated in a variety of planning processes as well as overseen or assisted on a variety of capital expansion programs.

Additional experiences include contributing to grant proposals, developing partnerships, and supporting cultivation efforts by speaking with donors about the need for scholarships and program support as well as funding for new facilities and campus improvements, all of which touch the lives of students and the community. He has the widespread respect both inside and outside the University community for his transparency, integrity, openness, intellectual courage, and sense of humor. His dossier includes a desirable publication and presentation record as well as classroom and online teaching experiences.

Dr. Johnson supports the community by being President of the University of Toledo Alumni Association, Board Chair of Hospice of Lenawee County, a member of the Endowment Committee for the First United Methodist Church of Adrian, and serves on the Finance Committee for Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County.

Lee enjoys taking batting practice with Siena’s teams, jogging, and skiing. He is a family man with three children and three grandchildren.