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


Lee Johnson serves as the Senior Vice President and Treasurer for Siena Heights University. He is a native Midwesterner with a history of active involvement in public and private postsecondary education. Prior to his current role, Lee 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.

Dr. Johnson 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), he also served the Institutional Actions Council and Mentor for new Peer Reviewers and Team Chairs. Lee served on or chaired over two (2) dozen Institutional Actions Council meetings or Hearings, in addition to serving as a member or chair of over 40 institutional visits, including comprehensive, focused, substantive change, advisory, and sanction-related visits. In 2007, he helped HLC create the financial review panel, which is responsible for assessing institutions under financial distress. With his contemporary insights and understanding of best practices and good judgments, he is often called upon for advice and consultation. Dr. Johnson was elected to HLC’s Board of Trustees effective September 1, 2018.

Lee has a high-quality reputation as a highly effective and personable executive with a strong commitment to higher education. His resourcefulness includes focusing on organizational change, strategic planning, cultivating partnerships, fostering the use of website and social media intelligence; reviewing undergraduate and graduate programs; and improving upon the efficiencies of support services. He has led and participated in a variety of planning processes as well as overseen or assisted with a variety of capital expansion programs. These experiences have afforded him opportunities to interact with campus communities; to receive valuable advice; to engage differences; to achieve consensus in support of larger purposes; and to look long-term.

Additional experiences include contributing to 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. Lee has the widespread respect 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.

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

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