Union Alumna to Serve as New Cincinnati Center Executive Director

Union Alumna to Serve as New Cincinnati Center Executive Director

Dr. Rea Waldon, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Academic Center of Union Institute & University

CINCINNATI, OH - Dr. Rea Waldon is coming home to Union Institute & University as the executive director of the Cincinnati Academic Center.

Waldon received her Ph.D. from Union Institute & University where her studies focused on public policy and urban economics.  She is returning to the university that she credits with propelling her career. “My new role at Union allows me to combine my passion for education and business.  I didn’t fit the mold but Union had confidence in me and my degree changed my life,” said Waldon. “I know Union changes lives. I am one of those lives.”

Waldon is a businesswoman with a solid background in strategic planning as well as professional experience in banking, education, workforce development, healthcare, business and community development.

“A degree is the ticket to entry for most professional careers. One of my goals is to connect the dots between the business ownership and a college degree. Approximately 75% of entrepreneurs do not have college degrees. A business degree provides a broad foundation for the entrepreneur that starts to build a more complex organization. Tied to that is the need to recruit and train qualified staff. I understand workforce development and I think I can make a difference the way Union made a difference in my life and career.”

Dr. Nelson Soto, provost and vice president for academic affairs at UI&U looks forward to her leadership skills. “Rea is the epitome of success. She understands the value of higher education and transferrable skills. She has numerous business connections and will be a valuable addition to Union.”  

Waldon describes herself as a person pegged “couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t” succeed. But that has never stopped her. “Union’s nontraditional approach is the right fit for adults with the odds stacked against them. My message is you can work and complete your degree.”

Waldon is the founding executive director of the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council, worked for the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati for eight years, first as Senior Vice President and then as Chief Operating Officer.  Prior to joining the Urban League, she was Assistant Vice President/Community Development Officer for PNC Bank.   

Waldon also served Union Institute & University as a faculty advisor and affiliated faculty from 1995-2006. Waldon has been recognized as a Cincinnati Business Courier Mentor of the Year and is the recipient of the Women of Color Foundation’s ISIS Award. She is also one of Fifth Third Bank’s Profiles in Courage recipients.  She is a coach and mentor to business owners and students. She is also the owner of KDDK Legacy Group.

In addition, she holds a M.A. from Antioch College in Management Information Systems, and a B.S. in Accounting from the Union Institute & University.  


About Union Institute & University

Union Institute & University is a non-profit, regionally accredited university specializing in providing quality higher education degrees for adults nationwide. Founded in 1964, Union’s academic programs and services are the result of more than five decades of identifying and refining ways to structure and deliver education to meet the needs of adults. Distinguished as the pioneer in adult education, Union perfected the concepts now common in higher education such as the hybrid model, a blend of online and traditional classroom instruction, interdisciplinary studies, and student centered education with socially relevant and applicable learning outcomes in its undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs.


The university is guided by its core mission to educate highly motivated adults who seek academic programs to engage, enlighten, and empower them to pursue professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.


Union is a national university with academic centers located in: Ohio, Florida, and California.

For more information about Union Institute & University, visit www.myunion.edu or call 1- 800-861-6400.