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Meet Dr. Carla Rutley! Community Development Executive for OU’s Wisconsin Campus

Meet Dr. Carla Rutley! Community Development Executive for OU’s Wisconsin Campus

Ottawa University is thrilled to announce Dr. Carla Rutley as the new Community Development Executive for the Wisconsin campus! She has a long-standing relationship with Ottawa University as a former student, an active member of the Alumni Board, and now as the Wisconsin campus’ most recent hire for institutional advancement.


Dr. Rutley’s connection with Ottawa University began in 1996 when she started her Bachelor of Arts in Business degree at the Brookfield campus in the Milwaukee area. Upon completion of her Bachelor’s degree in Business in 2000, she continued her education with a Master of Business Administration degree from Ottawa in 2005. She was one of the first graduating cohorts of that program in Wisconsin. After earning her second degree from Ottawa, she earned a Doctorate in Business Administration, Marketing Concentration, in 2018, from Capella University.

MBA in Wisconsin

Dr. Rutley fondly reflects on her experience as a student at the Wisconsin campus. She decided to go back to school as an adult learner to earn a degree and attain a higher-paying position to support her daughter. She furthered her education and returned for her Master's Degree to teach. She describes the Ottawa University Brookfield, Wisconsin campus culture as “nurturing” and “innovative”. Her advice to MBA students is: “think about the cross-functional duties it takes to run a company and embrace each course you take so you understand a bit about all of them! Take your critical thinking to the next level, yet don't be intimidated by the classes”.

Alumni Board

The relationship between Dr. Rutley and Ottawa University further developed in her participation with the Wisconsin chapter of the Ottawa University Alumni Association. She has led and continues to lead advocacy efforts on behalf of the Alumni Board of Directors for Wisconsin in support of OU’s mission and values.

Wisconsin Alumni Association

Currently, serving as the Board President, Dr. Rutley is considered a highly esteemed leader of the Board. She is now serving her second term. The first engagement was approximately ten years ago, and she served for five years. As an active member of the Ottawa Alumni network, she has gained strong “friendships and diverse industry perspectives”. She feels that Ottawa Alumni can best give back to their Alma Mater through networking and professional development opportunities. Her favorite past events include Homecoming and Awards because “the gatherings allowed for general networking and time to honor those who have served the University and have made significant professional achievements”.

Return to Ottawa University

As a five-time entrepreneur, Dr. Rutley brings a strong knowledge of marketing and communication skills to Ottawa University. She has 16 years of experience as an Adjunct Professor, Curriculum Designer, and Career Advancement Coach. Merging her creative drive and passion for Ottawa University, she recently accepted the position of Community Development Executive for the Wisconsin campus. With great enthusiasm, Dr. Rutley considers her approach to her new role.

Giving Back to the Community

When asked what she is most excited about regarding being a part of the Ottawa University Wisconsin community, she states that she is “honored to play a small role in helping others achieve their higher education aspirations and career growth”. Additionally, she feels “Ottawa contributes to Wisconsin by graduating workplace-ready talent that benefits workforce development needs”. This new role is specifically important to her because “Ottawa has been such a huge part of my personal and professional development”. As she proceeds, she looks forward to enhancing relationships over the years and developing more connections within our Transfer Advantage partnering schools. Ottawa University looks forward to stregthening the relationships of our local, Wisconsin community colleges.

Dr. Rutley has an exceptional career path that has been filled with opportunities she never could have anticipated. She brings a unique dimension to the Community Development Executive position at the Wisconsin campus as she changes people’s lives through online education and helps others achieve their goals. We can’t wait to see her thrive in this new role!

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Posted: 12/29/2021 by OU Online
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