To begin, I wish to express my sincere thanks to Mary Jo Hawk for all of the work she has been doing in partnership with the College of Social Work regarding the Certificate Program in Leadership in Human Services Management. I had the privilege of teaching a half-day course on program development and evaluation for this program two Wednesdays ago. Not only was I impressed with the caliber of participants hailing from North Central Ohio, but I was reminded how much I love to teach!
I also wish to thank everyone who came out for the Research Frenzy this past Wednesday, with special appreciation to the faculty presenters – Cynthia Callahan, Donna Farland-Smith, Gary Kennedy, Elizabeth Kolkovich, Carol Landry, Scopas Poggo, and John Thrasher – as well as Terri Fisher for organizing the event. Anyone in attendance would have been given only the latest set of reminders about all of the great scholarship that is going on in the midst of our parallel great teaching efforts.
Decision-making about faculty and staff positions
Still waiting (sigh) for word on the rank (full professor versus associate professor) we can offer to our leading candidate for the T&L position. Meanwhile, we have launched our interviews for the EEOB position. Please attend as many of the candidate talks as you are able over the next several weeks. During this past week, the Curriculum Committee’s recommendations for new faculty hires (searches to be conducted next year for positions beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year) have been discussed in Executive Committee, which decided to send the recommendations back to CC for further information gathering, analysis, and discussion.
Development of majors, destination programs, and other academic offerings and issues
This past Monday, the Curriculum Committee hosted two visitors from the College of Engineering – Jennifer Cowley, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and David Tomasko, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education – in order to discuss possible directions to pursue in terms of our second year engineering program. While this discussion is only at the beginning stages, our campus will need to select an area of emphasis (for instance, mechanical, electrical, chemical, etc.) in order to develop the coursework that will be offered in Mansfield in the 2015-2016 academic year.
Diversity and inclusion issues
There is nothing new to report at this time.
Last week I met with Physical Planning and Real Estate (PPARE) staff along with representatives of the MKSK design group in order to see MKSK’s first attempt to create some visual aids regarding our emerging “Eco Lab” concept. Various concept maps and information related to environmentally interesting sites on our land (vernal pools, wetlands, new growth forest, legacy forest, pine plantation, and prairie land) subsequently were shared with Executive Committee, Faculty Assembly, and the Ohio State Mansfield Board. MKSK will be supplying e-files in the very near future that will be posted to the campus website.
Planning in support of a more residential campus
The meeting with PPARE staff and the MKSK design group also launched a parallel effort to map out possible community partnerships around recreational facilities. Additional concept maps and information related to a community recreational park (with ball diamonds, soccer fields, basketball courts, etc.) and associated indoor recreational center also were shared with Executive Committee, Faculty Assembly, and the Ohio State Mansfield Board.
Renovation and repair
No news to report at this time.
I had a preliminary meeting with Stephen Myers, Associate Provost for Outreach and Engagement, in order to discuss our efforts to conduct a community survey. Dr. Myers has indicated interest in this project, and may be able to commit some funds to help develop the survey for use by all of the Ohio State campuses.
Lots of great things continue to happen for us! I am very excited about the possibilities surrounding our budding partnerships with the community around the recreational facilities, and think that there are plenty of win-win relationships to be fostered in ways that will create an extraordinary student experience on our campus. I am similarly enthusiastic about the great potential surrounding the Eco Lab concept and what this might mean in terms of putting the Ohio State Mansfield campus on the national map regarding research and conservation efforts. Look for us to have LOTS of conversations about all of these efforts in the weeks and months ahead.
And finally, I think we are finally starting to see more spring-like weather breaking through for us. I have noticed that most people on campus had at least a slightly more pronounced skip in their steps on the sunny days we got to enjoy over the past two weeks. And while we welcome Spring more officially this week, I want to thank each and every one of you for all that you are doing to move the Ohio State Mansfield campus forward. Go Bucks… Going Up!