From the Dean

There’s a new excitement in the air at Ohio State Mansfield, more so than in any other year since I became dean and director. You could feel it as our incoming freshmen and faculty proudly sang Carmen Ohio at convocation and then gathered for the Dean’s picnic. New students explored vast opportunities both on and off campus at the Involvement and Community Fair. They are filling the bleachers at volleyball games.

Our newly renovated Bromfield Library and Information Commons is the go-to place for students to meet with faculty for some extra one-on-one time or to curl up with a book. By the time you read this, there will be new furniture in the cafeteria although the actual renovation won’t take place until May.

We are meeting with North Central State College representatives and community leaders to plan for a new campus entryway, one that will also signal the entrance to an eventual campus district. Before the ribbon even had been cut at Buckeye Village, developers were talking about nearly doubling the original projected 500 beds. Ontario government officials revealed plans to provide sidewalks from Buckeye Village to the shopping areas.

We formalized a long-standing partnership with Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences to guarantee transfers for our best and brightest nursing students. The agreement allows students across the region to complete core coursework at state college tuition rates and then transfer as a junior to Ashland.

Surveyors could be seen outside Riedl Hall in the wetlands last week, marking what will become an outdoor classroom for both our environmental studies program and community school districts. You can read more about our EcoLab project on our Planning and Projects page at mansfield.osu.edu/about-osu-mansfield/planning-and-project-office.

So buckle your seatbelts. We’re rolling down the runway and Ohio State Mansfield is ready for takeoff!

Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.

From the Dean

Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College, our co-located technical partner, have been engaged in a process of surveying residents, employees, and employers of the communities that surround us in an attempt to figure out the current state of the relationship between our combined campus and the community, or what I like to call our “town-gown relationship.”

Happily, More than 700 people working and living in Richland County chose to participate in our survey, and the initial results are nothing short of fascinating!

First, we have made some important gains in building our town-gown ties over the last several years, especially with sectors of the community that historically have been disconnected from our campus.

Second, in many ways our best connecting points with the community are happening with and through our students!

I will be providing a brief overview of the results for the Richland Community Development Group in early August, and then will be laying out the first full sets of analyses during a campus-wide presentation I will make during the common hour on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

As dean, I’ve thought a lot about the relationships between universities and the cities where they live, and connecting these relationships to my own research interests in family dynamics.

I discovered that town-gown relationships and marriages share a lot in common. The vows that state “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health,” and so on, are an applied fact of life for any college town.

During the presentation, I will define the four distinct types of town-gown relationships – devitalized, conflicted, traditional, and harmonious – and where respondents tell us we are in these relationships. I’ll also reveal where respondents think we are in terms of the level of comfort and level of effort of our relationship.

This is one presentation you will definitely want to attend!

 

Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.

From the Dean

This year, our Ohio State Mansfield students come from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties. We truly have grown beyond a regional campus and into a destination spot for higher education.

Sixteen percent of our new students come from Cuyahoga County. Crystal Brown, who hails from Cleveland, has made a real impact on the Ohio State Mansfield campus. Crystal lived on campus and quickly got involved in the Campus Activity Board, as well as becoming a cheerleader for the Mavericks collegiate sports program. No doubt, you have seen her smiling face on area billboards as she represented Ohio State Mansfield in local and regional advertising campaigns.

Mikayla Bodey, from St. Paris, a town just north of Dayton, parlayed connections with internship coordinators Pam Schopieray and Tracy Bond into an internship with the National 4-H Council’s Citizenship Washington Focus Program. She is one of nine students from across the nation that have been chosen to participate in this leadership initiative.

Many students choose Ohio State Mansfield for the research opportunities available with renowned faculty. Leah Schwechheimer, a local grad and a junior in Biology, teamed with Assistant Professor Carol Landry to study white mangrove pollination in the Bahamas. Leah came back to Ohio State Mansfield from Columbus her junior year for the opportunity to conduct research with Dr. Landry. And her hard work has paid off. She recently received a $3,500 fellowship that will allow her to continue her research this summer in the Bahamas.

With our increasingly active recruitment efforts in both the Cleveland and the Akron/Canton metropolitan areas, the numbers of students who choose Ohio State Mansfield as their destination campus to begin college will surely grow. It is imperative that we plan for this growth, both on campus and in our anticipated campus district. Even the most studious of residential students expect on-campus activities nights and weekends, as well as 24-hour dining options.

To meet these needs, we’ve made headway with library renovations and the addition of an information commons in Bromfield Hall. In addition, a long-needed overhaul of the Eisenhower Hall cafeteria starts soon. But our key recreational and student gathering areas – the Campus Recreation Center and the Student Union – remain desperately in need of modernization, and therefore are likely to attract our immediate attention once all other renovations are complete.

Relatedly, the next phase of our capital campaign will focus on providing a better overall college experience for our students, whether they are here for a year or two, or choose to graduate at Ohio State Mansfield. We ask that you join us in the weeks and months ahead as we sharpen our focus on specific projects and objectives that will be designed to enhance the student experience of our campus.

Go Bucks!

Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.

Dean’s Report April 18, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

I continued the celebration of our esteemed faculty last week by attending the reception for Sergei Chmutov regarding his Honors Faculty Service Award from the College of Arts and Sciences. His department chair and several fellow Math Department faculty members from the Columbus campus were on hand for the Faculty Club gathering, with many accolades being made about his outstanding contributions to student learning. There was a clear sense of pride on display by his colleagues and chair!

Decision-making about faculty and staff positions

At long last, an official offer has been made to our top candidate for the T&L position at the rank of full professor. We hope to celebrate an acceptance soon.

Just yesterday, the EEOB department confirmed the search committee’s recommendations regarding the open position. I will open negotiations with the top candidate immediately.

Development of majors, destination programs, and other academic offerings and issues

Last Friday, I met with Bruce McPheron, the Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in order to discuss potential partnerships stemming from the EcoLab plans and our desire to have an environmental studies program on our campus. Dean McPheron was very interested in collaborating with us on a number of fronts, and suggested that the next step would involve a meeting with Jeff Sharp, the Director of the School of Environmental and Natural Resources.

Diversity and inclusion issues

There is nothing new to report at this time.

Land use

Many thanks to Ozeas Costa and Brian White for donning rain gear with me and showing off our wetlands and vernal pools to a potential donor this past Monday. The donor was soaked and enthusiastic at the end of our outdoor meeting, with many ideas that I will be taking back to MKSK for inclusion in a first sketch about our EcoLab efforts.

Planning in support of a more residential campus
Last week we hosted a meeting on our campus with representatives of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Avita Health Care Systems. There are clear indications of interest in bringing health care to our campus in the very near future.

Renovation and repair

Last Thursday we had a reception and a soft opening of the Bromfield Library and Information Commons (BLIC), which also was used as an opportunity to thank donors and campaign volunteers for their efforts to bring the first $3M phase of our capital campaign to a successful conclusion. We also used this time to officially rename Bromfield Hall as Conard Hall in celebration of the significant amount of financial support we have received to date from the Conard Family Foundation.

Town-Gown relationships

Yesterday we finally received an IRB response regarding our proposal to conduct a survey on campus-community relationships (conditionally approved pending our supplying a small amount of additional information regarding our recruitment strategy). Residents, employees, and employers in Mansfield, Ontario, and Shelby will be invited to participate in this information-gathering process in mid-May, and then faculty, staff, students, and board members of both Ohio State Mansfield and NCSC will be asked to participate in the survey process in early Fall Semester.

Mood elevator

While Spring Semester is beginning to wind down, there are many activities that will keep us busy through the end of this month. Taken together, they have enormous influence on our ability to “push the up button” on the campus mood elevator. One great example is the student appreciation lunch that was held yesterday in the Conard Learning Center. This event was designed to thank the student tutors who gave generously of their time and efforts in order to help fellow students survive and thrive some of the more difficult courses offered on our campus. This has become one of my new favorite activities to attend, as I get the chance to rub elbows and break bread with some of our best and brightest students. Many thanks to Andrew Mueller and Darla Myers for hosting this event! And thanks in advance as well to all of the faculty and staff members who are involved in planning and executing the rest of the upcoming celebratory activities on our campus. Go Bucks… Going Up!

Dean’s Report April 4, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

Beyond any doubt, the headline news for these past two weeks has to be Steven Joyce being given The Ohio State University Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. This is the highest instructional honor that anyone can receive at our university, and it is richly deserved. The testimony from students and faculty peers alike is unequivocal in its judgment of the impact that Professor Joyce makes to the classrooms of Ohio State Mansfield. Heartiest of congratulations!

We witnessed another component of teaching excellence that gets wedded to scholarship efforts vis-à-vis our students’ participation in the Denman Undergraduate Student Research Forum. Congratulations go out to Ohio State Mansfield students Tanesha Gardner, Leah Schwechheimer, Collin Sipe, and Samantha Ulrich, who were selected to showcase their research last Wednesday on the Columbus campus. I witnessed each of these students’ projects firsthand at the Denman show, and I must say that each and every presentation made during the poster session was nothing less than spectacular. The enthusiasm and knowledge base put on display by our students was extremely impressive. And behind every budding student scholar is a dedicated faculty member putting in countless hours of mentoring. This year’s students were provided exactly this sort of expert guidance and feedback from Rachel Bowen, Mollie Cavender, Carol Landry, and Heather Tanner. Many thanks to these faculty mentors for their ongoing efforts to foster such rich scholarship experiences for our Mansfield students!

Decision-making about faculty and staff positions

We finally have been given the go-ahead to make our leading EDT&L candidate an offer at the rank of full professor. We are compiling the paperwork and hope to have the formal offer to the candidate in the very near future. Interviews for the EEOB position have wrapped up this week, and it is now safe to say that we attracted three exceptionally impressive candidates. Many thanks to Carol Landry for leading this Search Committee, and thanks as well to everyone who attended the candidate talks and gave feedback!

Development of majors, destination programs, and other academic offerings and issues

Yesterday, our campus witnessed a signing ceremony regarding the articulation agreement between our campus and our co-located technical partners at North Central State College. Dr. Tom Gregoire, Dean of the Ohio State College of Social Work, was on hand with NCSC President Dorey Diab, and myself to bear witness to this accord. In brief, the articulation agreement creates a streamlined opportunity for NCSC students who graduate with an associate’s degree in human services to enter our bachelor’s degree program in social work with maximum credit for the academic work they accomplished while attending NCSC. Thanks go out to Social Work Program Coordinator Mary Jo Hawk for her unswerving pursuit of this arrangement in partnership with her Columbus campus and NCSC colleagues (including Molly McCue, an Ohio State MSW program graduate!).

Diversity and inclusion issues

This past Wednesday, Renee Thompson provided the Ohio State Mansfield Board subcommittee on External Relations with an update on the SMART (Students Making a Realistic Transition) program, which will focus on leadership, service, and academics for students of color in the upcoming year. The early arrival program (directly preceding Camp Hetuck) will consist of a two day introduction to the campus and community. The theme of the first day is “Be the Difference,” and will include a panel discussion of community leaders who will encourage students to lead by serving with excellence. The second day will focus on habits that lead to successful academics. In addition, Renee will be the lead instructor of the ASC 1101 Seminar for Students of Color, and will be incorporating concepts from Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World and Bridges Out of Poverty (you will recall that these resources were used in last year’s Beginning Anew initiative) to help students think through issues of generational and situational poverty among other important topics.

Land use

We hosted our sixth and final Community Engagement lunch this past Monday, with a specific focus on our budding environmental studies program and associated EcoLab initiative. This was one of the most well-attended lunches of this sort that we have hosted over the past two years, and undoubtedly it was because of the extraordinary interest being generated in the community about our nascent conservation and scholarship efforts in this area of inquiry. With Professors Ozeas Costa and Carol Landry being on hand to answer questions about our curricular efforts, I presented slides from the MKSK design group’s first attempt to create some visual aids regarding the emerging “Eco Lab” concept. That same day, our campus hosted a group of Ohio State faculty and staff who are interested in partnering with FirstEnergy on any number of research endeavors related to the power line right-of-way corridor that runs through our campus. Many thanks go out to Ozeas Costa for leading this meeting, as there were many potential next steps identified that can and will create opportunities to enhance student and faculty research efforts that focus on the natural resources found on the Ohio State Mansfield campus.

Planning in support of a more residential campus

The conversation regarding health care services on our campus recently has been revived. Although there are no details to report at this time, l look forward to near future communications about this important service for students (that quite possibly will be of benefit to faculty and staff as well). For now I will remain cautiously optimistic that we can and will have something available by Fall Semester of this year. Stay tuned!

 Renovation and repair

No news to report at this time.

Town-Gown relationships

Two Mondays ago, a meeting took place with the Richland Community Development Group (RCDG) long range planning committee to discuss the draft report presented to RCDG by City and Regional Planning students who have been working on their Richland County Economic Development project. Using the Mansfield campus as a meeting site, the committee plans to have these students make a presentation on April 22nd to key community stakeholders. More details about this gathering will be forthcoming.

Mood elevator

The end of March and beginning of April was a very busy time on our campus (and of course is a hint of more to come!), especially as it related to efforts to show off the high quality of our students and their work. Among other events over the last two weeks was the 2014 OSU Mansfield Student Art Exhibition, which opened with a public reception in the Pearl Conard Art Gallery. If you happened to visit this exhibit, you know what I mean when I say that I was astounded by the high level of quality represented by this body of work. And just yesterday, we hosted the 5th Annual Ohio State Mansfield Student Research Forum and the Academic Awards Celebration, which included book award presentations for academic departments and special awards in various disciplines. Again, the words “astounded” and “quality” equally apply here. The caliber of student work – and the amount of faculty mentoring that supports these activities – was nothing short of breathtaking.

It is very clear that there is so much hard work being undertaken to move the Ohio State Mansfield campus forward. Go Bucks… Going Up!

Dean’s Report March 21, 2014

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.

Land use

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.

Town-Gown relationships

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.

Mood elevator

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!

Dean’s Report March 7, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

Over the past thirty years in my role as a family therapist, I regularly gave the advice that “you can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.” Well, this week I ended up being forced to self-administer that admonition after having suffered a rather severe lumbar muscle pull in my back. It’s now the end of the week, and after many visits to my primary care physician, a chiropractor, a physical therapist and a massage therapist, I am about three quarters of the way to a full recovery. Many thanks to everyone for the patience, understanding, and flexibility you showed as I worked my way through this injury.

Decision-making about faculty and staff positions

We are waiting for word on the rank (full professor versus associate professor) we can offer to our leading candidate for the T&L position. This of course is in the hands of the TIU, and we hope to hear something definitive no later than the return from Spring Break. Meanwhile, interviews are being scheduled for the EEOB position, so please stay tuned for invitations to hear the candidates give their research and teaching presentations. There also was a bit of informal chatter on campus regarding positions we would be searching for next year. Please know that I have received the Curriculum Committee’s suggestions, which will be vetted by Executive Committee and Faculty Assembly in the coming weeks alongside the latest information about our budget outlook.

Development of majors, destination programs, and other academic offerings and issues

As has been reported to campus and through various media outlets, the major capital campaign gift from Next Gen Films will result in our ability to hire a professor of practice in engineering, which triggers our ability to create a full second year offering in engineering on our campus. Jennifer Cowley and David Tomasko of the College of Engineering will be on campus Monday March 17th to address Curriculum Committee members regarding this exciting opportunity, including how this lays the groundwork for our ability to offer a four-year engineering degree in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, Terri Fisher currently is attending the Complete College America conference in Boston, with the hope that she will be bringing back lots of important updates to the Mansfield campus on our efforts to advance intrusive advising efforts inside of engineering and other STEM related program areas.

Diversity and inclusion issues

Our Soul Food Dinner was the very best of the four I personally have attended since 2011. Great food and unbelievably good jazz music was enjoyed by all. If you were not in attendance, I daresay you missed the best party of the century held on our campus. Many thanks to Elise and her crew for putting on a spectacular event!

Land use

Last week I met with PPARE staff to discuss the emerging “Eco Lab” blueprints alongside real estate activities that will help complete a funding solution for our new front entrance (you will recall that presently we have 50% of the $1.5M needed to complete that project). A significant amount of brainstorming occurred that created some fresh ideas for land use that will be fed into the process, and I hope to bring an advanced conceptual scheme to EC for further discussion in the next couple of weeks.

Planning in support of a more residential campus

No news to report at this time.

Renovation and repair

No news to report at this time.

Town-Gown relationships

In partnership with RCDG and local media outlets, a survey on town-gown relationships is being prepared for use with campus and community representatives. More information will be shared with EC in the near future, with a planned distribution of surveys scheduled for release in mid-spring.

Mood elevator

I sat with two board members – Chairman Pat Heydinger and immediate past Chair Christ Ticoras – during the Soul Food Dinner. It’s safe to say that these board members were as thrilled as I was about the high quality food and music that was on hand. At the same time, however, both of these gentlemen were positively glowing about all of the great things that are happening on our campus. I have benefitted immensely from the solid support I have received from both of these board chairs – as well as from John Schuler, who was board chair when I was hired – throughout the past three years I have served as Dean and Director of the Ohio State Mansfield campus. Literally nothing could have been done over this time period without their guidance and direction. I owe them a debt of gratitude.

Thanks as well to each and every one of you who are doing all you can to move the Ohio State Mansfield campus forward. Go Bucks… Going Up!

Dean’s Report Feb. 21, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

Another packed two weeks of activities on our campus! For me, the highlight was the reception that was held for Carolyn Skinner and Phil Mazzocco in celebration of their promotion to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. Because scholars tend to experience so few moments of closure where something feels completely “done,” it always feels particularly good (to me anyway) to generate moments where faculty members can take the time to appreciate the finality of an effort. Congratulations once again to Carolyn and Phil!

Decision-making about faculty and staff positions

Our focus on the three “Need Now” staff positions, along with the active solicitation of “creative solutions” from campus community members about these positions, has resulted in the following three decisions to move forward:

1. David Au will become the Interim Information Commons Coordinator and Instructional Technology Specialist

2. Fran Bowes will be hired permanently as our 5th academic advisor

3. Renee Thompson will be hired as Interim Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator.

Thank you once again to everyone who participated in this process! Meanwhile, we are working diligently to finalize an offer regarding the Education Teaching and Learning position, and hope to initiate the on-campus portion of the search process for our open EEOB position in the near future.

Development of majors, destination programs, and other academic offerings and issues

Carol Landry, Ozeas Costa, Brian White, and I met with representatives of Physical Planning and Real Estate (PPARE) and the design firm MKSK Associates last Monday in order to launch a discussion on how to conceptualize our “Eco Lab” conservation and research efforts. While this update easily could have been placed under the “Land Use” category below, it is important to note that Carol and Ozeas both believe that the development of an “environmental studies” major is a critical component of this work. Therefore, it hoped that the Curriculum Committee will be taking this issue up as part of our larger interest in an “integrated studies” program on the Mansfield campus.

Diversity and inclusion issues

Our celebration of Black History Month has continued over the past two weeks with several excellent on-campus events. Also, as a reminder Soul Food Dinner tickets are available through today, so please remember to buy your ticket through the Office of Student Engagement at 419-755-4314. Please remember that no tickets will be available at the door!

Land use

See “Development of majors…” discussion above.

Planning in support of a more residential campus

Our campus hosted the very first “Destination Mansfield” event yesterday, which was designed to provide information about all of the advantages of staying on the Mansfield Campus beyond the first year of study (aka the “Mansfield Advantage”). I was impressed with the amount of energy and enthusiasm that was in evidence throughout the middle of the day. And based on the preliminary reactions I heard from faculty, staff, and students, I believe this will be the first of many such activities we will undertake to remind our students about all of the benefits associated with the Mansfield campus. Many thanks to Fran Bowes for spearheading this effort, and to all of the faculty and staff members who made contributions to this very creative effort!

Renovation and repair

No news to report at this time.

Town-Gown relationships

Our campus hosted a Skype call this past Tuesday between the City and Regional Planning students and a number of Richland County Development Group (RCDG) members. By all reports, these Ohio State students continue to provide an invaluable service to the county. Expectations are high for a March 6th rollout of a draft mid-semester report by these students, which will be held on the Columbus campus as part of their regular coursework. Several RCDG representatives are planning on attending this presentation.

Mood elevator

This past Tuesday, the Senate Fiscal committee that I sit on (Central Distribution Services) has finally taken up the topic of regional campus funding! We have laid out a plan to review quite a number of issues that are relevant to how we receive revenue and other forms of support for the work that we do. Hopefully, I will have plenty of good news to report in the weeks and months ahead as this committee begins to formulate recommendations that will bolster our efforts in Mansfield and on the other regional campuses.

A couple of other events deserve quick mention in terms of hitting the “up button” on the mood elevator. Last Wednesday, we hosted a community engagement lunch that featured our arts faculty and students. Many thanks to Kate Shannon, John Thrasher, Joe Fahey, and Master of Ceremonies Dave Tovey for being on hand to meet and greet our community partners! And just yesterday we hosted the first ever Pecha Kucha event on campus. The efforts of Aurelio Diaz, Jen Hughes, Tracy Bond, Mike Thompson, Terri Fisher, Jim Snyder, Therese Backowski, and Paul Breit are much appreciated for making presentations at this inaugural event!

Thanks to each and every one of you who are doing all you can to move the Ohio State Mansfield campus forward. Go Bucks… Going Up!

Dean’s Report Feb. 7, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

This past Thursday, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees announced that the 15th President of our outstanding institution was going to be Michael Drake, MD. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Drake for breakfast last Friday, and I came away from that encounter with great hope. Clearly, Dr. Drake is a strong proponent of access and affordability, and seems to know a thing or two about growing student housing as well (I couldn’t help but mention our excitement about the rapid construction of the Buckeye Village Apartments). Others have already taken notice of the clear connection between his agenda and our mission as a regional campus. I continue to believe that the best is yet to come for Mansfield!

Two weeks ago, I debuted a new look to my Bi-Weekly Reports. I noted my hope that the new format would facilitate the reader’s ability to track our progress on many of the most important initiatives touching the lives of our campus community. Immediately after sending that report out, I also extended an invitation to participate in a survey about the new format. A total of 26 individuals responded to that survey, and 85% of those participant indicated that they liked the new format either “much better” (58%) or “a little bit better” (27%). I’m going to take that as a fairly strong mandate to continue to employ this new look. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to provide feedback!

Without any further ado, let’s get to the business at hand in terms of what has occurred over the last two weeks in each of the main areas I have promised to cover in each edition of my Bi-Weekly Report.

Decision-making about faculty and staff positions

Last week, I met with all of the main leadership groups on campus – including Faculty Assembly, Senior Staff, and the Mansfield Staff Advisory Committee (MSAC) – prior to meeting with Executive Committee (EC) to discuss the next steps in process of applying findings from the Art of Hosting (AoH) report to our efforts to fill faculty and staff positions labeled “Need Now” by the AoH committee. After a spirited discussion, EC passed a formal recommendation requesting that I send out to the entire campus the justification documents regarding the three “Need Now” staff positions, along with the active solicitation of “creative solutions” from campus community members that might help us find some alternative paths to hiring three new fulltime staff positions at this time. Those justifications and the invitation to submit “creative solutions” went out at the end of last week, and at present I am beginning to sort through the ideas that have been submitted. My hope is to have something pulled together for further discussion at our next EC meeting, scheduled to be held on February 13th.

We welcomed the second of two candidates for the open Education Teaching and Learning position last Thursday. I will be acting on the recommendations of the Search Committee soon, and hope to have an announcement in the very near future. Also, a new Columbus campus representative recently was appointed to the EEOB Search Committee to speed up the process of getting critical feedback from the TIU. A first slate of candidates is expected to be Skype interviewed in the next couple of weeks, with campus visits to follow.

Development of majors, destination programs, and other academic offerings and issues

A meeting has been scheduled for Monday March 17th so that Jennifer Cowley and David Tomasko from the College of Engineering can present information about a possible second year engineering program to the Curriculum Committee. Also on the agenda for that meeting is a discussion about opportunities surrounding an eventual four year program in Engineering on the Mansfield campus.

Diversity and inclusion issues

I would be remiss if I did not mention the pride being expressed by almost everyone that I encounter regarding the appointment of Dr. Drake, who will become Ohio State’s first African American president. What a great note to sound during Black History Month!

This past week, our own Scopas Poggo presented “Nelson Mandela: A Celebration of His Legacy” in a talk sponsored by Ohio State Mansfield, North Central State College, and Ashland University’s School of Nursing.

Land use

Last Friday, I met with Physical Planning and Real Estate (PPARE) staff, including Brenda Smith (who many of you will remember as having played a prominent role in our Framework Plan) and Keith Myers, the Assistant Vice President of PPARE. We were joined in that meeting by representatives of MKSK, a landscape architectural and planning firm. MKSK has offered to lend its expertise to the Richland County Development Group (RCDG) as it begins to think through their facilitation of development in the campus district, as well as for Mansfield and Ontario officials interested in the construction of a joint economic development agreement for the Lexington-Springmill corridor. Meetings will be scheduled shortly to facilitate those endeavors for our community partners.

Planning in support of a more residential campus

No news to report at this time.

Renovation and repair

No news to report at this time.

Town-Gown relationships

This past Tuesday, the RCDG leadership team officially approved the formation of the Campus District Sector. On the same day, a group of students from the City and Regional Planning course that has adopted Richland County as its focal point visited the Ohio State Mansfield campus. While here, those students received a tour of our physical facilities, and then met with Brian White to gain a conceptual overview of the campus-community ties that are being fostered through a series of projects stemming directly from our Framework Plan.

Mood elevator

We have a new president coming on board June 30th, and with him will come what is sure to be a new round of activities designed to move The Ohio State University to even greater heights of eminence. No doubt many of the items on Dr. Drake’s agenda will line up quite well with the major efforts we are engaged in already here on the Mansfield campus.

Thanks to each and every one of you who are doing all you can to move the Ohio State Mansfield campus forward. Go Bucks… Going Up!