Dean’s report May 1, 2015

Happy May! Spring Semester 2015 is winding to a close, and so this will be my last biweekly report until Fall Semester 2015. We have witnessed a tremendous amount of forward progress these past nine months, and have much to look forward to during the 2015-2016 academic year. Here’s a quick look at some of the issues impacting us at the moment.

We are currently in the midst of two searches in Admissions: one to replace Shari as Director and one to replace the Admissions Counselor position vacated by Kelly (and Collin previously). In the meantime, we are placing a great deal of responsibility on Natasha’s shoulders to carry the work of the Admissions department forward. Many thanks to her and everyone else who is pitching in to help carry the load!

I hope you remembered to RSVP for our Fifth Annual Day of Celebration events taking place on Friday May 8th. We will be experimenting with our first off-campus lunch and awards ceremony this year, as well as enjoying the tried and true hospitality of Dawn Kitchen and Jim Nicholson for the evening festivities.

On Monday May 11th, the first workshop recommended by the Campus Culture Committee will take place, with a focus on civility, trust, and dealing with change. Once again, I would strongly encourage everyone to attend. From my vantage point, this is an opportunity to strengthen our entire campus through active participation of all faculty and staff members, which is why I will be in attendance for all three sessions that day.

Renovation activity is scheduled to begin in Eisenhower in the very near future. By the time that faculty and students return to campus this fall, there will be plenty of evidence that a remarkable transformation will have taken place in our dining facilities. How exciting!

In closing, I wish to express the hope that faculty members will have a productive summer, and will rejoin the rest of us this coming August with a reinvigorated sense of mission and purpose. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s Report April 17, 2015

Hello from Davenport, Iowa and the National Association of Branch Campus Administrators (NABCA) conference! While I was invited here to present on the town-gown work I have been doing, this has also been a tremendous opportunity to find out how well things are (or are not) going on other regional and branch campuses across the nation. Given what I have heard this week, we should be counting our blessings. If you think the headlines about cuts to universities in other states have been startling, you need to double (at least) your shock about the hits that the regional systems have been absorbing. No doubt many of these regional and branch campuses are in crisis mode, yet at the same time I am learning quite a bit about the creative opportunities that also are arising as a result. And for you long-timers on the Mansfield campus, you will appreciate the fact that I had the chance to meet Charlie Bird, who was the Associate Dean under John Riedl. Now retired from Ohio University, Charlie recently wrote a book on this subject area entitled “Out on a Limb: A Branch Campus Life.”

Here is a quick rundown of some of the things that have happened on the Mansfield campus over the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • Our Department of Student Life hosted their Annual Student Success Luncheon at the beginning of last week, celebrating the achievements of faculty, staff and students. Many students who made the Dean’s List for the Fall 2014 semester were in attendance, as were students who faculty and staff recognized for their leadership, service, work orientation, and “noble character” (you just have to love the fact that 25 of our students were recognized in this last category!). A variety of additional awards were given out to faculty and staff members who were identified by students for their many contributions to student success or otherwise were distinguished as having made a significant difference in the lives of our students.
  • The Advancement Team hosted a very lively luncheon last week for donors who have given to our scholarship efforts, paring them with the students who have actually benefited from their generosity. It was abundantly clear from the testimonies that we heard that scholarships have an enormous positive benefit to our students, even when the amounts seem modest.
  • We await reactions to the campus culture committee’s report from Faculty Assembly (scheduled for next week). Following this, the committee will meet to finalize their recommendations.
  • Dave Tovey and I have started to meet with faculty for their annual reviews. At the time of this report, we have already met with one-third of the faculty members. If you have not yet scheduled your meeting with us, please do so as soon as possible!

Curriculum

  • Last week, the English department sponsored a panel discussion on career options for English and history majors. Maura Teynor, Director of Donor Services and Communications at the Richland County Foundation, and former OSUM English majors Jason Spoon, Associate Human Resources Representative at Stonegate (formerly Hi-Stat), and David Yoder, Platform & Technology Manager at Richland Source all gathered in Ovalwood Hall to help students answer that nagging question: “so what can you do with that English or history degree?” All three participants recognized the important skills that English and history majors bring to the work force and offered advice about how students can use campus resources—such as writing and digital media courses and internships—to make the most of their degrees. We plan more events like this for the fall along with strategically publicizing the success of our OSU English alumni. Many thanks go out to Cynthia Callahan for her leadership on this exciting initiative!
  • Following a very successful meeting several weeks ago with Jeff Sharp, Director of the School of Environmental and Natural Resources, Heather Tanner has been leading the charge to develop a brochure that SENR faculty and staff members will begin to use immediately in referring students to the Mansfield campus. Your efforts to jumpstart this partnership are much appreciated Heather!

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • As you know from my last report, we kicked off the No More campaign on our campus two weeks ago. In addition to thanking Renee Thompson for her leadership on this effort, at this time I would like to point out that our College of Social Work Student Association (CSWSA) also had a big hand in forming the No More group and pulling off this initial event. Many thanks to Mary Jo Hawk, Luann Howard, and all of the members of the CSWSA team for their hard work and dedication to making this group become a reality on the Mansfield campus.

Property and facilities

  • Last week, Brian White and I met with members of the Richland County Foundation in order to discuss possible partnerships surrounding the desire to build a comprehensive trail system on the Mansfield campus. Their administrative team has agreed to host a community summit of potential stakeholders in this project, likely to convene in the latter part of May. More details will be forthcoming.

Town-gown relationships

  • While at the NABCA conference, I met a group of Chicago-based real estate developers who specialize in building walkable communities near regional and branch campuses (who knew?). I am now working to connect this group with the appropriate decision-makers at the local level.

From the flight deck

Last week I joined a group of Mansfield faculty members on the Columbus campus to wish Terri Fisher the heartiest of congratulations on her having received the Susan Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award. Also accompanied by members of her family, our presence during the reception was gratifying both in terms of the amount of support lent to Terri and the significant visibility we exhibited to our Columbus colleagues. As I learned from colleagues at the NABCA conference this week, conspicuousness is one of the keys to success for regional campuses. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s Report April 3, 2015

On Tuesday, I was joined by a number of Mansfield colleagues in witnessing the Investiture of President Michael Drake. It was a grand ceremony, punctuated by a number of inspiring welcoming remarks, and brought to a climax by President Drake’s own speech to the campus. I was heartened by the fact that he emphasized access and affordability, two topics that speak directly to the mission and values of the Mansfield campus. Additionally, he highlighted the ever growing importance of diversity in all of its forms on the university campus, something we have been paying more and more attention to in recent years as our student body has diversified.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the things that have happened on the Mansfield campus over the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • Our top candidates for the Education and History positions have accepted our offers! I was pleased to have both Kate Nelson and Kip Curtis agree to join the Mansfield faculty early last week.
  • The regional deans met collectively with the TIU chairs in order to share performance review information. I was pleased to see how much more effortlessly these conversations were occurring with the chairs as compared to years past. Most if not all of the bumps in the road we had experienced previously seemed to have been smoothed over now. Also, I was very happy to have heard about the significant number of faculty members who already had met with their chairs in order to receive their scholarship evaluations.
  • Initial reactions to the campus culture committee’s report have been collected from faculty and staff. Committee members will be meeting to plan next steps in response to this feedback.

Curriculum

  • Jeff Sharp, Director of the School of Environmental and Natural Resources, visited our campus yesterday along with a group of SENR faculty members. A number of partnership-oriented activities are in the planning stages to increase the SENR presence on our campus.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • Yesterday, we kicked off the No More campaign on our campus. This chartered student group, led by our own Renee Thompson, is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. There were a number of very moving presentations made during this very well attended event.

Property and facilities

  • Comments regarding the second floor Conard space utilization study were due this week, and plans are underway to roll out information from this work to the campus as a whole in the near future.

Town-gown relationships

  • The Campus District Development Segment group met yesterday to solidify work on a number of actionable steps over the course of the next twelve months. This includes the development of a site plan, a zoning overlay, and utility extensions for the Town Center, extending the sidewalk/bike path from Route 30 to the campus entrance, and preparing a marketing plan for the broader Campus District.

From the flight deck

Normally, my summary remarks “from the flight deck” are meant to play off the metaphor of our campus soaring ever higher as we expand our expectations about future possibilities. This time around, however, I leave you with a very real flight deck update. Yesterday, a number of us met with Randy McCoy, the instructor for our first year aviation classes. Plans are being made for a more concerted effort to attract students to this coursework, which works very nicely for students in our engineering program (Aviation Studies is housed in the College of Engineering). We also are looking to increase our ties with the Columbus campus and Don Scott Airfield, something that might eventually land us (pun intended) an airplane of our own!

Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

From the Dean’s Office

From the Dean’s Office

Dr. Terri Fisher

Dr. Terri Fisher

Just like their counterparts on the Columbus campus, Ohio State Mansfield faculty are active researchers whose scholarly contributions are recognized worldwide.

Thus, students at Ohio State Mansfield can benefit in the classroom from the scholarly expertise of our faculty by learning about the most up-to-date research findings.

Beyond the classroom, students can learn about how research is designed, implemented, analyzed, and disseminated. Working with students in the lab, studio, or theatre is just another form of teaching for our faculty.

Some of our students take learning about research one step further and actually carry out their own projects, the results of which may eventually be presented at a conference or even published.

A few events during the month of April will showcase the scholarly activities of both our faculty and our students. On April 9, we will hold the first of our two-part Faculty Research Frenzy, featuring faculty from a variety of disciplines who will be discussing their scholarship in short and sparkling five-minute segments.

The second Faculty Research Frenzy, featuring the work of different faculty members, will be held April 13. Both events will occur between 12:40 p.m. and 1:25 p.m. in 229 Riedl Hall.

Beginning on April 20, the Ohio State Mansfield Undergraduate Research Forum will take place in the Epperson Atrium of Riedl Hall. Students will display their research findings in the form of posters and papers for the entire week. Visitors are welcome anytime, and the students will be available to talk about their work from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. April 23.

Throughout the semester, students and faculty will be sharing the results of their research at various conferences and research forums, publishing articles and books, and displaying their artistic endeavors—all part of the vibrant scholarly atmosphere at Ohio State Mansfield!

Terri D. Fisher, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean

 

Dean’s report March 20, 2015

Happy First Day of Spring! (It couldn’t have come a moment too soon!).

When I first toured the Mansfield campus four and a half years ago in November 2010, there were three things that I saw that were “broken”: the library, the dining area, and the weight room. And so when I took the dean’s position I vowed to “fix” all three items (in addition to pledging to not take no for an answer about housing, of course). Fast forward to 2015: Our BLIC is the envy of the regional campuses, the dining area has new furniture and a major renovation scheduled for this May, and as of today (ta da!) our weight room is the amazing new gem of our campus! It’s strange to say this, but out of all the “fixes” accomplished during this time I am most proud of the renovated weight room… must be because I am a gym rat at heart!

You will soon be receiving an invitation from Mike LaCroix to attend an Open House to view the new facility. Please take the opportunity to check out the new equipment, bright new walls and mirrors, and workout floor. I hope you will experience some of the same “shock and awe” that I did!

Meanwhile, here is a quick rundown of some of the things that have happened on the Mansfield campus over the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • Offers are now out to the top candidates coming out of the History and Education searches. I will make announcements as soon as I get each candidate to sign on the dotted line!
  • Next week (W/TH) is the set of two-day meetings between your TIU chairs and the regional deans to discuss teaching, scholarship and service effort ratings.

Curriculum

  • Gary Kennedy received a fairly comprehensive response from the College of Arts & Sciences regarding our proposition to create new majors in Environmental Studies and Emerging Media in the Arts. It looks like we will be scheduling a time in the very near future to discuss the proposals with the affected TIU chairs and divisional deans.
  • Yesterday we were paid a visit by Blaine Lilly, an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, who walked us through some of the second year engineering issues we are going to be facing as we ramp up our program. It was an encouraging meeting, and plans are for some quick follow through on itemizing equipment and space needs.
  • Jeff Sharp, Director of the School of Environmental and Natural Resources, will be visiting our campus next week to discuss the pros and cons of that program re-establishing a presence on our campus.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • I have been recruited to participate in the “White Men as Full Diversity Partners” training that is taking place May 18-21 in Ohio. I am one of 15 Ohio State administrators selected to take part in this training.

Property and facilities

  • Ozeas Costa has identified some funding possibilities through USDA with regard to the development of a trail system on our campus. As a result, we have initiated some informal discussions with local funding outlets to ascertain the possibility of receiving some planning money in front of our application for the USDA money.

Town-gown relationships

  • Brian White and I met with Ontario government representatives on the Campus District this past Monday. We were provided with an update on sidewalk/bike path installation, which is scheduled to begin sometime later this spring, as well as sewer negotiations between Ontario and Mansfield, which are expected to be concluded successfully in the very near future.

From the flight deck

I am very pleased to see the work of the campus culture committee moving forward. Their report was released last Friday, and senior staff’s extensive discussion of the report this past Monday morning concluded with an endorsement of the plan. Later that same day, MSAC sponsored an open forum to discuss the report, resulting in lots of good discussion about a variety of topics. Informal lunches to continue this dialogue were on Wednesday and Thursday of this week as well, and both Executive Committee and Faculty Assembly will be taking up the discussion next Friday. Please, please, please take part in the conversation. All voices need to be heard!

Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s report March 6, 2015

I’m still coming down off the high I got last night from the Ohio State Mansfield production of “Working.” Congratulations to Joe Fahey and all of the students and staff who participated in making that event such as success. A special shout out to two of the student cast members who had major roles last evening: Tony Baer and London-Ashlee Christian. Tony is one of our Student Technical Support Specialists, who typically can be found in someone’s office troubleshooting a computer issue of one sort or another. London has been very active in student affairs this year, and most recently was a panelist during our “Race Matters” conversation. Such talent! Also, many thanks to the Ohio State Mansfield Board members who joined me last night for the event! It was a great way to show support for the Theatre Program while also saying thank you to the Board members for all they do to support our campus.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the things that have happened on the Mansfield campus over the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • The candidate visits for both the History and Education positions are now complete. Many thanks to Heather Tanner and Ruth Lowery for chairing these searches, as well as to their committee members. I am just now beginning the negotiation process with the top candidates that have been identified by the search committees. I hope to make announcements very soon!
  • I received a preliminary copy of the Campus Culture Committee report, and am scheduled to meet with the committee members this coming Monday. My hope is to get the report into everyone’s hands in the very near future in order to begin the process of formulating next steps.

Curriculum

  • In her capacity as the chair of the Curriculum Committee, Susan Delagrange made a presentation to the Board last evening to provide updates on our efforts to establish both a second year Engineering Program and a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Studies (BAIS) program. As a result of the decision to move forward with a mechanical engineering focus, we hope to have the College of Engineering on campus very soon to help make decisions about equipment necessary for the second year courses. Regarding the BAIS, it looks as though we will be putting most of our energies into getting the Environmental Studies program moving forward first, and then following with other tracks (such as the Emerging Media in the Arts).

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • The Soul Food Dinner was a smashing success by all accounts. Renee Thompson and her crew rocked the event, which was the capstone on the most comprehensive Black History Month I have witnessed over the last four years. If you haven’t done so already, please thank Renee for all of the hard work she put into these activities.

Property and facilities

  • A tabletop exercise was conducted last week with both Ohio State Mansfield and NCSC personnel involved in order to experience what would happen in the event of an emergency striking our campus.

Town-gown relationships

  • The monthly Joint Campus District planning meeting was hosted by the Mansfield campus yesterday. Happily, the group was short a couple of members, who were busying themselves with ironing out what we hope are some of the last remaining wrinkles of a sewer agreement between Mansfield and Ontario. Such an agreement would remove one of the largest remaining obstacles to the development of the property just south of the Buckeye Village Apartment complex. Initial schematics were presented on just what the property would look like when developed, which were very much in line with the walkable, life style community approach that has been discussed previously in this joint planning group.

From the flight deck

Last Thursday Provost Steinmetz gave his State of Academic Affairs speech on the Columbus campus. We garnered some of his attention that day… a shout out, if you will. Here is the excerpt:

I fear we could be heading toward the day when only the well-to-do can afford to go to a place like Ohio State. This is simply not the goal of a great land-grant institution like The Ohio State University. So what are we doing? For one thing, Ohio State has become part of a national consortium called the University Innovation Alliance, which has brought us together with leaders at ten other universities to address the problem of access. For example, we are looking at ways to use predictive analytics to make sure all our students can succeed at Ohio State and, more importantly, complete their degrees in four years. Another example: At the Mansfield and Newark campuses learning communities for first generation students have been formed to foster student success. Why is this important? It’s simple. We believe that increasing student success translates into student’s completing degrees in a timely fashion and this can lead to significant student savings of the cost of education.

Congratulations to Shari Petersen and her staff for the “point of pride” mention of the important work being done with our first generation student body! You can bet that any time access is mentioned in the context of Ohio State, the regional campuses are going to be in middle of the spotlight. And as Buckeye North, we are the closet point of access to Ohio State for over 25% of the state’s population.

I hope that everyone has a great weekend. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s Report Feb. 20, 2015

Twenty-eight days until Spring! Given the weather lately, I thought I would supply a reminder that warmer temperatures are just around the bend. Here is a quick rundown of some of the things that have happened on the Mansfield campus over the past several weeks:

Human Resources

  • The first two History candidates have visited our campus this week, and the first Education candidates begin their visits next week.
  • The Business and Finance committee was brought up to speed on our current and projected budget outlook in a meeting two weeks ago, this past Monday Senior Staff was provided with the same information, and the Ohio State Board members also received a budget update this past Wednesday. We are beginning to formulate a plan that will emphasize a maximally conservative approach to budgeting for next year alongside a plan for additional expenditures (including new hires) in the event that revenues exceed projected expenses. The direction that our budget scenario will take is almost entirely dependent on enrollment next year.

Curriculum

  • The Curriculum Committee has sent word to me of their official support for Mechanical Engineering as the focal area of our Second Year Engineering program. The College of Engineering has been notified, and we should begin to see movement on specific site requirements in the very near future.
  • Word on our environmental studies initiative is still forthcoming from Curriculum Committee.
  • Several of us attended the University Assessment Conference this past Friday on the Columbus Campus. Ohio State is ramping up its efforts to make formal and informal assessment in the classroom a more routine part of our teaching activities.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • Many thanks to Renee Thompson for all of the work that went into our two-part “Call to Action” discussions on campus and in the community. Both events were well-attended and well-received (and well covered by local media).
  • Our final Black History Month event is the Soul Food Dinner next Thursday evening. I sincerely hope to see you there!

Property and facilities

  • Brian White has sent out a notice that he will begin to host a series of informal discussions on the Campus District/Town Center conceptual frameworks. Please watch for further details on these gatherings as they are made available.

Town-gown relationships

  • I accompanied members of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on a field trip to a health and wellness facility in New Albany. This site could serve as a model for a building project on our campus in the event that WMC forges a partnership with a local health care provider. In the meantime, we have reignited discussion about taking care of more immediate health care needs for students, faculty, and staff on our campus. The hope is to have something formulated in time to use information about the availability of such services in our orientation sessions with incoming students.

From the flight deck

This past Monday our student trustee, Jaime Cruse, invited a number of staff members and students to share in a lunch he won from Johnny Biggs. It was heartening to see the noticeable comfort level that the students had interacting with each other and with our staff. Similarly, I was encouraged to hear prospective students talking about how great it was to interact with faculty members during Campus Visit Day this past Monday. There is something very special about the Ohio State Mansfield campus, and it begins with its friendly and inviting people!

I hope that everyone has a great weekend. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s Report Feb. 6, 2015

I wasn’t sure if I should start this bi-weekly report with “let it snow, let it snow” or state that there are only 42 days left until spring, so I decided to go with both sentiments. I’ve never been much of a winter person, but I used to be involved in a lot of winter sports, so that made it tolerable. The older I have gotten, combined with less hockey games played and skiing trips taken, have turned me into a bit of a Grinch. But I seem to be surrounded with folks who love snow, so it tempers my “Grinchiness” a bit. Nevertheless, I know I am not alone in rooting for warmer weather to come around soon.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the things that have happened on the Mansfield campus over the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • Annual review materials were collected from tenure track faculty with 100% completion by deadline. Thanks to all for your punctuality! Dave and I will be working diligently on reviewing those documents prior to our meetings with TIU chairs on March 25-26. Faculty members should remember to set their own meetings with TIU chairs in advance of those dates if they wish to discuss performance issues on scholarship that will be shared at that time.
  • Three History candidates will be visiting our campus in the upcoming weeks, and three Education candidates are being scheduled at this time. Please make every effort to attend the research presentations and provide important feedback about what you see and hear from these candidates to Heather and Ruth.

Curriculum

  • This past week, I received the go-ahead from the Curriculum Committee regarding our campus’s desire to focus on mechanical engineering for our second year program. Next steps here will include a refocus on the equipment and materials needed for that emphasis, as well as beginning to discuss what the job description will entail for the Professor of Practice (funded through a generous donation in the first phase of our capital campaign) that will be hired to guide and direct that work.
  • The Curriculum Committee continues to push forward on the environmental studies and emerging media in the arts initiatives. I hope to receive more definitive information from the committee on these programs in the very near future.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • This past Tuesday, our Black History Month lecture series brought us a presentation on Implicit Bias. Many thanks to Amy Brunell and Phil Mazzocco for their leadership on this topic.
  • Next Thursday, Renee Thompson will be leading a Campus Town Hall Meeting over the common hour with the theme “Race Still Matters: Part 1: Who Owns Responsibility for Student Empowerment?” This conversation will focus on the important role students can play in our community’s social issues. Part 2 of that conversation will be held later that same day at the Mid-Ohio Educational Services Center on West 4th Street, and will involve a broader community perspective on this same topic.
  • Soul Food Dinner tickets remain on sale for $10. Please remember that supplies are limited, and in any event no tickets will be sold at the door.

Property and facilities

  • Last week, the second floor Conard Hall committee met with Brenda Slack and other representatives from Physical Planning and Real Estate (PPARE). Many details were shared in that meeting, including information about estimated costs (which were quite extraordinary if all committee suggestions and known physical needs of the campus were taken care of at once). We will be working with PPARE to facilitate a dialogue with the entire campus about these details.

Town-gown relationships

  • The Richland County Community Development (RCDG) group helped our campus host a lunch for the Richland Young Professional group in order to discuss the Campus District initiative. Over 30 young professionals joined us and pledged their ongoing support and guidance during the planning process.
  • The second Joint Campus District planning meeting was hosted by the Mansfield campus yesterday. The group members decided that they will become the official champions for this specific segment of the RCDG county-wide economic development strategic initiative.

From the flight deck

This past Monday, our campus was paid a visit by Loretta Griffy, who is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (and a Math and Statistics Professor) from Austin Peay State University. Her work, which focuses on promoting student success and self-improvement in collegiate settings, had grabbed the attention of the Ohio Board of Regents. As a result of our involvement in the Complete College America program, we were able to take advantage of OBOR’s offer to have Professor Griffy come to our campus and meet with our advising team. Many thanks to Assistant Dean Terri Fisher for her continued leadership in this area, and to our advisors for the initiative they are taking to employ cutting edge concepts on behalf of our own students’ success. Terri also has been asked to participate on a planning team (formed by the Center for Higher Education Enterprise) that focuses attention on student success strategies being employed on campuses across the nation. Her travels to Georgia and Texas in the coming months undoubtedly will yield critical information about other initiatives we may want to consider bringing to the Mansfield campus.

I hope that everyone has a great weekend. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

 

Dean’s Report Jan. 23, 2015

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

What a difference a month has made for Ohio State! Winning the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship has been a HUGE boost for our university. Almost every contact I have had with colleagues around the country these past few weeks has included congratulations for our football team’s great success on the field. This translates into lots of off-the-field benefits that range from recruiting to donations, of course. And it was great to have so much school spirit shown during the playoff run! Our tailgate party was tons of fun, and students, staff, and faculty members alike showed off an amazing amount of Buckeye apparel over those two weeks.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the other things that have happened on the Mansfield campus over the past several weeks:

Human Resources

  • I met with the Culture Survey Committee and charged them with the task of finding one to three core issues that we wish to work on as a campus. Many thanks to Heather Tanner and Donna Hight for co-leading this work, as well as to the various representatives of tenure track faculty (Terri Winnick and Heather), senior staff (Cathy Stimpert and Donna), associated faculty (Andrew Kinney and Michelle Kowalski) and regular staff (Mary Jo Hawk and Darla Myers). Please remember to contact these individuals with any comments, concerns, or feedback about this work!
  • Quarterly reviews are underway with my direct reports. That means that all staff members should have received their own second quarter review, or at least be scheduled to do so in the next week or so.
  • Annual review materials are being collected from tenure track faculty at this time, with a deadline of January 31st.

Curriculum

  • There is nothing to report at this time, although I hope to receive an update on the Curriculum Committee’s work on both the engineering program and environmental studies initiative in the very near future.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • Renee Thompson, Donna Hight, and I hosted a very diverse group of students for the Ohio State women’s basketball game against Penn State this past Sunday. The Lady Buckeyes won handily, topping off a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon with the students. I got a chuckle from the way students reacted to the development suite we had for the event…several of them said they felt like “royalty” in the box. And well they should! Renee and Donna selected some of our most promising student leaders, who we hope will be staying with us as long as possible.
  • Soul Food Dinner tickets are now on sale for $10. Please remember that supplies are limited, and in any event no tickets will be sold at the door.

Property and facilities

  • Brenda Slack from Physical Planning and Real Estate (PPARE) has sent around a Doodle poll in order to schedule our next meeting of the Conard second floor planning committee. Please respond ASAP in order to select a time and date for this next very important meeting!

Town-gown relationships

  • The inaugural Joint Campus District planning meeting was hosted by the Mansfield campus two weeks ago, and included representatives from the City of Mansfield, the City of Ontario, the County Commissioners, the Regional Planning Commission, the Mansfield/Richland County Chamber of Commerce, the Richland County Community Development (RCDG) group, and the Richland Young Professional group. Our first task is to create a unified vision of the Campus District, coupled with the identification of resources that will allow our planning efforts to move forward in the most effective manner possible. This group will continue to meet on a monthly basis.

From the flight deck

I was also fortunate enough to have hosted a group of Ohio State Mansfield board members and their guests at the Ohio State men’s hockey game this past Friday against that team up north. Events such as these are one of the ways that we can say thank you to these individuals, who voluntarily give so much of their time and effort for the good of the campus. I can’t say it often enough to my board members: thank you so much for all that you do for Buckeye North!

I hope that everyone has a great weekend. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

From the Dean

Graduate students from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business just presented the third installment of a three-phase project designed to provide a plan to spur economic development in Richland County.

The Richland Community Development Group, who commissioned the project, is poised to release the plan soon, which includes many of the projects our campus is currently involved in – a campus district, an EcoLab and a wellness center – with an underlying message of community collaboration as well as attraction and retention of young professionals.

This group of students, as well as earlier groups from a City and Regional Planning studio class at the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture, for the most part have never set foot in Richland County, save for a drive along I-71. But they are precisely the future young professionals we hope to attract through the campus district project.

These students formed a very positive image of Richland County – a vibrant place with entertainment, nightlife and a business community who collectively is making Mansfield a better place to live.

Area residents always have had the perception that Ohio State Mansfield is more of a gateway to Columbus, and for many students that is still true. Depending on the degree they seek, they must transition to Columbus to finish. However, we are finding a subtle shift in the number of students who are staying at Ohio State Mansfield for at least a second year, and with more and more students deciding to stay all four years to earn one of nine bachelor’s degrees offered on our campus.

As noted in one of the articles in this edition, one way to entice these growing numbers of students to stay longer with us is through the vision of the campus district. By providing entertainment, shopping, dining, housing and other amenities that students have come to expect of campuses and the communities that surround them, we will enhance the quality of life for students, so much so that we hope they will stay in the community even after they graduate!

Collaboration among government, economic development partners and chamber of commerce members, along with input from students and young professionals, can bring this campus district concept to life. Come join us in making this vision a reality! Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.