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.

From the Dean

The Ohio State University at Mansfield is fortunate to have a great partnership in North Central State College. As campus partners, we constantly strive to create an extraordinary campus experience for students and the communities that surround us.

Non-academic services began to be shared several years ago as a cost-saving measure. Each institution still has its own academic mission, programs and faculty, but shares resources on the non-academic side. Today, that efficiency has resulted in a more dynamic student experience for all.

Co-location has many advantages that ultimately benefit students. The Bromfield Library and Information Commons, Campus Recreation Center, Theatre, and Student Engagement activities are open to students of both institutions. A vibrant athletics program is beginning to take shape, fed by students from across campus. The Business and Industry Internship Program has placed hundreds of students from both institutions with local companies to provide workforce experience.

Work is underway with representatives from both institutions to establish brand principles to further enhance the shared student experience and to think in terms of a singular campus as opposed to two co-located institutions. We want our students to feel that the programs and activities are here for them regardless of the institution at which they are enrolled currently.

The branding group intends to focus on the commonalities across campus while recognizing the differences in the types of students. Approximately 75 percent of our students have just graduated from high school, while NC State students mainly include non-traditional students who are returning to college to train for a second career. We want all of these students to feel that there is something here for everyone.

Ultimately, the group will explore questions such as “What do students need for an extraordinary campus experience?” and “What is the most essential thing we can focus on that will fulfill their needs?”

The bottom line goal is to create a seamless campus experience for students while maintaining access, affordability and program excellence. Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.

Dean’s Report Nov. 14, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

On Wednesday, Carol Landry’s recent promotion to Associate Professor with tenure was celebrated on the Columbus campus during a reception held at the Faculty Club. A tradition to mark the occasion has emerged whereby the newly promoted faculty member is asked to select a book that in some way stands as a symbol for the academic achievements involved in the promotion process. Professor Landry chose Waser and Ollerton’s “Plant Pollinator Interactions: From Specialization to Generalization” because, in her words, “the editors and authors of this book have strongly influenced the way that I think about pollination mutualisms specifically and, more broadly, about the importance of species interactions in the maintenance of biodiversity.” Congratulations once again to Carol!

Here is a quick rundown on the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • The request for nominations regarding the position of Assistant Dean was sent out last week. Please remember that the deadline for nominations is this coming Monday, November 17th at noon.
  • We recently received the results of the Ohio State culture survey. Given our desire to have the best possible work environment created on our campus, I have asked the following individuals to form a working group that will be tasked with making recommendations concerning the one or two issues emerging out of the survey that can become the main focus on work for the campus: Donna Hight and Heather Tanner (co-chairs), Mary Jo Hawk, Michelle Kowalski, Phil Mazzocco, Darla Myers, Andy Kinney, and Cathy Stimpert. Many thanks in advance to the members of this working group for the efforts to create meaningful and pragmatic recommendations. Please note that those recommendations will be distributed to the campus and discussed in an upcoming town hall meeting.

Curriculum

  • Several meetings recently have occurred that spoke directly to the development of an environmentally focused program of study on the Mansfield campus. Brian White and I will be presenting the EcoLab vision to the School of Environmental and Natural Sciences (SENR) faculty on the Columbus campus this coming Monday (11/17) in order to further understand their interest in offering SENR courses and majors on our campus.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • Last week, in celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Cherokee recording artist Michael Jacobs was on hand to entertain our campus through a blend of Native American, folk and pop music. Additionally, he discussed the triumphs and challenges of the Native American community with a crowd of approximately 50 participants.
  • Discussions are underway regarding activities for the 2015 Black History Month. We are looking to collaborate with a variety of community partners for next year’s activities.

Property and facilities

  • Yesterday, the Ohio State Mansfield Board joined the Executive Committee in voting to support two expenditures related to property and facilities management. The first item concerned the authorization to spend up to $50K on improvements to the Campus Recreation Center, while the second item involved an expenditure of approximately $12K to hire a woodlands conservation expert who would be responsible for creating a woodlands stewardship plan for our 640 acres. As noted in a previous biweekly report, the woodlands stewardship plan will allow us to more firmly wrap our collective minds around the resources we have within the borders of our 640 acres, while the facility upgrade will provide a long overdue facelift to the CRC.

Town-gown relationships

  • Last week, NCSC and Ohio State Mansfield hosted a conversation on the campus district concept. The mayors of Mansfield, Ontario, and Shelby were in attendance (I am happy to note here that Shelby’s Mayor Marilyn John also was present as County Commissioner elect), as were various interested parties from across Richland County. A second meeting will be convened in order to discuss the priority level that our surrounding communities will affix to the development of the campus district.
  • Yesterday, a sizable contingent of Ohio State Mansfield and NCSC representatives were on hand at the Kehoe Center for the United Way’s Mid-Campaign Breakfast. You may or may not know that Ohio State Mansfield Board member Dan DeVille currently is serving as the United Way’s Board President. In many ways, Dan is the very embodiment of the town-gown partnership as he works tirelessly for the betterment of both campus and community. Next time you see Dan, please join me in thanking him for all of his efforts!

From the flight deck

It’s getting closer and closer to the most wonderful time of the year, that amazing mix of holidays and traditions that mark the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. Two weeks from now we will be on Thanksgiving break, so my next biweekly report will come your way in December. And just before turkey day we will have celebrated the Buckeye Bash, which at the time of this report’s writing already is sold out! This is great news for the Richland County Ohio State Alumni’s scholarship program, which the Buckeye Bash helps to support. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s report Oct. 31, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

Happy Halloween everyone!

As with my last biweekly report, I have another set of bittersweet commemorations to report this time around. Today is the last day at Ohio State for Michelle McLane, who has served our campus well for many years. We wish her the best of luck as she moves forward to take advantage of new opportunities. Fortunately, we recently welcomed her replacement, Rolanda Page, as our new Coordinator of Student Development and Access Services. The fact that we created an intentional overlap has given Rolanda the advantage of learning the ropes from Michelle prior to her departure. If you have not yet introduced yourself to Rolanda, please do so in the near future!

Another bittersweet moment occurred yesterday when I attended a reception and dinner following Anne Epperson’s last Alumni Council meeting on the Columbus campus. Anne has been our Alumni Council representative for the past six years, and has given much to our campus and university during this time period. We are fortunate to have had Dick Walters, a longtime supporter of our campus (including his having been a recent capital campaign committee member), accept our invitation to take on this important role for the Ohio State Mansfield campus. Many thanks to Anne for all of her service and to Dick for stepping forward at this time!

Meanwhile, here is a quick rundown on the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • On Monday, Nick Orosan helped to host an Advancement forum that included Dana Booth, (Assistant Vice President for Constituency Fundraising), Jeff Hilpert (Senior Director of Development), Jacqui Aberegg (Assistant Vice President, Brand & Marketing), and Chad Warren (Assistant Vice President for Engagement Strategies). In many ways this meeting resembled the HR forum that was held last year, especially from the vantage point of hearing how the Mansfield and Columbus campuses work together as a team to accomplish various missions concerning development, communications, and alumni relations.

Curriculum

  • Last week, Dolan Evanovich, Vice President for Enrollment Planning, brought a number of his staff members to the Mansfield campus in order to discuss our five year admissions projections. There was a great deal of enthusiasm expressed for the recent addition of the off-campus housing through Buckeye Village, as well as the activities we are undertaking to refashion ourselves as a more residential campus. We have chosen a theme of “under promise and over perform” regarding enrollment projections, asking for an official target of around 1400 students in the next five years (up from approximately 1250 right now, or about a 12% increase in enrollment by 2019).
  • On Monday, Executive Dean of Arts and Sciences David Manderscheid visited our campus and met with faculty members over the common hour for an informal chat about current issues and opportunities within the college regarding regional campus faculty and students.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • Renee Thompson continues to work with Ohio State Mansfield students to establish the “No More” campaign to end domestic violence and sexual assault. An information campaign regarding the relevance of the No More campaign is slated to be shared by year’s end.
  • Bruce George, co-founder of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on HBO, presented on our Mansfield campus last week. An estimated 40 students, faculty and community members were on hand to listen to Mr. George’s insight regarding entrepreneurialism, critical thinking and personal achievement. Afterwards, Mr. George met with students to give specific insight on the entertainment industries and the challenges of achieving musical success.
  • In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Cherokee recording artist Michael Jacobs will be on hand to entertain our campus through a blend of Native American, folk and pop music, as well as discussing the triumphs and challenges of the Native American community. Mr. Jacobs will present on our campus on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 (4:00 pm-5:00 pm) and at OSU Columbus on Wednesday, November 5th.

Property and facilities

  • Last week, a small contingent of the Ohio State Mansfield and NCSC leadership teams were on hand for the dedication ceremony of the “Founder’s Rock” commemorating the work that Avery Hand and Jim Gorman undertook to raise funds for the purchase of the property on which our campus now resides. Jim Gorman was joined by several members of his family for this event. Avery Hand (who passed away several years ago) was honored by a number of his family members who wrote tributes that were read out loud at the ceremony in celebration of his life as a father, grandfather and community citizen.
  • The third meeting of the Conard second floor programming study met last week to hear some preliminary findings from Physical Planning and Real Estate (PPARE) staff members working with our campus on this project. Feedback from participants will now trigger a new round of fact finding, with the hope of a more rigorous set of recommendations forthcoming in the near future.
  • Senior members of the Ohio State Mansfield and NCSC leadership teams received a “sneak peek” regarding preliminary findings regarding the new entranceway work being conducted by MKSK Design group. The preliminary feedback generated through this meeting will be incorporated into the design plans that will be shared with the wider group of committee members before being vetted by our campus community.

 Town-gown relationships

  • On Monday, I attended the 100th anniversary celebration of Catholic Charities along with several members of our campus, including Nick Orosan and Renee Thompson. John and Mary Riedl also were in attendance, along with approximately 100 community guests. This event was hosted by one of the many local agencies and organizations we work with on a consistent basis in order to provide important services to community residents through the volunteer activities of our students, staff, and faculty.
  • I have been appointed to the International Town Gown Association (ITGA) Strategic Planning Group Committee.

From the flight deck

One proposal to hire a woodlands stewardship consultant and a second proposal to use strategic cash reserves to provide an immediate upgrade to the CRC workout facilities were approved by the Executive Committee yesterday. The woodlands stewardship plan will allow us to more firmly wrap our collective minds around the resources we have within the borders of our 640 acres, while the facility upgrade will provide a long overdue facelift to the CRC.

This past Wednesday I took part in the third annual meeting of Regional Campus Cluster deans and the Presidents of the co-located campuses. Among other things, this event represented a “passing of the torch” from Mike Boehm to Jennifer Cowley. There are so many reasons to praise Mike’s leadership over the past four and a half years, and just as much motivation for expecting much the same from Jennifer’s guidance and direction.

Finally, on a more personal note I wanted to share the joy I experienced two days ago when I returned to the undergraduate classroom. A former doctoral student of mine had adopted the textbook I had written on families with adolescents for her class, and asked if I would visit with her students. I provided a short lecture on the material of the day, facilitated small and larger group discussions, and then was grateful to receive feedback from students about the book I wrote. It was such a gratifying experience, and it prompts me to remind Ohio State Mansfield faculty members about how fortunate you all are to have the privilege of teaching our best and brightest on a regular basis!

All signs continue to point to friendly skies ahead. May your weekend be filled with maximum treats and a minimum of tricks. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s report Oct. 17, 2014

Each year we welcome new members into the Ohio State academy. Last week, President Drake hosted a new faculty member reception at the Ohio State Faculty Club, and I was delighted to take part in this celebration with both Ruth Lowery and Agus Munoz-Garcia. We were able to catch the attention of President Drake for a couple of moments, and he spoke warmly about the regional campuses due to his recent visit to Newark. In addition to noting his interest in visiting the Mansfield campus in the not-too-distant future, he also was quite animated about the special role he saw the regional campuses playing in the realm of P-16 education. This certainly left Ruth with a big smile on her face!

Meanwhile, here is a quick rundown on the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • On Monday, NCSC President Dorey Diab and I hosted an Open Student Forum along with Ohio State Student Trustee Jaime Cruse and NCSC Student McKayla Cox. Special thanks to Andrew Kinney for offering extra credit to students who participated in the forum!
  • On Tuesday, I sent out a notice to the Mansfield campus regarding Norman Jones having accepted my offer to become the next Associate Dean. Norman will begin his new role on July 1, 2015.
  • NOTE: Following our ironing out of some last minute details in Executive Committee, we soon will begin the search process for our next Assistant Dean.

Curriculum

  • On Monday, Dave Tovey, Brian White and I met with Ozeas Costa and Carol Landry regarding both the BAIS (Integrated Studies with emphasis on environmental studies) and the SENR minor and major and how all of this curricular-based work would dovetail with our EcoLab initiative. Next steps include completing the BAIS curriculum outline and notifying the Columbus campus of our intention to begin offering students an Individualized Study Program (ISP) option while seeking official recognition of the new major from the Arts and Sciences faculty.
  • On Wednesday, Dave Tovey and I toured some of the Mechanical Engineering (ME) sites on the Columbus campus in order to gain a better idea about the facilities we would need to have to offer the second, third, and fourth years of an ME major.
  • On Thursday, several members of the College of Engineering (COE) – including Dean David Williams and Associate Dean David Tomasko – visited our campus. Special attention was given to the development of our four year engineering degree offerings, as well as connecting local employers with students and graduates from the COE.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • As a result of last week’s Woman2Woman conversation with Katherine Ezawa of The DomesticViolence Shelter, Inc., participants unanimously agreed to begin efforts to champion the “NoMore” campaign to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Renee Thompson is working withthis group to develop mission and vision statements and will meet again with Katherine onWednesday, October 22nd to begin crystallizing a campus-wide “No More” campaign.
  • NOTE: Bruce George, the co-founder of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on HBO, will present atthe Mansfield campus on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 4:00 pm-5:30 pm., EisenhowerStudent Union.

Property and facilities

  • Last Thursday, President Diab, Brian White and I met with members of the Ontario Growth Association in order to discuss a range of issues, including most significantly a series of zoning issues that are being considered by the Ontario City Council regarding the Campus District. Much of this work is being done in order to create a uniform look to new businesses that will develop on Lex-Springmill Road.
  • On Thursday, I spent some time with Larry Stimpert on a tour of our physical facilities, as well astaking the opportunity to meet with his Physical Operations and Maintenance (POM) staff.

Town-gown relationships

  • Last week, I attended the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) conferencein Syracuse, New York. In addition to presenting a talk on the recent campus-community surveywe conducted, I spent quite a bit of time talking to CUMU members who are facing similarchallenges as our campus in terms of improving town-gown relationships. One of the mostgratifying pieces of good news I brought back was that the baseline data created by our surveywas the envy of the conference!

From the flight deck

This is Homecoming week, and later today we will be crowning a new Mansfield campus Homecoming Queen and King. The following individuals are representing our campus this year as part of the Mansfield Homecoming Court: Nella Blackford (Ashland, Early Childhood Education), Maris Bucci (Bellville, Communications), Jordan Morse (Ashland, Psychology), Joey Burley (Ashland, Psychology & English), Jordan Landis (Crestview, Middle Childhood Education), and Greg Palmerton (Norwalk, Biology & Pre-Medicine). In addition, these students will get to participate in the Homecoming Parade and Marching Band rehearsal on the Columbus campus today, and then will be on hand tomorrow for the pre-game skull session and ensuing football game against Rutgers. This is a great bunch of students, many of whom have already positioned themselves as student leaders on our campus. Many thanks to Elise Riggle for working with the other regional campuses to coordinate these events for our Homecoming Court. This is another great example of our students benefitting from our small campus advantages while still being able to participate in the big campus events!

If you have any of the Homecoming Court students in your classes, please let them know how proud we are of them. There is a lot to be delighted about these days, and our stellar students are the centerpiece of it all. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!