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.


  • 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!

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