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.


  • 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!


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