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.


  • 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!

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