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.


  • 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!

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