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.


  • 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!

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