On Tuesday, I was joined by a number of Mansfield colleagues in witnessing the Investiture of President Michael Drake. It was a grand ceremony, punctuated by a number of inspiring welcoming remarks, and brought to a climax by President Drake’s own speech to the campus. I was heartened by the fact that he emphasized access and affordability, two topics that speak directly to the mission and values of the Mansfield campus. Additionally, he highlighted the ever growing importance of diversity in all of its forms on the university campus, something we have been paying more and more attention to in recent years as our student body has diversified.
Here is a quick rundown of some of the things that have happened on the Mansfield campus over the past two weeks:
- Our top candidates for the Education and History positions have accepted our offers! I was pleased to have both Kate Nelson and Kip Curtis agree to join the Mansfield faculty early last week.
- The regional deans met collectively with the TIU chairs in order to share performance review information. I was pleased to see how much more effortlessly these conversations were occurring with the chairs as compared to years past. Most if not all of the bumps in the road we had experienced previously seemed to have been smoothed over now. Also, I was very happy to have heard about the significant number of faculty members who already had met with their chairs in order to receive their scholarship evaluations.
- Initial reactions to the campus culture committee’s report have been collected from faculty and staff. Committee members will be meeting to plan next steps in response to this feedback.
- Jeff Sharp, Director of the School of Environmental and Natural Resources, visited our campus yesterday along with a group of SENR faculty members. A number of partnership-oriented activities are in the planning stages to increase the SENR presence on our campus.
Diversity and inclusion issues
- Yesterday, we kicked off the No More campaign on our campus. This chartered student group, led by our own Renee Thompson, is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. There were a number of very moving presentations made during this very well attended event.
Property and facilities
- Comments regarding the second floor Conard space utilization study were due this week, and plans are underway to roll out information from this work to the campus as a whole in the near future.
- The Campus District Development Segment group met yesterday to solidify work on a number of actionable steps over the course of the next twelve months. This includes the development of a site plan, a zoning overlay, and utility extensions for the Town Center, extending the sidewalk/bike path from Route 30 to the campus entrance, and preparing a marketing plan for the broader Campus District.
From the flight deck
Normally, my summary remarks “from the flight deck” are meant to play off the metaphor of our campus soaring ever higher as we expand our expectations about future possibilities. This time around, however, I leave you with a very real flight deck update. Yesterday, a number of us met with Randy McCoy, the instructor for our first year aviation classes. Plans are being made for a more concerted effort to attract students to this coursework, which works very nicely for students in our engineering program (Aviation Studies is housed in the College of Engineering). We also are looking to increase our ties with the Columbus campus and Don Scott Airfield, something that might eventually land us (pun intended) an airplane of our own!
Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!