Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,
My last several Bi-Weekly Reports to the campus have surrounded the Capital Campaign. Recent developments, including most significantly the Gorman Family and Smith Family gifts, have brought increased visibility, excitement and enthusiasm to our friend raising and fundraising efforts. As well, activities surrounding our Campus Campaign are beginning to bear fruit as we strive to match or exceed last year’s overall participation rate (85%). I hope that my recent pledge to make a contribution on behalf of anyone not able to find a fund that matches their personal interest areas will push us ever more closely to the 100% participation finish line.
Meanwhile, my office has been working diligently with the Budget and Compensation Committee and the Ohio State Mansfield Board Finance Committee over the last two months on a number of important fronts. Our first task has been to complete the 2012-2013 fiscal year in “the black,” and I am pleased to note that we are on track to do exactly that. Our second and no less important task has been to create a balanced budget plan for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Despite the lack of a tuition increase, a drop in subsidy payments, an increase in health care costs, and salary adjustment pressures, we believe that a balanced budget is in sight. My office will be sharing more information about the budget specifics in the days and weeks ahead.
At the same time, there are a lot of other activities going on in addition to the Capital Campaign and budget planning. I thought I might provide a “punch list” of these undertakings and events in the present Bi-Weekly Report so that the campus community has a sense of what’s been going on as of late.
“My Way, A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” is almost ready for debut. If you haven’t already done so, please purchase your tickets for shows on April 11, 12, 13, or 14. My office cannot take any credit for this, other than keeping me far away from a microphone. However, this is an important event that showcases the great amount of talent that exists on our campus and in the local community, so it gets the top billing spot on my punch list!
Planning for our Third Annual Day of Celebration is proceeding smoothly. We will have a Luau theme this year, so get your Hawaiian shirts out of storage and ready for use on May 17!
Speaking of planning, the next “Beginning Anew Conversation” in partnership with Mansfield City Schools and NCSC will be hosted on May 22 and 23. Renee Thompson, our Family Engagement Coordinator, is gathering up an amazing amount of resources so that educators, business leaders, clergy, social service agency professionals, board members, families and students all can be brought together for a sustained conversation about partnerships that make a difference for the communities that surround us.
We were recently visited by representatives of the Veteran’s Affairs Office and ROTC programs on the Columbus campus, and we hope that future activities with these groups will allow us to better connect our campus to the 179th Airlift Base.
We are moving out of the design phase of the Bromfield Information Commons project and will soon be moving into the actual construction phase. The library will be literally transformed over the summer months into one of the crown jewels of our campus.
We have initiated the planning phase for the Eisenhower first floor renovation project, in concert with a series of meetings surrounding the Ohio State meal plan that will begin to be offered to our students starting this fall semester. Three square meals a day for our residential students will now be guaranteed, much to the delight of those parents who are footing the bills.
Having recently finalized our Framework Plan, we are now putting that programmatic, physical and financial planning tool to immediate good use. Among other things, the debut of the Framework Plan to our community partners has resulted in:
Investigating relationships with City of Mansfield, City of Ontario, and Richland County Commissioners regarding development and infrastructure issues
Opening the most promising dialogues yet with private developers regarding student housing
The RCC Deans have completed meetings with TIU chairs regarding the research portion of the annual review process, and we are now well underway in meetings with faculty to discuss performance ratings. The process worked even more smoothly this year, and the vast majority of chairs were exceedingly well prepared to discuss scholarship expectations and outcomes on the regional campuses.
The new Office of Extended and Distance Education on the Columbus campus is working to engage regional campus faculty on a number of distance learning initiatives, including but not limited to efforts that surround the provision of remedial education in English and Math. A meeting on this topic is planned for May 15th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on the Marion campus.
We are finalizing an articulation agreement that will place NCSC Human Services associate degree recipients into our Bachelor of Social Work program. In tandem, we are seeking to solidify our relationship with Lorain County Community College in order to bring their students into our MSW program offerings. Once we have these agreements nailed down for our social work program, we will begin to explore similar agreements and offerings in other program areas.
There’s more, of course, but that list ought to give readers the sense that there are a lot of moving parts right now, and most all of them are trending in the right direction! Undoubtedly, future Bi-Weekly Reports will be filling in more of the details on these bullet points as they become known. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about any of this.