Posted by gavazzi.1 in Dean's message
Created on September 24, 2012 at 12:33pm
And tagged with: Array
Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,
This past Friday, a fairly significant event occurred on our campus. The Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College Board members were brought together in order to discuss our ongoing Framework Planning activities. This meeting is remarkable for at least two reasons. First, our Framework Plan has now reached a level of development which allows for it to be shared with individuals beyond the planning committee members themselves. Second, and no less important, is the fact that the Framework process generated a specific purpose for members of the two campus boards to come together in common cause.
You will recall from earlier communications that Framework activities are meant to provide principles, strategies, tools and scenarios for guiding change over time by transforming and redefining how we think about our physical environment. This is especially timely as many of our campus buildings are reaching 50 years of age, a critical time for assessing the need to repair, renovate, or remove and rebuild campus structures. The Board members were exposed to a variety of issues and opportunities, including possible relocation of our “front door” to a more westerly location on Lexington-Springmill Road, taking better advantage of our natural settings and resources, reorienting our view corridors and service connections to buildings, and better organizing our pedestrian circulation and way finding.
The combined Board members also were updated about one earlier meeting that took place with local elected officials and planning professionals from various Mansfield, Ontario, and Richland County offices, as well as representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, Med Central Hospital, and the YMCA. This prior meeting involved a series of brainstorming activities that would result in increased connections between our campus and the surrounding communities. Discussion included bike paths, walking trails, health care facilities, and various recreational activities that would invite the community onto our campus, as well as sidewalk and road extensions that would better link our campus to Ontario and Mansfield commercial and residential entities.
As I noted above, the fact that the Framework process had generated a specific purpose for members of the two campus boards to be brought together in common cause is quite remarkable. This is consistent with our Campus Implementation Plan (CIP), which calls specifically for better resource stewardship of our financial and physical resources by working with our co-located technical college partner to gain operational efficiency (4.1.C). Hence, there is every reason for members of our two boards to be getting together more regularly in order to provide consultation on how to best make these sorts of activities happen most effectively. In turn, board members also will be better positioned to communicate with community members about the need to support the physical needs of the campus in ways that will contribute to the development and well-being of both institutions of higher learning.
Of course, the Framework Plan touches on almost every aspect of our CIP, as physical facilities will directly impact how and where we provide teaching and learning opportunities, research efforts, and outreach and engagement activities. Therefore, the voice of each and every member of the campus community should be heard. In that vein, please note that a draft plan will be circulated in the very near future, and subsequently all faculty, staff, and students will be invited to a campus wide town hall meeting on the Framework Plan in order to further explore these and related issues.
On a separate note, many of you already have caught wind of some recent discussion about the development of campus health care services. In the very near future, all faculty, staff and students will be invited to participate in a survey regarding possible health and wellness offerings on the Mansfield campus. The primary purpose of this effort is to bring needed services to Ohio State Mansfield students at a level that is consistent with what currently is available to students on the Columbus campus. However, in order to make the delivery of such services more cost effective, we are looking to expand the provision of health care on campus to faculty and staff members as well (and possibly to our North Central colleagues at some point in time). Again, the idea would be to replicate what already is offered on the Columbus campus. It’s a simple concept, really, based on fairness and equality of access.
The provision of health care for students also is specifically identified in our CIP. In the section on expanding the RCC student population by fostering programs that welcome and support a diverse student body (1.3.B), several tactics are named, including evaluating the delivery of wellness and health care services on campus. This was an especially important component of the CIP in my opinion, as I was discouraged early in my tenure here at Mansfield to find out that regional campus students could not access health care services on campus. I had assumed that this was an insurmountable obstacle due to various logistical reasons; that is, until I met the new College of Nursing Dean, Bern Melnyk, who understands the strong association between academic performance and physical and mental health. As a result of my preliminary conversations with Dean Melnyk and other senior administrators on the Columbus campus, I am now much more hopeful about the prospects of health care delivery on the Mansfield campus. As we gain traction on this issue, I will be asking for your input on this important topic. Therefore, as a first step in this process I would ask that you take a moment to complete the survey when asked to do so. Thank you in advance for offering your opinions about this topic! Please enjoy the weekend, and GO BUCKS!