Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,
Once again I am able to begin my report with a declaration about the significant impact of empirical work being conducted on our campus by our esteemed faculty. I am pleased to highlight the fact that Professor Del Lindsey has received notice of a three-year, $450,000 award from the National Science Foundation for his work on color and language variations in Somali and United States populations. Along with Co-Principal Investigator (and spouse) Angela Brown, who is a Professor of Optometry on the Columbus campus, Professor Lindsey will be studying how people from two very different cultures think about color. By carrying out a series of laboratory studies on Somali-speaking and English-speaking informants, these researchers will seek to increase the field’s understanding of the foundational processes that mediate innate and cultural influences on the development of the human mind. Please join me in congratulating Professor Lindsey on the receipt of this significant research award!
Last week, representatives of all four regional campuses attended a Columbus campus meeting on the Ohio State Advancement Model, a strategic university-wide initiative designed to coordinate and integrate the functions of alumni relations, communications and marketing, and development. In addition to my presence, our campus was represented by Nick Orosan, Director of Development, Ken Sigler, Director of Admissions, and Rodger Smith, Director of University Relations. Much of the time was spent sharing initial success stories regarding each campus’s ability to manage and harmonize these functions, and our brainstorming activities included how the cluster model might help to facilitate additional accomplishments in the future. In fact, as a cluster the regional campuses have more individuals dedicated to the efforts of the Advancement Model than any other unit in the university (a pointed elegantly made at the end of our meeting by Mike Boehm, Vice Provost for Academic and Strategic Planning). In the weeks and months ahead, our Advancement group will be seeking to interpret and adapt the higher-level university advancement objectives and strategies for purposes of application to our own campus, as well as striving to take on a leadership role wherever and whenever possible in order to enhance a more cluster-wide approach.
This past Monday, I hosted my quarterly lunch for the Ad Hoc Student Advisory Group. Brought together by Student Trustee Keon Willis, the group provided me with some feedback and guidance on a number of issues. Keon brought the first box of “Take 5” buttons, which are part of the campaign our campus will be running with the tentative slogan “Take 5, Be Advised.” The aforementioned catchphrase is designed to highlight two important matters. First, we hope to help students understand that the typical course load of 3 classes per quarter should translate into approximately 5 courses per semester. Second, we wish to promote the fact that students need to see their advisors as soon as possible to develop a Transitional Academic Plan (TAP), designed to help students meet the standards for progress defined by their academic programs. I was happy to hear that virtually every student present that day was aware of the need to take additional classes this coming Fall Semester, but far fewer were cognizant of the need to develop a TAP with their advisors. The students believed that they would benefit from some time to talk with Assistant Dean Terri Fisher about these and related issues, so she will be an invited guest at our Spring Quarter meeting.
The Mansfield News Journal stopped by our campus this past Monday for an interview with me and President Don Plotts of North Central State College. We covered quite a number of issues of concern to our co-located campuses, including most importantly the ways in which we are working together to advance our commonly shared goal of providing higher educational opportunities for students in North Central Ohio and beyond. As you know from previous communications out of my office, we have a number of budding articulation agreements surrounding our launch of the undergraduate education degree in Fall Semester 2012 and our undergraduate social work degree in the 2013-2014 academic year, both of which can and will take in students who have received related preparatory degrees at the associate level from NCSC. We also are examining the possibility of an “Integrated Studies” major that would allow other students with associate degrees to complete their baccalaureate work in a more general liberal arts program, as well as a “preferred pathways” program that would produce a pipeline between NCSC and Ohio State Mansfield that replicates the already existing agreement between Ohio State and Columbus State Community College. Although the article on all of these activities and programs did not make it into the newspaper by the time this report was compiled, I thought it would be important to note that the community continues to be intensely interested in stories that highlight the ways in which our two institutions are partnering to better serve our constituencies.
On Tuesday, the regional deans held their monthly meeting on the Columbus campus in order to discuss a variety of topics of interest to the Regional Campus Cluster. The front section of our meeting involved discussions with College of Nursing Dean Bernadette Melnyk, who (as previously announced in my last biweekly report) will be making a visit to our campus on March 8th in order to discuss the offering of health and mental health care for Ohio State Mansfield students, faculty, and staff. The latter section of our meeting also was focused on the health care field, as we met with Deborah Larsen, the Director of the School of Allied Medical Professions in the College of Medicine on the Columbus campus. She is interested in developing a new partnership with the regional campuses and associated technical colleges to offer an AS to BS pipeline program that would culminate in a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Rehabilitation Services. This would be a two-year program that would follow any number of certification programs at the associate level delivered through NCSC in health care related areas. Students in this program would take a variety of general education courses from us in their 3rd year, followed by a 4th year of online courses offered from the Columbus campus. We will be scheduling a campus visit for Dr. Larsen and her staff in the near future, and will craft an agenda that will have her meeting with our faculty and administrative leadership, as well as representatives from NCSC.
This biweekly report is coming out one day early in order to highlight the Tenth Annual Soul Food Dinner to be held tonight – Thursday February 23rd – at 6:00 p.m. in the Eisenhower Campus Café. Long seen as the culminating event of our Black History Month celebration, this year’s catering again will be offered by Tina’s Home Style Cooking of Mansfield, Ohio. The evening’s entertainment will include jazz music provided by Sidney Brown, Jr. and a performance by the MI PHI ME Steppers from Mansfield Senior High’s Black Culture Club. Also, our very own Dr. Scopas Poggo, Associate Professor of African and African American Studies, will be on hand to make a presentation. Many, many thanks go out to the members of our Black History Month Committee, our Multicultural Center students and staff, and the Student Engagement staff who have worked with great effort to build up this event over the last ten years.
On a final and more somber note, I wish to note that we lost one of our great supporters last week with the passing of John Jordan. While I knew Mr. Jordan for a relatively brief amount of time, his impact on our campus stretches back over two decades. In 1994, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees created the John S. Jordan Scholarship Fund in recognition of his great service to the minority community. Almost 10 years after the creation of that scholarship, John began his own service on the Ohio State Mansfield Board, eventually serving two full terms of office until his retirement from the Board in 2010. In 2011, John Jordan was named a recipient of OSU Mansfield’s inaugural “Excellence in Diversity Award,” which recognizes those who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and multiculturalism through various activities such as recruitment and retention efforts, multicultural programming, cultural competency, community outreach activities, and other initiatives that seek to serve a diverse population of individuals. I cannot imagine a better person to have won this award the first time it was presented by our university community. I was honored to have represented our campus during a memorial service held last Friday at the Oasis of Love Church, and gave some remarks that hopefully helped the family to know of our collective gratitude for all of the assistance that Mr. Jordan provided over the last twenty-plus years. John Jordan was a true friend and supporter of the Ohio State Mansfield campus, and his legacy and impact will be felt for many, many years to come.