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KeyNotes Autumn 2011


Autumn 2011

Ohio State’s Academic Priorities for 2011-12

Founded in the overarching commitments of our institutional vision, mission, and values, these are the priorities that will guide our efforts during academic year 2011-12.

  • Accelerate planning to enhance the student experience through sophomore housing and affiliated programming.
  • Successfully implement the university’s conversion to semesters.
  • Consolidate and fully implement strategic planning processes, including (a) better aligning college goals with university-wide initiatives and (b) creating governance structures and initial funding for our three discovery themes (which I discuss below).
  • Working in coordination with senior university leadership, implement three major cost savings/simplification projects that will generate $60 million in savings per year by year three of the initiatives.
  • Through improvements in structure, process, and cultural alignment, secure a greater level of cooperation and coordination among the top administrative leaders with particular focus on success in our Advancement objectives.
  • Work with deans and faculty groups to articulate policies for broadened reward and recognition for faculty achievements and monitor their implementation.
  • Support new academic leadership at college and unit levels through training and mentoring.
  • Refocus Continuing Education operations and develop an initiative to expand distance education activities.
  • Complete planning for a new Global Gateway in India and expand the integration of international issues in curricula university wide.
  • Successfully implement year two of the “One University” strategic enrollment plan.
  • Support further development of interdisciplinary networks in the life and environmental sciences.
  • Expand the development of professionally oriented master’s level programs with at least four new programs to be operational by academic year 2012-13.
  • Increase external research funding by three percent and solidify plans for expansion of research park activities.
  • Expand technological support for student academic advising and career counseling.

These priorities touch on every aspect of our academic life at Ohio State, from rewarding faculty for their achievements to supporting the development of unit leadership in more meaningful ways to enhancing student opportunities through broadened curricular offerings, new housing and residence life programming, and improved access to advising services. Some of these challenges—implementing consolidated strategic planning processes and bringing new direction to Continuing Education, for example—will be met and resolved within the year. Others—developing sophomore housing, for instance, and increasing the number of professional master’s programs—will need ongoing attention, even though we will begin work on them this year.

The successful implementation of all the priorities, however, will require the best efforts of many people, including faculty, staff, and student groups, university partners, and alumni and friends of the university. Helping me steer these efforts are the members of the Academic Affairs leadership team whose dedication helps ensure our university’s academic reputation. These vice provosts and vice presidents, if you do not yet know them personally, are profiled at

Discovery Themes: Focusing the University’s Expertise on Global Issues

Ohio State has targeted three discovery themes that will help shape our institutional research efforts. These themes—health and wellness, food production and security, and energy and environment—emerged as common research foci identified in many of our colleges’ strategic plans. As such, they tap Ohio State’s uniquely broad base of excellence in these areas.

Tackling these sweeping challenges is possible only at a university the size and complexity of Ohio State because breakthroughs in such areas are not possible without multiple perspectives and sources of expertise. Here, interdisciplinary teams of faculty experts can be readily assembled to cooperate in developing solutions to the long-term issues that touch all human beings everywhere. We expect that discovery theme researchers will be drawn from every college and all six campuses of the university.

Meanwhile, as they concentrate their efforts on the issues the discovery themes are meant to address, experts elsewhere in the university will continue to advance our understanding of history and philosophy, languages and cultures, the arts—indeed, all the areas that we call the core of the university. We know that our programs in medicine, agriculture, veterinary sciences, engineering, and many other fields of study are rich and strong because they are grounded by that core.

Since Ohio State opened its doors in 1873, the university has embraced its land-grant mandate to bring the results of its research prowess to the community. From the development of the state’s Meteorological Service in 1873 to today’s advances in nanotechnology, climate change, and materials science, Ohio State has pioneered the discoveries and innovations that change—and save—lives. The establishment of the discovery themes is the natural and necessary evolution of the university’s time-honored tradition of finding solutions to big issues.

College Leadership: New Deans of Dentistry, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing

In addition to the Academic Affairs leadership team that is so important to this institution, Ohio State is privileged to make a special call on the talents of those faculty members who have agreed to serve their units as chairs, directors, and deans. Among the latter group are four new colleagues who will enhance the university’s reputation and visibility in Dentistry, Engineering, Medicine, and Nursing.

Patrick M. Lloyd

Patrick M. Lloyd became dean of the College of Dentistry on August 1. Before coming to Ohio State, Patrick was a faculty member in the Department of Restorative Sciences at the University of Minnesota and, starting in 2004, was dean of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry. Previously, he was the executive officer in the Department of Family Dentistry in the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry.

His research and scholarship focuses on the effect of age on human dentition, graduate dental education curricula in geriatrics, and the interdisciplinary care of the older adult patient. Throughout his career, Patrick has held leadership roles in a number of national dental organizations. He is a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists, a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics, and a Fellow, Clinical Medicine Section, of the Gerontological Society of America.

He earned a D.D.S. degree and an M.S. in prosthodontics from Marquette University.

David B. Williams

On April 18, David B. Williams stepped to the helm of our College of Engineering. A native of Leeds, England, Dave holds B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and Sc.D. degrees from the University of Cambridge.

From 2007 to 2011, he was president of The University of Alabama in Huntsville. During his tenure there, UAHuntsville became the smallest and youngest university to join only 75 other public research universities in the Carnegie Foundation's "Very High Research Activity" tier. Earlier, Dave served for 30 years at Lehigh University, where he was a professor of materials science and engineering and held several administrative posts.

He is co-author and editor of 11 textbooks and the author or co-author of numerous publications on the application of analytical and transmission electron microscopy as well as studies of precipitation and segregation in metals and alloys. He is a fellow of three international professional societies.

Charles J. Lockwood

Charles J. Lockwood is Ohio State’s new Dean of the College of Medicine and Vice President for Health Sciences. Prior to his arrival at Ohio State on September 1, Charly was the Anita O'Keeffe Young Professor of Women's Health and chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at Yale.

He earned a Sc.B. degree from Brown University, his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Science in Health Care Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.

His clinical interests include the prevention of recurrent pregnancy loss, preterm delivery, and maternal thrombophilias. He has been credited with leading a research team that discovered fetal fibronectin, the first biochemical predictor of prematurity. His extensive list of publications attests to his international reputation in obstetrics and gynecology.

Charly is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Bernadette M. Melnyk

Bernadette M. Melnyk became dean of the College of Nursing and Associate Vice President for Health Promotion and Chief Wellness Officer on September 15.

Bern came to Ohio State from Arizona State University, where she was dean and distinguished foundation professor in nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. She is a widely recognized expert in evidence-based practice, intervention research, and child and adolescent mental health.

She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the National Academies of Practice. In 2010, she received the first Director's Lectureship Award from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research. In addition, she has twice been recognized as an Edge Runner by the American Academy of Nursing: once for founding the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners' KySS mental health initiative and the second time for her COPE Program for parents of premature infants.

I am delighted that Patrick, Dave, Charly, and Bern have chosen Ohio State as their institutional home. I know their leadership will bring still further accomplishment and opportunity to their colleges.

Food for Thought

In closing, I would like to bring your attention to another kind of opportunity, one that will benefit students and faculty alike. The “Food for Thought” program being sponsored by the Offices of Student Life and Academic Affairs has been created to facilitate faculty-student interactions.

This program allows students to invite a faculty member to lunch at Sloopy’s Diner in the Ohio Union at no cost to the participants. By taking advantage of this program, students can learn more about professors’ research and opportunities in their field of study.

Students must take the initiative in inviting faculty members to lunch. I encourage you to make time for students who ask you to participate in this new initiative.


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