Academic Leaders Forum

2019 Academic Leaders Forum

Friday, September 27, 2019

Center of Science and Industry (COSI)


The following agenda is tentative and subject to change.

Time Session
7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
An opportunity to network with colleagues
8 a.m. Welcome
Kay Wolf, Senior Vice Provost
Frederic Bertley, President and Chief Executive Officer, COSI
8:20 a.m. Forum Opening
Bruce A. McPheron, Executive Vice President and Provost
8:45 a.m. Higher Education
Higher Education and Changing Culture
Adrianna Kezar explores the change process in higher education institutions and the role of leadership in creating change

A Conversation with Adrianna and Bruce
10:35 a.m. Academic Leadership at Ohio State
Bruce shares his leadership insights and calls for values-based decision making
11:20 a.m. Research and Creative Expression — The Value of Convergence Work
Bruce and Morley Stone reflect on the morning’s conversations and frame the afternoon agenda.
11:45 a.m. Lunch
12:35 p.m. Research and Creative Expression — Exploring Convergence
Exemplars of Convergence Research
Cristina Davis offers insights into her collaborative, interdisciplinary career
Thomas DeFrantz offers insights and experience from his convergent career

Convergence, Leadership and CoSearch
Michael Burns provides one avenue for stimulating interdisciplinarity and convergence

A Deeper Conversation
Bruce and Morley join Cristina, Tommy and Michael to discuss common supports, barriers and the key role of leaders in promoting convergent work
3:20 p.m. Closing
Bruce reflects on the day
3:45 p.m. Forum Reception
Bruce invites you to join him and your fellow academic leaders at the Land-Grant Brewing Company, 424 Town Street (a short walk from COSI)

Featured Guests

Portrait photo of Adrianna Kezar

Adrianna Kezar is a professor of education, Rossier School of Education, Dean’s Professor in Higher Education Leadership and co-director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Kezar is a nationally recognized expert of change, governance and leadership. Her research explores the change process in higher education institutions and the role of leadership in creating change. In addition, she is an international expert on the changing faculty and directs the Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success.

She regularly consults for campuses and national organizations related to her work on non-tenure track faculty, STEM reform, change, collaboration, leadership development and change. She is quoted frequently in the media, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, PBS, NPR, Al Jazeera, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and The Boston Globe, among others.

Dr. Kezar’s work is widely published with 19 books and monographs, more than 100 journal articles and over a hundred book chapters and reports. She is currently principal investigator for the Buffet Foundation-funded Thompson Scholars Learning Communities Study, which researches college transition and success for low-income students.

She earned a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MA and PhD in higher education administration from the University of Michigan.

Portrait photo of Christina Davis

Cristina Davis is the Warren and Leta Giedt Endowed Professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Davis. She is also an associate director of the UC Davis campus NIH-funded National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences on Translational Medicine. Her research group focuses on creating miniature analytical sensor systems for mobile chemical detection platforms and novel biomarker discovery using high-throughput platforms.

Dr. Davis worked with colleagues in Switzerland to establish a start-up company, which was acquired by Molecular Devices Corporation. She later became a principal member of the technical staff and the founding group leader of bioengineering at The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

After working for several years in industry, in 2005 she returned to academics at UC Davis. She completed a four-year term on the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and is a 2010 Hartwell Fellow and 2016 Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). She was awarded the 2016 UC Davis Chancellor’s Innovation Award.

She earned a BS, with a double major in mathematics and biology, from Duke University and a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University.

Portrait photo of Thomas DeFrantz

Thomas F. DeFrantz is a professor at Duke University’s Department of African and African American Studies, where he previously served as the department’s chair. In addition, he holds faculty appointments in the university’s program in dance, women’s studies, and teaches several research practicum sessions in computational media, arts & cultures. He also serves as director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, and Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance and works to create innovative interfaces for the telling of alternative histories.

Professor DeFrantz’s scholarly work is widely published and includes four books, 20 book chapters, book reviews and articles in peer-reviewed journals.

He is a consultant for the Smithsonian Museum of African American Life and Culture, contributing concept and voice-over for permanent installation on Black Social Dance that opened with the museum in 2016. In addition, he has served as the founding director of the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance and president of the Society of Dance History Scholars.

Among his honors, he received the 2017 Outstanding Research in Dance award from the Dance Studies Association. He earned a BA in music composition and theater studies from Yale College, an MA in liberal studies from the City College of New York, and a PhD in performance studies from New York University.

Portrait photo of Michael Burns

Michael Burns is a senior lecturer and director of career readiness in the Department of Communication Studies at Texas State University. He is also the co-founder of the research startup program, CoSearch.

Dr. Burns is an applied communication researcher and conducts theoretically based research with practical applications. He has published and presented research in the areas of persuasion, message development, higher education and the college transition, narrative influence, interpersonal communication, health communication and family communication.

An award-winning instructor, he teaches several courses, including human communication, small group communication, interpersonal communication, sport communication, leadership, persuasion, training and development, and an honors course entitled “Re-Humanizing Communication and Talking Like TED.”

Dr. Burns’ professional experiences outside of academia include working for NBC’s Today Show at the 2006 Torino, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, 2016 Rio de Janeiro, 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games. While at the Today Show, he works on the production management and logistics team and oversees the internship program. He has also worked as a communication specialist for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

He earned a PhD in communication from North Dakota State University. Dr. Burns is a proud Midwesterner and excited to be back in his home state of Ohio to promote interdisciplinary research with community impact.

Portrait photo of Morley Stone

Morley O. Stone serves as the senior vice president for research at The Ohio State University, where he is responsible for the overall strategic planning and infrastructure support for the university’s $875 million annual basic and applied research program. An international leader in human performance and biomimetics, Dr. Stone brings more than 25 years of experience in research and development to this position.

Prior to joining Ohio State, he served as the chief technology officer at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. In that role, he oversaw more than $2.3 billion in science and technology programs and $2.5 billion in externally funded projects in areas ranging from materials science to space-based technologies. He has also served as chief scientist for AFRL’s Human Performance Wing and as a manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, where he created programs in bio-inspired sensors, robotics and more.

Throughout his career, he has built strong strategic research collaborations with academia, industry and government organizations including the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Defense Health Agency.

Dr. Stone holds a BS in biological sciences from Wright State University and a PhD in biochemistry from Carnegie Mellon University.