Academic Plan 2022-23 In Review

Academic Plan 2022-23 in Review

In autumn 2022, The Ohio State University launched a new Academic Plan, which serves as a framework for transforming academic life across the institution. Members of our academic enterprise have worked together to make incredible progress toward each of our shared goals. While not all-encompassing, this update provides an overview of key milestones we achieved during the past year that have enhanced our academic environment. Thank you for your ongoing partnership and commitment to academic excellence at Ohio State.

Goal 1: Advance Faculty Eminence

We will be a vibrant academic community whose contributions make the world flourish.

Office of Faculty Affairs supports faculty success
The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) formed an enhanced Office of Faculty Affairs to develop, curate and connect academic resources, programming and structures that support faculty success across the entire career life cycle. An associate vice provost for faculty development and recognition was hired to bolster these efforts, and a new website was created as a central hub for Office of Faculty Affairs’ assets and resources.

Through its Shared Values, Ohio State fosters an environment that celebrates differences and embraces strengths. Our faculty hail from around the world, and we aim to create an environment where all can thrive.

Impact Points

This competitive and sought-after program attracts, recruits and retains the highest caliber early-career faculty, with up to eight scholars selected each academic year. Early Career Scholars receive research funding and participate in programmatic activities to support their research and scholarship efforts and to assist with their long-term career success at Ohio State.

This new program honors and recognizes recently appointed associate professors with tenure who have demonstrated significant accomplishments in their discipline(s). Scarlet and Gray Associate Professors hold their designation for three years and receive supplemental compensation and an annual stipend to advance their scholarship, along with cohort benefits such as social and professional development activities.

These newly created groups provide opportunities to connect to valuable resources, socialize with colleagues, and promote faculty discussion of shared interests and concerns. The program launched with the New Faculty, Women+ Faculty, and Faculty of Color Networks. In autumn 2023, the Office of Faculty Affairs will add networks for LGBTQIA+ and military-connected faculty. Learn more

Designed to help faculty and academic leaders reach their full potential at the university and beyond, one program offered this year was a promotion and tenure workshop, “Telling Your Story,” which guided faculty on how to create a compelling professional narrative and how to identify themselves as the central character of their own stories. Additional faculty development programs.

This new office helps ensure a seamless and successful transition to Ohio State for prospective and incoming faculty and their families. DCFR helps new faculty partners locate employment opportunities, provides resources to ease the home and living transitions, and engages faculty, their partners and families with the community on and around campus.

A working group on endowed faculty positions examined data to identify patterns regarding the use of endowed positions at Ohio State. The group’s report outlined a strategy, systems-wide approach and recommendations for OAA, deans and chairs, faculty and the Office of Advancement.

A Promotion and Tenure Readers program, created in 2022-23, will increase the depth of review and deepen the pool of individuals who can identify and understand academic excellence across a broad number of disciplines. Insights from the readers program will be shared with the tenure-initiating units to advance the quality of the local reviews.

To advance faculty eminence and further build a vibrant and inclusive community of scholars, a newly created faculty hiring framework will provide centrally coordinated guidelines, a toolkit, and trainings to support faculty recruitment. The design of the framework and the tools provided are based on effective practices to attract excellent and diverse applicant pools, conduct fair and equitable evaluations, and successfully hire and onboard new faculty. The framework comprises six phases to be implemented within the 2023-24 hiring cycle.

Goal 2: Accelerate Student Success

We will create an unparalleled academic experience, graduating future leaders prepared to serve society.

Student completion increased and student success infrastructure aligned
The Ohio State University is committed to ensuring equitable opportunities for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances. Ohio State strives to remove barriers to access and create a welcoming and supportive environment where every student can thrive academically, socially and personally.

The university’s four-year completion rate increased from 70.8% in autumn 2021 to 72.3% in autumn 2022. The six-year graduation rate rose slightly to 88.1%, and Ohio State is working to increase that figure to 90%.

The Office of Strategic Enrollment Management’s redesigned integrated infrastructure aligned marketing, admissions, financial aid, the registrar, and data analysis to support enrollment and student success on all Ohio State campuses. Eleven workgroups were established with faculty and staff members across colleges and campuses, providing input into Ohio State’s next comprehensive Strategic Enrollment Management Plan. For graduate students, Ohio State increased the student health insurance subsidy to 100% beginning in autumn 2023 and enhanced emergency fund and dissertation completion support. Programs to foster community building and belonging, expand professional and career development opportunities, and improve access to quality mentoring will also be available in autumn 2023.

Impact Points

  • ScholarshipUniverse, an easy-to-use online scholarship-matching platform, helps students better search and apply for internal and external opportunities.
  • The Buckeye Opportunity Program, which supports students from Ohio who qualify for a Federal Pell Grant and covers their tuition and mandatory fees, was extended to new students enrolled at Ohio State’s regional campuses.
  • This year’s Scarlet & Gray Advantage (S&GA) pilot, which focused on students starting their first undergraduate year at Ohio State, included 125 students representing each Ohio State campus — and more than half of Ohio’s 88 counties — who are pursuing majors in 57 disciplines representing at least 11 colleges.

60% of the cohort were first-generation college students

50% of pilot students would not be affiliated with a support program without S&GA

97% reported engaging with university resources and support

With support from a $6.5 million gift, the Stamps Eminence Scholarship Program, previously the Eminence Fellows Program, will more than double in size over five years.

Through the STARS College Network (Small-Town And Rural Students), Ohio State will provide more pathways to higher education for first-generation students and their families within the 32 Appalachian counties.

Through the Office of Strategic Enrollment Management’s pilot-focused optimization plan to targeted applicants, two agricultural programs saw significant increases in early action admissions and paid acceptance fees.

Buckeye Precollege Summer Institutes enrolled high school students nationwide in a single, intensive course during a two-week stay on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. Buckeye Precollege Summer Exploration enrolled middle and high school students in a one-week intensive day-program enrichment course. Learn more.

OAA’s new Undergraduate Research Access Innovation Seed Grants offer up to $10,000 to support faculty in developing and launching new undergraduate research experiences.

Launched in autumn 2022, the new GE is a coherent three-part program comprising Bookend, Foundation and Theme courses that build upon each other. With fewer required GE courses — and all colleges now offering the same GE program — students can more easily stay on track to graduate.

Autumn 2022 highlights:
7,714 undergraduates enrolled
700+ foundation courses offered
150+ theme courses offered

OAA’s daylong Student Success Summit brought together units from across Ohio State’s campuses to create a university-wide network of student success champions and led to the development of a Completion Action Plan. Each college has identified a college-retention liaison focusing on retention and graduation efforts. Learn more in the March 2023 post of Academic Voices: A Provost's Blog.

A collaboration between Ohio State, Columbus City Schools (CCS) and Columbus State Community College, STEAMM Rising provides CCS teachers with access to opportunities for professional and personal growth, which helps them inspire the students who will be the next generation of STEAMM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and medicine) innovators.

Goal 3: Enhance Impact Through External Engagement

We will forge strong connections with communities near and far, better serving Columbus, the region, the state, and the world.

Active engagement
Ohio State is dedicated to extending teaching, learning and research beyond its campuses by engaging communities and elevating the quality of life for the people of Ohio and beyond. By reducing barriers, enhancing arts impact and community-engaged scholarship, advancing sustainability education and scholarship, and extending its global reach, Ohio State will increase the impact of academics, research, service and care in Ohio and beyond.

Several new arts initiatives, including the creation of the Provost’s Council on the Arts and an inventory of artwork collections across the university, will help Ohio State strategize how the arts might be better integrated into the curriculum, raised to greater visibility across its multiple campuses, and become a cornerstone of our engagement with communities in Columbus and throughout Ohio.

A new degree offered only at Ohio State’s regional campuses provides students across the state an affordable, convenient path to in-demand jobs. Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology will be uniquely positioned with the technical, business and leadership skills to fill critical workforce needs in the region and globally.

Impact Points

Ohio State is among only nine doctoral institutions in the country named a top producer for both Fulbright U.S. scholar and U.S. student programs. In 2023, a record six graduate students were selected to receive support as Fulbright Fellows.

A faculty-led planning process will develop an integrated, transformational vision to advance sustainability across education, workforce development, research and community engagement through an inclusive approach.

Through the Engaged Scholarship Symposium, Ohio State strives to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with communities throughout Ohio to fulfill its land-grant mission. This symposium highlighted faculty and staff who are co-creating scholarship with our community.

Data collection is ongoing to create an interactive map of high-level community engaged partnerships in Franklin County, with an anticipated autumn 2023 launch. Concurrent work toward Ohio State’s Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification will support the mapping.

Three Ohio State faculty members will serve as academic directors for the Global Gateways. In addition, they will work to identify new partnership opportunities abroad.

Art historian and arts administrator Gaëtane Verna became Wexner Center for the Arts Executive Director. Verna came from Toronto’s The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.

Fourteen proposals were awarded more than $250,000 for Outreach and Engagement grants. Supported projects include developing or implementing programs, performances or exhibits based upon previous research; developing impact reports or public policy documents; and enhancing a program that extends community access to the university.

Goal 4: Strengthen Talent, Culture, and Inclusive Excellence

We will create a university environment where all individuals can fully participate in the life of our campuses.

Creating a culture of belonging
The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) is reinforcing Ohio State’s ethical culture by assuming a central role in implementing the Shared Values Initiative, leading comprehensive work in inclusive excellence, enhancing Ohio State’s commitment to civil discourse, and supporting one another’s health and well-being. An institutional review of the inclusive excellence landscape to identify opportunities for collaboration began, and strategic mapping of resources was conducted to leverage the infrastructure across colleges and other units.

In spring 2023, OAA began conversations with colleges about their visions of an Ohio State community where all can fully participate and what assets we have that will make us more inclusive.

Ohio State launched the Civil Discourse Project to address the need for understanding and civility in our discourse and educate the leaders of tomorrow. Through events and coursework, the university offers opportunities to grow an understanding of dialogue that is productive rather than divisive and seeks to find understanding in divergent viewpoints. Additional courses, ranging from one-to-three credit hours, will be available in autumn 2023. The inaugural cohort of student Civil Discourse Fellows completed their single-year term, and a new cohort was selected for the 2023-24 academic year. Fellows train to engage in civil discourse and plan and moderate public Civil Discourse Forums on campus.

The Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity marks its 20th anniversary in 2023. Building on its work over the past two decades, the Kirwan Institute embarked on a strategic plan and visioning process with new Executive Director Ange-Marie Hancock.

Impact Points

Students in Mansfield and Newark are now eligible for spots in a federally subsidized childcare program under an expanded $2 million, four-year Child Care Access Means Parents in School program.

Civil discourse is a conversation in which there is a mutual airing of views without rancor. It’s an unspoken understanding that everyone is entitled to their own opinions—and is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. The Civil Discourse Project affirms our commitment to free expression and to ensuring that every member of the Ohio State community is heard, valued, and respected no matter their background or viewpoint. Over the past year, OAA convened partners across the university to begin implementation of numerous civil discourse initiatives, including an Education for Citizenship Address, Civil Discourse Forums and events, Civil Discourse Fellows, the creation of one-credit civil discourse skills courses, and more. While aiming to integrate civil discourse as a distinctive component of an Ohio State academic experience, the project also helps people develop skills for effectively and authentically engaging with others across differences at the university and beyond.

In November 2022, Ohio State received a $2.5 million Driving Change grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). One of only six U.S. institutions to receive this designation, Ohio State will transform STEM education through a student early-arrival program, curriculum transformations for gateway courses, and expanding mentorship opportunities.

Ohio State received nearly $4.7 million in Upward Bound funds from the U.S. Department of Education that will enable the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to connect with high school students in Columbus, Wooster and Mansfield for tutoring, weekend coursework and seminars that will help prepare young people from urban and rural communities for college. The program also exposes students to cultural events, community service opportunities and recreational activities that supplement their academic enrichment.

The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE), which coordinates Ohio State’s response to all complaints of harassment and discrimination, created and finalized an All-Protected Class discrimination and harassment training. OIE also expanded and updated its website content and increased and improved its messaging cadence to better educate the university community.

Goal 5: Improve Technological Innovation

We will become a digitally transformed institution that enhances experiences for teaching, learning, researching, and working at Ohio State.

Evolving tech equity and developing new ways for learners to engage with Ohio State
Ohio State is committed to deepening its institutional commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship and advancing tech equity for student success.

With the appointment of Jason Lemon, Ohio State’s inaugural vice provost and dean for online learning, the university will continue to expand its online learning programs. Critical to this work will be building an enhanced, shared infrastructure to advance the online student experience and strengthen partnerships with the colleges for their online programs.

Impact Points

  • The Digital Learning team initiated several pilots and initiatives to advance professional, continuing and online education at Ohio State.
    • A high-touch recruitment pilot with the John Glenn College of Public Affairs was launched, enabling visibility for the first time into the entire recruitment funnel for an online learner.
    • Multiple immersive innovation design sessions were offered to enhance curricular design, online learner onboarding and support experiences, and the learning analytics governance and access processes.
    • The Digital Learning team helped author and shepherd the Alternative Credentials Framework plan and is working toward piloting stackable certificates, digital badging and alternative credentials in the first part of 2023-24.
    • 2022-23 brought 15 new online programs, more than double the number approved in 2021-22. Nearly 3,000 learners enrolled in Ohio State’s 74 online programs. During 2022-23, Digital Learning worked with the colleges to develop 137 online courses and provided 29 instructional workshops, hosting 632 participants.

The Pelotonia Research Center became the first building to open in Ohio State’s exciting new innovation district, Carmenton, in June 2023. The building’s technology was developed to foster collaboration across multiple research disciplines and colleges at the university and Wexner Medical Center. Over 130 IT professionals from 16 campus units and the Ohio Supercomputer Center worked together to create this innovative approach to how technology can work to enhance research at the university.

With the tap of a button, users can now view accessible entrances and wellness spaces on the Columbus campus map via the Ohio State app, creating a more accessible campus travel experience.

In August 2023, Ohio State’s Enterprise Network set a new Wi-Fi record with 95,000-plus concurrently connected devices.


Through the Student Technology Loan Program, the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation provides student loaner tablets, ensuring access to needed technology for academics. During the 2022-23 academic year, the university provided loaner tablets to every eligible student who requested one for their coursework. Beginning its second year in 2023-24, the program expanded eligibility to include all students with a stated need. In the autumn 2023 semester, 3,152 devices have been deployed.

Goal 6: Achieve Operational Excellence

We will develop and continuously improve academic, administrative, and business processes to advance the university’s academic priorities.

Creating a culture of high performance
To successfully adopt a culture of operational excellence (OpEx), champions were identified within each OAA unit. These champions advocate for change and direct points of contact on OpEx initiatives. A training curriculum was developed for champions and all OAA employees, focusing on project management, problem-solving and process improvement.

The Office of Institutional Research and Planning (IRP) was relaunched to provide accurate, timely, consistent, actionable data and integrated analytics across multiple domains that support evidence-based decision making. To provide leadership, vision and strategic direction for IRP across Ohio State, Michele Hansen assumed the role of associate vice president for institutional research and planning in January 2023.

Impact Points

  • Curricular offerings were developed to encourage OAA employees to embrace learning and development around a variety of OpEx topics and tools that can be leveraged to solve problems within everyday work. The goal is to introduce all OAA employees to operational excellence and generate interest in participating in OpEx opportunities.
  • Each unit within OAA will develop a portfolio of OpEx opportunities to be managed by the unit’s champion. This practice will foster an inclusive environment of continuous improvement where all employees can provide feedback and submit ideas of what could be improved within the unit for unit improvement. Currently, the portfolio of potential OpEx projects sits at nearly 50. It is primarily managed by the OpEx team with the goal of eventually being transitioned to the respective unit champions for management.
  • Additionally, OAA will create an Operational Excellence Community of Practice to bring together champions and other individuals interested in OpEx to share ideas, best practices, lessons learned and network to potentially take advantage of professional development opportunities in support of our goal in the Academic Plan. OAA OpEx has been partnering with OpEx resources in Business and Finance and Administration and Planning to share ideas, partner on projects, and continue strengthening the university’s Operational Excellence capabilities.

To increase consistency and efficiency, business teams previously supporting separate OAA units were consolidated into a new central financial organization called OAA Business Services and Finances.

  • An IRP strategic plan launched, including steps to provide comprehensive data support for the Academic Plan and create a culture of evidence-supported decision making. The plan also includes the following components:
    • a) be recognized as the official reporting office for Ohio State, state and federal reporting related to institutional research;
    • b) provide data support for academic planning, accreditation, program review and assessment of student learning; and
    • c) build capacity for advanced analytics and data science.
  • Staff were recruited and hired to support the Academic Plan.
  • Analyses were conducted and research briefs created to support Goal 1. Advance Faculty Eminence and Goal 2. Accelerate Student Success. Investigations were conducted on the promotion and tenure process at Ohio State, prolonged time in rank among associate professors, National Survey of Student Engagement: Diversity and Inclusion Module, and the National Survey of Student Engagement: Academic Advising Module.
  • An IRP website was developed where data is democratized and integrated across multiple domains and data sources. This features a Buckeye Data Digest, which contains interactive dashboards and is a comprehensive integrated data source that is visually appealing, easy to navigate, timely, actionable and transparent. The metrics are aligned with the Academic Plan goals.

OAA’s Good-to-Great Grants will provide substantial, strategic investment for up to five years to tenure-initiating units that identify aspirational targets and a proposed path to ascending new heights of excellence. $12.5 million will be invested in these efforts over the next five years.