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.
Provost’s Early Career Scholars Program promotes professional and personal growth
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.
Provost’s Midcareer Scholars: Scarlet and Gray Associate Professor Program supports career development
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.
Faculty networks build community and connect resources
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.
Faculty development programs enrich the faculty experience
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.
Office of Dual Careers and Faculty Relocation (DCFR) eases workplace transitions
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.
Endowed Positions Working Group recommends optimizations
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.
Promotion and Tenure Readers program strengthens review process
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.
Strategic faculty recruitment and hiring framework
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.
Expanding affordability and lowering college debt
- 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
Stamps program to double scholarships
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.
STARS network supports small-town and rural students
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.
Buckeye Agricultural Leadership Program increased new first-year student enrollment
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 provides career-exploration programs
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.
Seed Grants expand undergraduate research
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.
Undergraduates learn to think critically across disciplines in new General Education (GE) Program
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
Student Success Summit leads to Completion Action Plan
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.
STEAMM Rising continues investment in Ohio’s economic future
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.
Ohio State a top institution for U.S. Fulbright Scholars
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.
Faculty-led plan will advance sustainability at Ohio State
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.
Engaged Scholarship Symposium highlights co-created scholarship
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.
Asset mapping and Carnegie classification underway
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.
Academic directors for Global Gateways will identify new partnerships
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.
Gaëtane Verna appointed Executive Director of the Wexner Center for the Arts
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.
Outreach and Engagement Grants support community partnerships
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.
Expanding support for parenting students
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 Project affirms commitment to free expression
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.
HHMI Driving Change Grant supports inclusive learning
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.
Upward Bound Program helps high school students prepare for bright futures
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.
Office of Institutional Equity expands focus on training
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.
Online Education at Ohio State offers more flexible pathways for learners at different life stages
- 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.
Innovative new tech approach enables Pelotonia Research Center
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.
Accessible entrances, wellness spaces now available via Ohio State app
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.
Ohio State WiFi connections reach new record
In August 2023, Ohio State’s Enterprise Network set a new Wi-Fi record with 95,000-plus concurrently connected devices.
Student Technology Loan Program advances tech equity for student success
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.
OAA operational excellence (OpEx) program launched
- 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.
Business services improved
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.
Office of Institutional Research and Planning relaunched
- 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.
Good-to-Great Grants promote excellence
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.