OAA hosts Academic Leaders Forum

University Community — January 24, 2023

OAA hosts Academic Leaders Forum

Deans, directors, and department chairs from across the university came together with Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) leadership in person on January 12 to share insights, inspire positive change and ideate strategies aligned with advancing faculty eminence and accelerating student success, two of six areas comprising The Ohio State University's new Academic Plan.

"Our academic leaders are uniquely positioned to help us animate the Academic Plan as we work collaboratively to bring it to life over the coming months and years," said Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa L. Gilliam.

Through multiple morning and afternoon working sessions, the group translated the day's conversations into actionable faculty- and student-related goals for the coming year.

The first session, introduced by Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Patrick Louchouarn, focused on advancing Ohio State faculty's success, development and retention. Through small-group table exercises facilitated by the deans, attendees explored how Ohio State can eliminate barriers, identified structural and operational inefficiencies, and by day's end, articulated multiple mechanisms and interventions to create more positive future scenarios.

Discussion ranged from the importance of offering a welcoming and inclusive environment and driving a culture rich in innovation and student engagement to providing faculty with multiple positive experiences throughout all stages of their careers.

Senior Vice Provost for Student Academic Excellence Charlene Gilbert introduced a second morning session devoted to accelerating student success.

In similar, small working-group formats, attendees discussed and defined strategies to help Ohio State continue to evolve an unparalleled experience for undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and postdoctoral scholars that assists in developing, enhancing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community. Critical emphasis was placed on identifying barriers to accelerating learner success, utilizing collective changes to improve organizational effectiveness, and differentiating the Ohio State student experience from other universities.

In a motivating after-lunch talk, Karen Dennis, recently retired Ohio State women's and men's track and field coach, addressed attendees on inspiring change. Under her leadership, Ohio State grew to become one of the top track and field programs in the Big Ten and nationally, with her Buckeyes capturing 12 conference championships.

After the event, Provost Gilliam reflected on the shared responsibility of leaders across the university in advancing academic excellence at Ohio State.

“I hope our academic leaders gained a deeper understanding of the Academic Plan and how they can use it to inform their decision making, advance our Shared Values, and amplify their efforts,” said Gilliam.

"I value their partnership as the plan will be enriched by the campuses’ input.”

Watch the faculty and student videos that introduced each of those respective sessions. We are grateful for the support of the communications staff at the different colleges represented.