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Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014

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Pam Benoit

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Provost commemorates final quarter and recognized transition team


On Friday, Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit sent an email to all Ohio University faculty and staff commemorating the end of quarters and recognizing the efforts of the transition team.

Dear Colleagues:

June usually brings the end of the quarter but this June marks the end of quarters. On the horizon are semesters, which will provide our students with a richer academic experience and eliminate the wistfulness of watching our colleagues at semester institutions end their academic year in May.

The project of transitioning from quarter to semesters has been nothing short of monumental particularly as it was twinned with the implementation of a new student information system. All faculty and staff at Ohio University participated in some way in the creation of the new calendar and curriculum. That the transition is nearly complete and that it has been done so well is a testament to several things: the caliber of our faculty and staff; the ability of this institution to adapt to change; and some exceptional leadership on the part of a number of individuals.

I want to acknowledge and thank the following faculty and staff who played an important role in ensuring that the transition was successful.  

  • Caryn Asleson

  • Patrick Beatty

  • Deb Benton

  • Bob Bulow

  • Tom Carpenter

  • Matt Cassady

  • Laura Chapman

  • Craig Cornell

  • John Croucher

  • John Day

  • Bob Delong

  • David Descutner

  • David Ingram

  • Anita James

  • Jenny Klein

  • IIya Kogan

  • Greg Kremer  

  • Linda Lockhart

  • Gary Neiman

  • Don Pendergast

  • Allyn Reilly

  • Shelley Ruff

  • Elizabeth Sayrs

  • Tom Scanlan

  • David Thomas

  • Mike Williford

The leadership that these faculty and staff exhibited was noteworthy but it was inspired and sustained in large part by Jeff Giesey. Jeff's title throughout the process has been Co-Director of the Q2S Transition Office. However, his title does not begin to convey the challenges and demands of his role. Jeff organized the transition of a large public institution to a new curriculum and calendar while adhering to the principle that no student should be disadvantaged by the change.

Jeff brought to the task his engineering abilities, which allowed him to construct a rational process that could withstand complexity; his wonderful personality, which draws on seemingly endless reserves of humor, patience, and empathy; and his insistence that it was possible to bring all sectors of the institution together to achieve a goal that would improve student learning.

Watching Jeff at work has been inspirational. I regret that with his return to Stocker as an associate dean he will no longer be just down the hallway. When you next see Jeff please take a moment to thank and congratulate him.

I wish that I had asked Distinguished Professor and unofficial poet laureate of Ohio University, Mark Halliday, to compose an ode to quarters. I am certain that he would have found a fitting way to memorialize the framework that has surrounded academic life at Ohio University for decades. Since I did not ask Mark to undertake this task, I will resort to quoting from his poem "Way Way Up There" which contains the following lines:

"-and all the confusion and folly and failure
pass through a cool registration
into gentle comedy and then
into sober forgiveness and then
into a quiet condition of being eternally respected"

Farewell quarters, welcome semesters, and thanks to all for your efforts.  

Sincerely,

Pam Benoit
Executive Vice President and Provost