May 29, 2014
By Gretchen Gregory
Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit has announced that Mark Weinberg, director of the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, has been named founding dean of the Voinovich School, effective July 1.
Originally created in 1981 as the Institute for Local Government Administration and Rural Development, the Voinovich School was founded by Weinberg, who has served as director since its inception. Since that time, the center has continued to expand its academic mission, and in 2007 was recognized by the Ohio University Board of Trustees as a multi-disciplinary school that focuses on applied research and leadership development.
Weinberg plans to serve as dean of the Voinovich School until his retirement in June 2016. At that time, the Provost will conduct a national search to find his successor.
“Under Weinberg’s leadership, the Voinovich School has grown into a strong academic program while advancing economic development through its consulting practice for small businesses and startups in Southeastern Ohio,” said Benoit. “He has been a dedicated and trustworthy colleague who has always found a way to improve on previous achievements in an environment where self-sufficiency is the reality, not just a goal. I sincerely thank him for his hard work and exemplary results as the founding dean and look forward to continue working with him as he transitions to the next stage of his distinguished career at Ohio University.”
As the first and founding dean of the Voinovich School, Weinberg will further develop the academic school as an applied national strategic leadership and public affairs model that contributes to the University’s transformative educational, innovation and economic development vision, mission and strategies.
Weinberg’s focus will include building an effective leadership team, developing the Center for Public and Social Innovation’s national reputation and facilitating multidisciplinary collaborations, enhancing the economic development and entrepreneurial programs of the Voinovich School and the Center for Entrepreneurship by further strengthening JobsOhio, Third Frontier ESP, Appalachian New Economy, and business and federal partnerships for Ohio University.
Goals for the growth of the Voinovich School also include growing the environmental studies certificate program, developing additional certificate programs, including an entrepreneurship track for the certificate in entrepreneurship for fall 2014, and public and social innovation certification in 2015, expanding opportunities for undergraduate applied learning experiences in collaboration with other colleges and programs, and increasing international opportunities for students.
From its establishment in 1981 until 2007, the Voinovich School was part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The creation of the Rural Universities Program by the Ohio General Assembly in 1985 served as a seminal event in the school’s development, and the Ohio University Board of Trustees created an umbrella center called the Center for Public and Environmental Affairs in 1995 to house the environmental studies program.
The George V. Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs was established in 1998 when the OHIO Board of Trustees voted to rename and expand the existing academic center, including an executive leadership program and entrepreneurship program. Subsequent launching of the Ohio University Executive Leadership Institute addressed the unique challenges faced by public sector executives as they carry out missions that create value for the public. Working closely with representatives from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, faculty and staff designed the program.
In 2001 the Appalachian New Economy Partnership was created after the Ohio General Assembly recognized the opportunity to utilize the University to strengthen the nation’s growth and competitiveness in a knowledge-based economy. The Ohio University Executive Leadership Institute also expanded nationally in collaboration with the Public Children Services Association to deliver executive development to children services executives in Ohio and nine other states.
The George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs was established in April 2007 when the board of trustees voted to rename the center, making it the first multidisciplinary school at Ohio University. It has continued to focus on applied research, leadership development and applications learning across colleges since its renaming.
For more information about the Voinovich School, visit www.ohio.edu/voinovichschool.