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Ohio University initiates Vision OHIO at convocation

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 17, 2006) -- Ohio University celebrated its scholarly achievements and reaffirmed its core values today as it rolled out its strategic plan at the first ever Vision OHIO Convocation.

Photo by Rick FaticaAt the convocation, Ohio University leaders – including President Roderick J. McDavis, the keynote speaker, and Provost Kathy Krendl – discussed the importance of having Vision OHIO, a thoughtful strategic plan that serves as the university's road map for future success. They also talked about the meaning of the plan to the university and the region.

"Ohio University's core values and purpose have not and will not change. Our reality is that we live in an ever-changing complex, global society. We must change our operating practices and implement new methods, strategies, tactics and processes to respond to our changing reality," McDavis said. "Implementing a strategic plan for our university is essential to ensuring our future."

Vision OHIO is Ohio University's strategic plan that seeks to enhance national prominence and to increase diversity, partnerships and resources. The plan also aims to enhance Ohio University's ability to engage students in distinctive and interdisciplinary activities that serve the educational, societal and economic needs of the region, state, nation and world.

"Our future is developing a supportive, learning-centered research university, which encourages all academic and academic support units to work individually and collaboratively to achieve Vision OHIO," McDavis said.

To meet the goals outlined by the strategic plan, the president said the university must strategically invest its resources, design programs with measurable goals and institute a new level of accountability internally. Those changes will be part of a new budget and planning process.

"This new budget and planning process will manage existing resources more effectively and pursue opportunities that will generate additional revenue sources consistent with the goals of Vision OHIO," he said. McDavis said a three-year transition period has been identified as the target date for launching a new budget and planning system.

Additional changes the university will make under Vision OHIO include employing strategies for enrollment management, operational efficiencies and endowment development. The university will also establish an information technology infrastructure and a system to evaluate contributions of academic support units in accomplishing Vision OHIO.

The convocation, which was free and open to members of the Athens and university communities, will become an annual event. It will serve to reaffirm core values, recognize ambitions and celebrate accomplishments.

"Vision OHIO will be a living document," McDavis said. "The success of its implementation hinges on the participation of each member of our university community from students, to faculty, to staff and to our alumni and other constituents."

In addition to rolling out Vision OHIO, the convocation celebrated academic excellence. The event honored faculty award winners and students who have won national awards in the 2004-05 academic year. Ann Fidler, dean of the Honors Tutorial College, also spoke at the convocation.

"The 37 prestigious awards that Ohio University students earned in the 2004-05 academic year are unmatched by any other university in the state and some put us on par or ahead of other celebrated research institutions," Fidler said. "The success we have experienced in all facets of the competitive awards process is the result of the support of the entire university community. The key ingredient is the group of faculty that contributes to the success of our students."

Krendl agreed, saying that teaching and scholarly excellence go hand-in-hand.

"We engage our students by marrying the practice of teaching excellence with the spirit of scholarly discovery. It is part of our culture and part of the defining characteristic that makes us unique," she said. "Our future success will build on our current level of excellence."

The Distinguished Professor Lecture by Gar Rothwell and David Drabold will conclude the celebratory day. It is open to the public and will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Walter Hall Lecture Room 135.

Implementation of Vision OHIO will continue throughout the academic year and into the summer. The planning process continues with open forums that will help move forward implementation plans, which will be completed by the end of the academic year. Colleges and planning units are working on their individual strategic plans to be completed in February, and departments and schools will follow in May.

Strategic planning is a process whereby an organization envisions its desired future and develops an action plan to achieve that future given its current internal and external environment. The organization then continuously monitors its progress toward reaching its goals and makes revisions in the plan as needed to secure success.

To view the Vision OHIO Document, please visit the Office of the Provost at www.ohio.edu/provost/.

To learn more about Vision OHIO, visit www.ohio.edu/outlook/vision/.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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