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Keynote Speakers

Dr. Charles Bird, Vice President Emeritus for University Outreach, Ohio University


Across a career of more than thirty-five years, he has served as a faculty member and regional campus associate dean at Ohio State University, and as a regional campus dean, vice president and vice provost at Ohio University.  Since 2008 he has worked as a consultant, executive coach, and speaker on topics related to branch campuses, programs for adult learners and leading innovation in higher education.


Dr. Bird is author of the recently published book, Out on a Limb:  A Branch Campus Life.  He also maintains two blogs:  “Branch Campus Life,” at, and “Creating the Future” (a blog dedicated mostly to positive psychology and “thriving in the second half of life”), at


Additional information on Dr. Bird’s background and interests can be found at  Contact him at


Dr. David Harrison, President, Columbus State Community College


David Harrison became the fifth president of Columbus State Community College in July 2010. With more than 25,000 students, Columbus State is one of the largest and most comprehensive colleges in Ohio. Through its campuses in Columbus and Delaware County and its nine regional learning centers, the college serves students from all 88 counties in Ohio, provides more online learning opportunities than any college in the state, and contributes nearly a billion dollars in regional economic impact. 


Dr. Harrison came to Columbus State with extensive experience building successful community partnerships. As Vice Provost for Regional Campuses at the University of Central Florida, he worked with community colleges to create the Central Florida Higher Education Consortium and the nationally-recognized DirectConnect to UCF program, which guarantees the opportunity for a bachelor's degree for graduates of partner community colleges. Under his leadership, the program significantly increased the number of transfer students earning bachelor's degrees from UCF. He also developed partnerships with employers and community leaders to address workforce needs in information technology, architecture, healthcare, and other fields.


He holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton.