President Roderick J. McDavis

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The president's welcome message for faculty and staff

Dear Colleagues:

I want to express a warm welcome to our returning faculty and to the newest members of our community. I hope you had a good summer and are energized to begin another great academic year. 

To officially begin the 2010-11 academic year, we will hold a Faculty and Staff Convocation at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, September 8th in the Margaret M. Walter Hall Rotunda. Distinguished Professor Charles Smith will welcome those present and I will deliver a State of the University Address.

The Convocation will be an important opportunity for us to come together, celebrate all we have accomplished, and discuss how we will confront our challenges and achieve our vision to “be the nation’s best transformative learning community where students realize their promise, faculty advance knowledge, staff achieve excellence, and alumni become global leaders.”

As we each—students, faculty, and staff—transform as individuals, we also are transforming Ohio University. Our work is important and is occurring at a time, when across the globe, the call for higher education to be responsive to our changing world is clear.

In fact, the National Conference of State Legislatures has weighed-in and called on state legislatures to lead higher education’s transformation by:

  • defining clear state goals and holding institutions accountable for their performance;
  • rethinking funding and student aid while helping students reduce borrowing and debt;
  • recommitting to access and success while remembering the needs of adult learners;
  • embracing innovation and partnerships; and
  • focusing on productivity.

Within our own state, we have seen support for such measures and we are answering that call. We are doing so because we know it is important and crucial to the future of our university, our state and our nation. However, we also know that we can and will do more through the transformative power of higher education.

Faculty and staff who commit their lives to higher education and are on the front lines should be the driving force of transformation. With the tools of research and analysis coupled with our collective talent to design and implement, we can and should be a leader in transforming higher education. And that leadership begins with the transformation of Ohio University. 

Our task now – as a university community – is to take those important first steps toward transformation and do it together. Now is the time to answer the questions of what can we do that we’ve never done before; how can we do things in different ways that takes advantage of collaboration, technology and innovation; and the hardest question of all, what things are we doing that no longer have relevance.

Transformation will not be easy, but it will be the most important thing we can do for our students, our university, and our commitment to excellence. I look forward to working alongside you as we undertake this very important work.

Thank you for all you do for our beloved university. I hope to see you at the Faculty and Staff Convocation on September 8th!

Roderick J. McDavis