Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit
Sep 1, 2010
As the summer winds down and we welcome students and faculty back to our campuses for the new academic year, I’ve also found myself looking ahead to a summer six years hence.
The summer of 2016 will mark the 200th anniversary of the construction of Cutler Hall. It is my hope that the approaching anniversary will be the occasion for both a celebration of our history and the culmination of the first phase of our efforts to make Ohio University the nation’s best transformative learning community.
As the foundation of Cutler Hall was constructed, the long tradition of Ohio University as a transformative learning community began in earnest. For several years after its completion, a single building housed the entire university—students, classrooms, faculty offices, and a library. Cutler Hall, like the nucleus of a cell, contained the DNA of an institution that from its first graduating class onwards demonstrated the value of higher education to self and society.
Having spent a year learning about Ohio University, I now understand that its DNA was and is made up of place and of mission.
Ohio University can no longer be contained in a single structure. It now consists of hundreds of buildings spread over six campuses, various centers, the Internet, and a number of host countries all over the world. However, place and mission continue to matter. That is why, when the university community sought to create a new vision statement, we turned to the concept of the transformative learning community.
A transformative learning community, at its heart, is an expression of place and of mission writ large, and we must continue to draw on the deepest roots of our past as we seek to realize our vision for the future.
The realization of our vision will require us to channel our energies and resources into strengthening the transformative learning community that already exists at Ohio University. There is much that we need to do. Our policies, practices, and resources must be prioritized in ways that will best enable us to support the university’s fundamentals: inspired, student-centered teaching and research; nimble and effective academic programs; strong student support services; and meaningful co-curricular activities integrated with academic life. It is work that I look forward to taking up with all of you for it is surely sustaining and worthy of our best efforts.