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Thursday, Aug 16, 2018

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Zanesville Dean Webster named one of three Society for College and University Planning Fellows

Webster will conduct a research project on improving collaboration on Ohio’s co-located campuses


Ohio University Zanesville Dean Dr. Jeremy Webster has been named one of the Society for College and University Planning’s three Fellows by the organization at its annual conference.

The fellows program supports a year-long research project related to planning. Webster’s project will focus on “Collaborative Planning as a Means toward Collaborative Innovation on Ohio’s Co-Located Campuses.”

“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Webster will have the opportunity to carry on this important research,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “In just over a year as dean of the Zanesville Campus, Dr. Webster has worked tirelessly to improve operations and collaborate with Zane State College on the best way to conduct business, and this support will allow him to take those efforts to the next level.”

Webster’s application drew letters of recommendation from Executive Dean for Regional Higher Education Bill Willan and Zane State College President Chad Brown.

“Ohio University is continuously looking for ways to make our regional campuses more efficient and effective for our students, and I anticipate Dr. Webster’s research will contribute greatly to that effort,” Willan said. “Ohio University Zanesville already has a strong record of adopting shared services and cost sharing with Zane State College, and this research will support innovative ideas to take that collaboration even further.”

Webster’s project stems from Ohio General Assembly legislation passed in 2016 that created a task force charged with creating a model of shared governance for Ohio’s seven co-located campuses, including two of OHIO’s regional campuses, Zanesville (Zane State) and Eastern (Belmont College). The task force called for co-located institutions to explore shared administration, student services, maintenance, facility usage, and other shared governance to better serve students while preserving the individual academic missions of the community colleges and the universities’ regional campuses.

The Zanesville Campus and Zane State College already share a bookstore, library, maintenance, facilities, utilities, security and counseling services, and have had discussions about extending collaborations to the academic side, as well. However, such collaboration could be challenged when stakeholders affected by those decisions may have quite different views of such an expansion.

To that end, Webster will focus his project on whether co-located institutions specifically, and competing institutions of higher education more generally, could use “collaborative planning,” a conceptual framework from urban planning that emphasizes partnership, stakeholder involvement, collaboration and consensus-oriented decision-making as core principles of planning as an effective tool for transcending competition, negotiating disagreements, and achieving increased institutional collaboration and innovation.

“I am extremely grateful to the Society for College and University Planning for this opportunity,” Webster said. “I hope to learn effective planning strategies for collaborative projects with Zane State College. I am especially interested in developing expertise that will lead to innovative solutions for surmounting the obstacles that inhibit collaboration and shared governance.”

The Society for College and University Planning fellowship included funding for Webster to attend this year’s conference on July 15. He will also present his project at next year’s conference and participate in one of SCUP’s planning workshops. The society names one or two fellows per year through a competitive process.

The SCUP Fellows Program, supported by the SCUP Annual Fund, is designed to build higher education leaders and to help them bring their innovative ideas and pioneering solutions forward.

During their fellowship year, they initiate and complete a research project of their choosing that contributes to SCUP’s knowledge base of integrated planning. They share the outcomes of their project with SCUP’s constituency at the conclusion of their year.