Message from the Dean:
I am pleased to present the 2023-2027 strategic plan for the Russ College of Engineering and Technology; this plan is the culmination of a year-long collaborative effort by several stakeholders, students, staff, faculty, college leadership and the Board of Visitors. It is an effort initiated and led by my predecessor, Dean Mei Wei. As the interim dean, I worked with the associate deans, department chairs and the faculty taking a near-complete document to the finish line. As such, I would like to acknowledge Dean Wei’s vision, efforts and contribution to this document. I am particularly grateful to our Board of Visitors for actively participating in the process and sharing their invaluable experiences to make this a visionary and implementable document with specific goals and metrics.
The foundation of the plan is built on four pillars: serving the educational needs of our constituencies and the communities we serve; enabling high impact research and fostering innovation; offering online degrees and opportunity for professional education; and growing and sustaining our endowment.
This strategic plan will be a guiding beacon for the college for the next five years. Like any plan, this is a living document and subject to change as the external and internal factors, assumptions and circumstances evolve.
Maj Mirmirani, Ph.D.
The Russ College’s Vision, Mission, and Values
As a student-centered public institution, we will lead in future-facing, transformative education and innovative research to advance our students’ knowledge, leadership, skills, and use of technology for the betterment of society.
Through our future-driven student education, innovative research and community engagement, we prepare our students to be creative citizens and future leaders who can improve our engineering profession, and positively contribute to the Appalachian region, the state of Ohio, the nation and the world at large.
• Act with Integrity
• Create Impact
• Pursue Intellectual Merit
• Build Community
• Provide Value
• Embrace Inclusion
Our faculty, staff, and students will collaboratively build an educational environment that identifies and removes barriers that historically have limited access to engineering and technology careers while also developing professionals who proactively design and create inclusive products, systems, and environments that broaden participation in the full benefits of modern society.
Our Four Pillars
- Pillar One: Meet the educational needs of an increasingly diverse, mobile, and technologically advanced society
- Pillar Two: Promote high-quality research with a global impact
- Pillar Three: Create opportunities for continued professional growth
- Pillar Four: Stewarding and Growing Support for the Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Meet the educational needs of an increasingly diverse, mobile, and technologically advanced society
Increase undergraduate and graduate student enrollment so that the student profile of the College meets societal needs and reflects the talent profile of the state.
- Strategically grow our enrollments in both undergraduate and graduate programs by focusing on recruiting and retaining a highly qualified, well-rounded, and culturally and ethnically diverse cohort of students.
- Continue expanding the pool of financial incentives available to attract and retain the highest-quality, most diverse student pool possible.
- Increase the scope and reach of the college’s marketing and recruitment efforts by enhancing and targeting materials for undergraduate students and their families.
- Build a more diverse student population.
Ensure that curricular design and offerings align with the current needs of society and emerging trends in industry and provide students with both technical capabilities and professional competencies to lead the next generation in engineering and technology.
- Revise existing majors and support the creation of new majors or degree programs to meet student demand, address emerging trends, respond to technological advancements, and address societal needs.
- Develop experiential learning opportunities throughout the curriculum.
- Provide college-wide programming related to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging for students and faculty and staff.
Ensure long-term student success by providing exceptional technical and professional education and services that cultivate leadership qualities.
- Utilize all available resources to ensure our students succeed academically, including building an impactful first year experience for our undergraduate student population.
- Enhance learning opportunities for our students through improved laboratory and applied learning experiences.
- Provide continuous faculty development opportunities, including better use of course delivery platforms (experiential, online, hybrid, etc.), curricular development, and industry engagement and the use of the Center for Teaching and Learning to improve faculty teaching where necessary.
- Implement the Ohio Guarantee Plus by increasing the use of professional student success advisors to assist in academic advising, drive retention and increase degree completion rates.
- Create engineering and technical certificate programs in emerging areas of technology targeted for industry that will enable the pursuit of graduate studies.
- Create Professional Competencies credentials to provide added value for students to supplement their undergraduate degree with professional skills.
- Develop a micro-grant program with a simple application and approval process that funds DEIAB related events and activities initiated by student groups or by faculty or staff.
- Annually review first-year success rates for undergraduates, 6-year graduation rates for undergraduates, and time to graduation for graduate students, both overall and with respect to sex, first-generation status, and underrepresented minority status.
Promote high-quality research with a global impact
Build research strategies that support existing high-quality research programs while also investing in new and emerging research areas.
- Promote interdisciplinary research.
- Promote multi-university, college, and departmental collaborative research
- Provide seed funds to support faculty to pursue external grants and especially large grants.
- Create industry/university/federal Centers of Excellence in emerging technology domains.
- Mentor junior faculty in grant writing and help them identify grant opportunities.
- Encourage researchers to become distinguished in their field through all manner of scholarly endeavors
- Recruit and retain talented faculty members, especially female and minorities.
- Emphasize tenure track cluster hires both within the Russ College and amongst other colleges as a means of developing critical mass between technical domains of state and national importance.
Create an innovative, inclusive, and collaborative environment that supports research and creative activities in the College.
- Brand and market strong existing research capabilities and new emerging research that lie within the Russ College.
- Identify impediments to research growth and find solutions to reduce these barriers.
- Develop a working group with Russ College and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the university Technology Transfer Office to increase communication and identify best practices for initiating and completing industry/university agreements.
- Align college Promotion and Tenure guidelines to incentivize innovation and interdisciplinary research and collaboration.
- Incorporate DEIAB into professional expectations and advancement by proactively considering DEIAB in advertising new positions and by explicitly recognizing DEAIB activities as part of the application process, the annual review process, and the promotion and tenure process for faculty and for research staff.
Create opportunities for continued professional growth
Support and expand current high-quality in-demand Professional Online programs and develop additional in-demand Online and Hybrid Masters and certificate programs to meet the need for professional education for students and industry.
- Establish the Office for Professional Education (PE) that will:
- Support Russ College Departments by providing support in marketing, recruiting, MOU development between partners and clients, and scheduling.
- Work with departments to identify and develop needed professional graduate certificates and programs (online and hybrid) that align with the college’s capabilities and strategic plans.
- Work with other Ohio University colleges engaged in professional education to identify lessons learned and recommendations and potential collaborations.
- Evaluate the challenges and requirements associated with expanding these offerings and make recommendations for the Russ College.
- Establish business model for the unit, including: budget, priority identification, implementation systems, financing model, marketing and branding
- Create Affinity Corporate Partnership Program for PE
- Leverage industrial partners and industry groups to understand the changing needs for PE and provide for PE needs
- Continue to explore offerings by other colleges and universities to understand the current market, competition, and identify opportunities
Work with Ohio University Lancaster ENGT program and the Fairfield County Workforce Center (FCWC) to assist in the expansion of Workforce and Professional Development (W&PD) for the ENGT program at OU-L.
In coordination with the Dean of Ohio University Lancaster, build upon the Workforce and Professional Development efforts at the Fairfield County Workforce Center (FCWC)
- Update ENGT program to include current industry needed robotics and automation technology.
- Create financial aid eligible short-term certificate in technical manufacturing to support industry need of entry-level automation and mechatronics technologists.
- Move part of the OU-L ENGT program labs to the FCWC to facilitate training and provide more exposure of the program and offerings
- Work with the university to change old policies to allow and foster W&PD activities, including standalone financial aid eligible associate-level certificates.
Stewarding and Growing Support for the Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Support growth of undergraduate student body by increasing scholarships and recruitment capacity, updating undergraduate and graduate level learning laboratories, funding experiential learning opportunities, and securing named spaces within the Russ Research Opportunity Center (RROC).
- Grow scholarship endowment between FY23-27, focusing on principal level prospects (Donors capable of $1M+ commitments over a five-year period), allowing for additional funding each year for undergraduate scholarships.
- Create recruitment endowment of $1M between FY23-27 that allows for restricted dollars for increased outreach and support of underrepresented students, particularly female and minority students, as it pertains to foundation account guidelines.
- Focus on securing $3M between FY23-27 to fully renovate undergraduate and graduate learning laboratories in Stocker Center to attract and retain high performing students.
- Create experiential learning endowments between FY23-27 that focuses on internship support, research opportunities and lab experiences for undergraduate and graduate students.
- Secure naming opportunities in the RROC between FY23-27.
- Grow endowment funding for student professional and affinity organizations
- Track and communicate how the endowment is being spent, and the impact it has made on the college.
Broaden and strengthen core constituency relationships through strategic engagement opportunities across Russ College.
- Leverage meaningful relationships with donors and alumni across Russ College to create and sustain increased development partnerships leading to higher levels of major gift support.
- Create and sustain engagement-based events that support the philanthropic priorities of the Russ College by engaging the Deans and Leaders in priority markets.
- Establish class agent-based programs around major philanthropic initiatives, i.e., 50th Class Anniversary.
- Utilize Leadership Annual Giving (LAG) to grow pockets of Russ College priorities, i.e. Baja Racing Project Support Fund, Robe Leadership Institute.
Enhance corporate and foundation partnerships within the Russ College to maximize philanthropic activity and output, as well as to increase experiential learning and career pathways for all students.
- Work to create new professorships for Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security ($1M minimum for each) in order to enhance corporate partnerships and to remain on the cutting edge of educational opportunities.
- Assess existing corporate/foundation relationships with faculty and work to cultivate those relationships through gifts-in-kind and corporate/foundation support opportunities.
- Leverage existing corporate and foundation relationships to help build out RROC labs.
- Increase key corporate relationships by utilizing student leaders, top researchers, and college leadership by hosting lunch and learn, engagement opportunities, and giving access to top talent early.