Ohio University

New Voinovich School name to reflect leadership position and reputation for public service

Published: June 28, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Effective July 1, 2021, the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs will be renamed the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service. The change comes after OHIO’s Board of Trustees approved the name in October 2020, upon recommendation of the college’s advisory board.

“The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service plays a critical role in Ohio University’s commitment to and partnership with the communities that we live, raise our families, and build our lives in,” President Hugh Sherman said. “We are uniquely positioned to leverage our academic strengths to make a difference in the lives of those living in this region and the State of Ohio.”

The Voinovich School is a nationally recognized leader among public service schools, working in public-private partnerships to find solutions to challenges facing communities, the economy and the environment.

“Rather than focusing on telling people what should be done through public affairs and policy analysis, the school works with people to get things done through partnership-based public service,” said Mark Weinberg, dean of the Voinovich School. “More than 400 faculty, executives in residence, fellows, professional staff, and students partner with and work in the government, business, and nonprofit/social enterprise sectors to address critical regional and state needs. Our new name more accurately represents their important work.”

Weinberg also noted that as a result of more than 140 public-private partnerships with government, nonprofits, and businesses, the Voinovich School has been recognized as the 39th most innovative public service school in the country and climbed in US News and World Report’s rankings from 136 to 58 due to their unique engaged model of achieving impact.

“The school is nationally known for impact, public service, outreach, professional education and leadership development,” Weinberg said. “We’re a model college that acts as a public-private partnership that is helping craft and implement programmatic initiatives that have an impact on the most pressing issues like substance abuse, child protection, business development, water quality, alternative energy, brownfield clean-up, K-12 education, and health data analytics, to name just a few.”

Students plant trees at a local school.
In celebration of Earth Day 2019, Ohio University's Voinovich School teamed up with students from Amesville Elementary School to plant over 200 seedlings along Federal Creek. This applied educational effort increased the vegetative buffer for the community and helped reduce impacts from surrounding land use and flooding. Photo by Christiana Botic.

After operating as a center for several years, the Voinovich School was originally created by Ohio University’s Board of Trustees in 2007 and named in honor of the late Senator George V. Voinovich, BA ‘58, whose 46 years of public service included terms as assistant attorney general of Ohio, Ohio House representative, county auditor of Cleveland, mayor of Cleveland, governor of Ohio, and United States senator. Since its founding, the school has worked to honor Sen. Voinovich’s legacy as a public servant.

“I’m happy to support this updated name that better represents the school’s mission,” said Faith Voinovich, an Ohio University graduate and board member of the Dean’s Advisory Board. “My grandpa’s personal and professional life was the epitome of public service and leadership – and I know he’d be incredibly proud of the school’s continued and evolving impact, especially the school’s purpose-driven graduates, faculty, and staff members.”

Voinovich pointed to many successes and the achievement of strategic outcomes that contribute to the school’s reputation in public service, including:

  • Working with over 6,500 clients such as recently-acquired Stirling Ultracold to create and retain 4,600 jobs, attract $50 million in venture capital, and generate nearly $3 billion in economic activity through the Third Frontier, Ohio Department of Development and Jobs Ohio.
  • Bringing in $4.8 million to build the capacity of programs focused on maternal health, child abuse and neglect, food access, teen pregnancy, K-12 education, etc.
  • Partnering with 84 Ohio communities across 59 counties and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to provide intensive training, technical assistance, program evaluation and leadership development to groups focused on substance abuse prevention and mental health.
  • Restoring water quality for more than 200 miles of stream in southeast Ohio through work with Rural Action, the Sugarbush Foundation, and Ohio Departments of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources.
  • Working with countless nonprofits and social enterprises like Building Bridges to Careers, associations like the Mayors’ Partnership for Progress, and organizations like the Appalachian Children’s Coalition or Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to strengthen communities.
  • Partnering with the US Economic Development Administration, Appalachian Regional Commission and regional development districts on a host of economic development initiatives.

President Sherman also reinforced the opportunity that alumni have to make a difference in their communities thanks to their experiences in the Voinovich School.

“Graduates from programs like the Master of Public Administration, Master of Science in Environmental Studies, the new Online Master of Sustainability, Security, and Resilience and Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service go on to make an incredible impact,” Sherman said. “It’s very exciting to see how they grow during their time at OHIO and then go on to build on those experiences to make a difference in their own communities.”

Note: Over the next several weeks, the Voinovich School will update its official name, logo, and branding across various applications including the college’s website. Internal and external partners are encouraged to do the same and should email gvsinfo@ohio.edu with any questions or requests regarding the change.