Sept. 7, 2007
By Katie Quaranta
A new committee, comprising 13 Ohio University faculty, staff and students, soon will begin examining the academic priorities that will guide Ohio University over the next five years.
The Five-Year Academic Action Plan Committee is charged with refining the Vision OHIO implementation plan that President Roderick McDavis introduced in draft form to the Board of Trustees at its Aug. 3 retreat.
"The ultimate goal of the committee is to refine academic priorities through a fully inclusive process," McDavis said. "I am counting on the committee to help create clear communication linkages between the academic units and the academic support units to assure that all of the goals create a solid, integrated foundation for the future of the institution."
The Academic Action Plan Committee will focus on the implementation plan's 76 specific action steps intended to achieve six broad Vision OHIO goals: strengthening undergraduate education; enhancing graduate and professional education and research; improving the quality and diversity of faculty, staff and students; enriching the campus environment; fortifying the technological and financial infrastructure; and enhancing national prominence.
Portions of the plan have undergone extensive review in the past; other sections contain newer initiatives that require more thorough vetting. McDavis has asked committee members to consult with the groups they represent, summarize feedback and bring it back to the whole committee for consideration.
The university will invest $30 million in fiscal years 2008 through 2012 toward these goals.
This summer, the university prepared a draft five-year plan in response to the trustees' request at the June board meeting to interrelate academic goals and financial plans. The document contained two main components: an academic implementation plan and a five-year financial plan. The Budget Planning Council (BPC) will examine the financial portion. The committee will begin its work Sept. 21.
Deans, vice presidents and the senate leaders provided input for the draft plan. But the production of the document took place under a tight timeframe in the summer, when in-depth consultation was difficult. McDavis indicated, and the trustees agreed, that thorough input from faculty, staff and student representatives would be vital.
College of Fine Arts Dean Charles McWeeny will chair the committee.
"The goals in the draft academic implementation plan are well-vetted, and now we want to carefully look at the way they'll be carried out," McWeeny said. "A solid action plan will have the power to propel us forward and upward."
Other committee members include Dominic Barbato, president, Graduate Student Senate; Brice Bible, chief information officer; George Cheripko, chair, Classified Senate; Dan Evans, executive dean for University Outreach and Regional Campuses and associate professor at Ohio University-Southern; Howard Lipman, vice president for university advancement; Sergio Lopez, chair, Faculty Senate, and professor of mathematics; Brenda Noftz, chair, Administrative Senate; Ben Ogles, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of psychology; Hugh Sherman, dean of the College of Business and professor of management; Kent Smith, vice president for student affairs; Tim Vonville, president, Student Senate; and David Descutner, ex-officio member, interim executive vice provost, associate vice provost for undergraduate education, dean of University College and professor of communication studies.
The Action Plan Committee will incorporate its recommendations into a summary document, due Nov. 15 to Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl. Krendl will assess the results and form final recommendations that, along with the BPC report, will go to McDavis in late November.