Ohio University

Co-chairs for Strategic Initiatives Announced

As a next step towards implementing the Strategic Themes, the Co-chairs for the Strategic Initiatives have been identified.  Co-chairs will oversee development and implementation of actions to meet the goals for each strategic initiative and are accountable and responsible for the successful realization of these goals. It is anticipated that Co-chairs will build a support team – in the form of a steering committee, advisory committee, or work group(s) and will work closely with the office of Strategy and Innovation to track data-gathering and evaluation, project planning, and implementation phases to ensure timely and effective completion of these initiatives.  In the weeks and months to come, Co-chairs will provide opportunities for faculty, staff, student, and community engagement and feedback for the Athens and regional campuses and will provide periodic updates to all faculty and staff about progress.


1. Reimagine the Academic Enterprise   


The traditional model for structuring institutions of higher education has value but also is incomplete in its ability to meet the needs of students now and in the future as well as its ability to deliver the career-ready leadership skills and therefore clear value expected by students. In an effort to reimagine the enterprise, we will deploy strategies that increase collaboration, create the ability to pivot faster as the world changes, and ensure a return on investment.  


Joseph Shields

Jason Pina

Brad Cohen

Hugh Sherman

Elizabeth Sayrs

2. Student Success: Leading Retention, Persistence, and Completion  


Student success is a primary focus of the university and reflects our core commitment that we expect every student who comes to our campuses to thrive. Our students—across many campuses and online—come from increasingly diverse backgrounds and experiences that require varied approaches to support their success and the development of innovative success metrics that reflect the differing goals of many student populations. Research and data-driven methodologies must be central to identifying, implementing, and assessing student success initiatives. Builds on recent retention gains (2 points) and graduation gains (3 point increase in four-year graduation) on the Athens campus over the last five years, 


Elizabeth Sayrs

Jason Pina

Gigi Secuban

Donal Skinner

3. Amplify Research & Scholarly Activity   


Ohio University has long been active in a wide variety of research across multiple disciplines, but we need to both focus our efforts and our institutional support of research in order to gain recognition for our work and increase external funding. Aligning with our vision for the future, we will focus on applied research that builds vibrant communities – research in fields such as healthcare, small business development, sustainability and more. Furthermore, we will target support around initiatives that have the potential to scale for broader regional and national impact. 


Joseph Shields

Mei Wei

Ken Johnson

Matthew Shaftel

4. Realize General Education Reform   


General education expectations and standards are changing nationally. General education is intended to provide students with a firm foundation for writing, critical analysis, and a well-rounded understanding of the world around them. Meeting these goals remains relevant, but how to do so is evolving.  



Elizabeth Sayrs

Katie Hartman

Cynthia Cogswell

Todd Eisworth

Sara Helfrich

Beth Quitslund

Sarah Wyatt

5.  Catalyze Strategic Enrollment Strategy for Lifelong Learning 


Shifting demographics among traditional freshmen have forever changed what we must be as an institution if we are to thrive in the years ahead. Success will require changing how we develop and maintain relationships with prospective and continuing students. In the last decade we have shifted from focusing somewhat narrowly on rising freshman in Ohio to recruit students into online and face-to-face professional graduate programs, and undergraduate programs for adult learners from across the country. Now, we must further diversity our enrollment attentions to attract more out-of-state undergraduate students, to meet adult learners wherever they are in the education continuum with certificate programs and professional development, and to nurture a lifelong relationship with every student, retargeting them for relevant opportunities from high school to beyond retirement.  



Robin Oliver

Candace Boeninger

Nicole Pennington

Renee Middleton

Matthew Shaftel

6. Uniting the System: One OHIO Integration Initiative   


From Regional Higher Education Study Task Force to One OHIO Integration:   

The One OHIO Integration initiative began in FY19 with a Regional Higher Education (RHE) Task Force charged with identifying a sustainable financial model for Ohio University’s regional campuses. In addition to developing recommendations for a sustainable financial model, the study served a larger purpose: providing a road map for improving efficiency across all academic units and campuses. The initial work of the RHE Task Force was then expanded to include and unite all OHIO campuses and functions. 


Nicole Pennington

Brad Cohen

7.  Become a University of Digital Transformation   


The digital world has changed everything business and industry over the last decade. Universities, including OHIO, have been slow to move when it comes to adopting and deploying the latest technology to improve our processes, our student learning outcomes, our teaching environment and our campus. Those that have invested in cutting edge digital technology have made themselves more appealing to students and operationally more efficient. 


Chris Ament

Scott Titsworth

Neil Romanosky

8. Build a Dynamic Budget Model and Rebalance Budgets  


The University will be transitioning away from the current budget model that relies heavily on RCM principles and allocations based on prior year(s) performance. We must replace our current model with one that promotes funding decisions that align with future enrollment and revenue projections.   

As we move away from RCM, the University will implement a simplified, transparent hybrid model that is dynamic and focused on the future impacts of existing trends, enrollments, and investments. This streamlined model will provide more clarity about resource allocations to support strategic goals and ensure a sustainable financial future.  


Deb Shaffer

Chaden Djalali

9. Re-Imagine Space Utilization & the University’s Footprint   


Our physical footprint is one of the highest expenses to the institution as it relates to capital and operational investment. Additionally, digital and technology needs are transforming the capital footprint and infrastructure needs of OHIO’s students, faculty, and staff. The traditional construction of facilities and space ownership are not generally conducive to interdisciplinary engagement.


Shawna Bolin

Jason Pina

Joe Shields

Florenz Plassman

10. Elevate Marketing & Branding 


In FY20, we will leverage the development of a comprehensive marketing and communications plan and clear brand message strategy to unit all campuses toward the goal of telling OHIO’s story across the state and far beyond. The strategic vision will lift the OHIO brand and improve our reputation both regionally and nationally.  


Robin Oliver

Hugh Sherman

Julie Cromer

11. Increase Alumni and Corporate Engagement & Coordination 


Recognizing that Ohio University’s alumni are invaluable brand ambassadors who can enhance the institution’s profile, this strategic initiative will leverage relationships with alumni and develop corporate partnerships to enhance the delivery on our academic mission.


Nico Karagosian

Ken Johnson

Randy Leite

Mark Weinberg