As the beginning of the semester quickly approaches, Division of Student Affairs (DOSA) staff gathered in the Baker University Center Ballroom this week for the all-staff meeting, which is held at the start of every semester. Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina kicked the meeting off on a hopeful note, mentioning news of two new, large donations that will support students as well as being honored as one of the top 27 most promising places to work in student affairs by the Issues in Higher Education publication.
“It’s so great to see all the hard work the division has been doing get recognized,” said Pina. “Receiving all this news within 24 hours of returning to campus makes me very hopeful for what is to come in this new semester and this new year.”
The recent donations totaled $850,000, some of which came in addition to donors’ current contributions. “You have fostered commitment to OHIO that spreads far beyond this campus,” Pina added. “Thank you for supporting our students every day and for your ongoing support of our community.”
In addition to these monetary donations, over 12,000 pounds of food has been donated this academic year to Cats’ Cupboard, allowing it to serve over 400 people this past semester.
Pina went on to highlight efforts by Communication and Marketing and Culinary Services to ensure a graduating student got to enjoy her favorite Dining Court treat one last time, Imants Jaunarajs and Cindy Cogswell’s work with Academic Affairs allowing DOSA to create stronger, deeper connections with partners and recognized the division’s quality of creating a welcoming environment for new employees and aiding in a smooth transition to the campus community.
Following Pina’s introduction, bargaining unit employees were recognized by Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis, Pina and Associate Vice President for Auxiliaries Gwyn Scott for five, 15, 20 and 25 years of service with the division. Photos and names of those recognized can be found at the bottom of this article. Nellis applauded the division’s response to obstacles and challenges from the past semester saying “true leadership is how we respond in difficult situations. Every one of you are contributing in constructive, positive ways as we continue to move forward and be on the leading edge of higher education.”
The all-staff concluded with a presentation from Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Deb Shaffer. Shaffer explained the past, current and future budget scenario at the University. She assured staff that though enrollment is down across the entire country, the University is in a place of financial health.
She broke down the portion of the budget that is available to work with as the University undergoes changes while the climate and student demographic continues to change. Shaffer explained there is some money that though available, cannot be used in certain situations such as the money put on reserve for benefits. This reserve ensures benefits continue to be available to employees and rates do not fluctuate from year to year. When questioned about the choices in pay structure across the University, Shaffer explained the pay structure is based on the market, not on the University’s values. OHIO must be able to successfully compete not only for its students, but also for its employees.
She concluded her presentation ensuring staff that though there is decreased enrollment “we do not expect to get all the students back, but we do expect to be here for another 200 years. So we will continue to make changes and adapt with our entire OHIO community in mind.”
Bargaining Unit awardees are pictured below. Names of awardees are in no particular order.
Classified Bargaining Unit Employees Crystal Baker, Ronald Barker, Penny Dicken, Stephen Hembree, Amy Kuklis, Wesley Spencer and Timothy Wojciechowski were honored for five years of service.
Classified Bargaining Unit Employees honored for fifteen years of service included Carolyn Bakies, Janell Bisang, Becky Bunthoff, Kevin Dragoo, Janet Ervin, Debra Hatfield, Melissa Herzog-Walter and Amanda Stobart.
Classified Bargaining Unit Employees honored for twenty years of service were Cindy Cooley and Mary Cramer.
Finally, for 25 years as Classified Bargaining Unit Employees, Lisa Hart, Sheila Jewell and Trisha Putman were honored.