2015-16 was a year of tremendous progress and growth across departments in the Division of Student Affairs. In the absence of DOSA’s year-end divisional meeting, we asked members of the Division Leadership Team to reflect on the biggest wins of the past academic year in their respective areas.
The Campus Involvement Center focused its efforts on efficiency and impact through technology and collaboration during the past academic year. The center expanded its support to OHIO’s 500+ student organizations through the implementation of OrgSync, an online campus engagement network, and continued its work to connect students to meaningful community experiences. A 20-year record in the number of social sororities, fraternities and affiliated students yielded 33,451 service hours and more than $104K in philanthropic donations. 2015-16 featured several successful partnerships with University College, including learning community programs on by-stander intervention and alcohol use. These programs reached approximately 80 percent of first-year students. The center was also successful in securing outside resources through grant opportunities. A $10K Avon Grant for by-stander intervention programming and scholarships for students in recovery were among the secured funds.
With student development and student employment as a major operating component of Campus Recreation, the department worked diligently this year to redefine these areas. A review and realignment of student employment positions across all Campus Recreation programs and facilities have reinforced the high-quality experiences provided to staff. The addition of a graduate assistant for student development resulted in new initiatives to assist student employees in both their professional and personal development. Campus Recreation also created Ohio University Recreation (OUR) Leaders, a committee of graduate and undergraduate students who are helping to plan and assess student development and trainings. Campus Recreation’s reformed approach to student development has set the foundation for excelling on our commitment to student success in the years ahead.
The Career and Leadership Development Center (CLDC) continued its work to holistically prepare all Ohio University students and alumni/ae for active career development and implementation of leadership skills. This past academic year, CLDC staff taught 20 sections of seven different CLDC-designed career courses, presented seven times at national and regional conferences, and hosted more employers than ever before in OHIO’s history. Academic partnerships rose as more departments integrated CLDC services and resources into their curriculum, and bi-weekly professional development sessions allowed CLDC staff and graduate assistants to hone their professional skills. 2015-16 featured the debut of the CLDC’s Brain Based Career Development (BBCD), a career development theory based on neuropsychological best practices. The CLDC also conducted OHIO’s first ever “first-destination” survey in collaboration with all of the academic colleges and Institutional Research.
2015-16 featured the successful implementation of a revised Student Code of Conduct by the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility (CSSR). This was the first significant change to the code in over 40 years, and the first part of this academic year was spent assisting students, faculty and staff with understanding and implementing the new code and processes. Under the leadership of Rich Kane, CSSR conducted a strategic and targeted recruitment for the University Hearing Board. The resulting board is comprised of over 50 students, faculty and staff — by far the largest board of its kind in many years. CSSR also welcomed three new staff members this year, while the office’s director, Martha Compton, was selected to serve on the faculty of the Association for Student Conduct Administration’s Gehring Academy this summer.
Significant developments for Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) included an accreditation evaluation by the International Association of College Counseling Centers. Although CPS has not yet received word on the decision, there is every reason to believe that the center will be designated for accreditation. The academic year also featured a major self-study of CPS, which was submitted and accepted by the American Psychological Association as it reviews the center’s internship program. The next step in that process will be a site visit by the American Psychological Association this fall. CPS is preparing to welcome two new senior staff members in August. Meanwhile, the demand for CPS services continues to grow. The center experienced an increase of approximately 16 percent over last year in the number of students seeking help.
The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) continued its work to coordinate crisis response on behalf of students in the 2015-16 academic year. This work resulted in more than 180 referrals to the Student Review & Consultation Committee (SRCC). As part of a comprehensive plan designed to increase support services for survivors of sexual assault, stalking and dating and relationship violence, the Survivor Advocacy Program was moved to DOS. The office is in the final stages of hiring a director and survivor advocate to carry these services forward. DOS also oversaw the selection of its third cohort of Margaret Boyd Scholars in 2015-16. The second cohort of the women’s leadership program (which includes a residential component) was part of the floor section that achieved the highest overall GPA of all floor sections on campus.
In addition to the traditional spring commencement ceremonies, Event Services (OUES) coordinated and executed Ohio University’s first fall commencement ceremony in 40 years during 2015-16. This ceremony included approximately 700 graduates and will continue to grow and relieve attendance pressure from the spring ceremonies. The academic year was also marked by capital repairs and accessibility improvements to Templeton Memorial Auditorium. This included an upgrade of the auditorium’s new L’Acoustics PA system, touted as one of the nicest PA systems among 2,000-seat venues on the east coast. An increase in four professional staff and expanded relationships with campus partners have positioned Event Services to expand its services and reach in the years ahead. Meanwhile, a core competency onboarding program and a development student advisory board are helping to support the OUES student employee experience.
The Department of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) continued to make progress through innovative practice to serve over 8,300 students living in OHIO residence halls. The department met a milestone this year as it assisted in the recruitment and retention of students which, this past fall, resulted in the largest on-campus student residential population since 1971! Summer 2015 featured the grand opening of Phase I Housing, which included four new residence halls and a living learning center. HRL also continued the development of Specialized Living Experiences to meet the needs of students, such as the establishment of a first-generation living community in partnership with the Allen Student Help Center. HRL is equally proud of the connections made with residents through an increased social media presence, the development of the OHIO Late Night series, and the 5,000+ social and academic programs sponsored by our staff.
Through broad support of the division’s eight departments, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs continued to advance interdepartmental collaboration and contribute to student success in the 2015-16 academic year. Enhanced division-wide communications and more than 300 creative projects helped to connect DOSA staff with one another and with the students we serve. The VPSA’s Office was instrumental in the decision to move the Survivor Advocacy Program to the division. In an effort to streamline resources, the office assumed oversight of The Post and Student Health Insurance. Under the office’s leadership, 48 building assessments were conducted and nine departmental continuity plans were developed. The office also oversaw a series of meetings for the Regional Campuses and Centers Task Force while advancing its support of Ohio University’s Comprehensive Master Planning initiative. Throughout the 2015-16 academic year, the VPSA’s Office supported the search for Ohio University’s new Vice President for Student Affairs. The search culminated with the successful appointment of Dr. Jason Pina, who will officially assume leadership of the division in June.