Today's Update: Thursday, February 18

February 18, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, I hope you had the opportunity to listen to President Johnson’s State of the University address this afternoon. I did, and I continue to be impressed by her insights, leadership and dedication.

President Johnson was direct in addressing the monumental challenges we’ve faced over the past year, especially - but not limited to - COVID.

She also said something I find both true and uplifting, and it was probably my favorite quote from her today: “Buckeyes have a huge spirit that shines under pressure.”

You, the Student Life team, embody that “huge spirit.” And you have done a Scarlet and Great job of shining under pressure. In her comments, President Johnson acknowledged Student Life by mentioning me and our work in supporting students in quarantine and isolation – I want to make sure you all know that the acknowledgement and High Fives go to the entire Student Life team! 

President Johnson called her tenure at Ohio State a “half year of inspiration,” and it is clear that her eyes are firmly on the future. This afternoon she laid out an ambitious goal: to become the leading land-grant university in America within 10 years. Her plan includes enhancing academic excellence, doubling research opportunities (including helping more of our students become leaders in the entrepreneurial field), advancing an anti-racist community, a commitment to helping undergraduates leave Ohio State debt free and preparing students for emerging opportunities in the job market. 

Her closing remarks were both inspirational and aspirational. She challenged us all to join her in redefining and embodying what a 21st century land-grant university should be. These are big, important goals…ones that I am excited to get to work on, and I hope you are, too. As President Johnson put it, “We can reach for excellence, and we are well on our way.” 

I completely agree, and the Scarlet and Great Student Life team is the best possible group to help turn that vision into reality. 

We are indeed well on our way.