Today's Update: Tuesday, April 14

April 14, 2020

Dear Student Life Team: 

Today’s update will be a little different than most because, rather than being specific to COVID-19 operations, I will be sharing more general Student Life updates. It seems almost strange to be focusing on “normal business” but it’s also a nice reminder that “the show must go on” even in these odd times.   

As I shared with you a couple of weeks ago, Molly Calhoun will be taking the role of President and CEO of Ohio State’s Alumni Association on Friday, May 1. Once again, three cheers for Molly!   

As we plan for the future, I want to acknowledge that our executive team is currently filled with several interim positions and this is a significant time of change and transition for us. It has never been more important to ensure that we are keeping pace with market changes, technology advancements and, most important, the evolving needs of students. Likewise, it is critical that we ensure we are modernizing our strategy and structure. That said, I have attained the support of TSE Consulting, LLC, to assist over the next few weeks in reviewing our operations, structure and areas of focus, as well as conducting benchmarking at other institutions. I have asked TSE to provide a recommendation we can consider to best position our Office of Student Life to continue as the national student affairs leaders that we are.   

We are in a strong position to move this process along expeditiously because we have done incredible foundational work over the past months, including collecting information via departmental briefings and listening sessions, and due to the great work that the Center for the Study of Student Life has done in terms of acquiring and analyzing student data. TSE will conduct their analysis and research over the next two weeks, and I have asked that they provide recommendations to me regarding organizational structure by the end of April. The second phase of review, which will include stakeholder/feedback review, a summary of our strengths, opportunities and pain points related to current operations, will then commence with recommendations being shared at the end of May. We will use this information to inform our path forward.   

Because Molly will be transitioning to the Alumni Association before we are able to operationalize our final structure, I have asked several Student Life leaders to support the following areas in the interim period in addition to their current portfolios:  

  • Gladys Gibbs will support the Student Wellness Center  

  • Kathleen Hatch will support Esports  

  • Ryan Lovell will support Housing Administration, the Second-year Transformational Experience Program (STEP), Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services  

  • Anne McDaniel will support Program Review and Strategic Planning  

  • Kellie Uhrig will support Recreational Sports  

  • Dave Wiseley will support Technology Services, Facility Services, Facility Planning and Design, Facility Operations, Risk and Emergency Management, Energy Management and Sustainability, Environmental Services, Business and Mechanical Services  

I know it seems like we are experiencing a great deal of change, especially given the current circumstances, but I have never been more energized by and about the important work we are doing together, and I know we have a strong future ahead. I appreciate your ongoing support, hard work and dedication. In addition to our regular complex work, our virtual learning environment has added entirely new considerations that you all are encountering with great grace and success. As I have said before, and I will say again: You are Scarlet and Great.  

Sincerely,

Melissa