Today's Update: Wednesday, January 27

January 27, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, I know it can seem that our response to COVID-19 can take all our time and energy. The reality is that there is still so much other important work being done, even if it feels like it’s stuffed in among testing, quarantine/isolation and promoting safe and healthy behaviors.

I am particularly pleased that we are continuing to forward the future vision for the Office of Student Life. As you know, part of this includes advancing our strong student support team under the leadership of the Dean of Students/Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Support (DoS/AVP). You can think of the DoS/AVP as the “go-to administrator” for students. A year or two from now, if we ask students to vote on “most likely to randomly show up at our event unannounced,” I hope it’s a landslide for the DoS/AVP. This means that the leadership foundation within this portfolio must be robust enough to allow for this level of direct – and immediate – engagement, while also providing strong support for the rest of the unit. That said, I am pleased to announce the following updates that will offer a critical level of bi-lateral support that will be a tremendous asset in advancing student success:

  • I have asked Ryan Lovell to serve as an Associate Dean of Students in addition to directing Parent and Family Relations. Ryan will also directly support the Student Advocacy Center, Student Conduct, Sorority and Fraternity Life and other strategic initiatives for the portfolio.
  • I have asked Matt Couch, PhD, to maintain his role as Associate Dean of Students and director of Student Activities and Student Life Orientation, while also directly supporting the Ohio Union and serving as our liaison to the regional campuses and the primary advisor to the Undergraduate Student Government in addition to advancing other strategic initiatives for the area. 
  • Yvonne Dulaney will continue to offer administrative support to the DoS/AVP’s leadership team.

Organizational structure is not an “end state” as much as a constantly evolving effort to ensure we are best positioned for success. I will empower our executive team members to develop their teams and structures, including looking for opportunities to place emphasis and support around areas like Parent and Family Relations and Student Activities and Orientation, so the associate deans are not balancing administrative and programmatic responsibilities.

As always, I thank ALL of you for your ongoing commitment to creating the extraordinary student experience at Ohio State. I remain Scarlet and Grateful to be a part of this team and I truly have never been more excited about the future of an organization as I am today.

Melissa