Today's Update: Wednesday, June 16

June 16, 2021

Dear Skylar, At the Board of Trustees meeting last month, I shared that Student Life would be embarking on a strategic planning process this summer. I am excited that we are kicking off that process and we need your help, ideas and feedback. 

As you know, we have had some significant changes and new goals established in the last year, including President Johnson’s goals, as she outlined in her State of the University address (president.osu.edu/speeches/sotu2021), and Student Life’s new structure and focus areas. 

My vision for the future of Student Life is to be the premier student affairs division in the country; student- and staff-centered with cross-cutting experiential learning and a dedication to being equity-minded.  

By equity-minded, I mean we need to work to recognize patterns of inequity for our students and staff, being aware of the social and historical practices and context of exclusion and inequality in higher education. It is our responsibility to assess how we are responsible for inequities and then work to provide fair and just opportunities for our community. 

I need your help in getting there, which is why this summer we are endeavoring on not on just an overhaul of our strategic plan; we are taking a completely new approach to our strategic planning process. I have asked a Student Life Strategic Planning team, comprised of faculty, staff and students – whose names you can find at the end of this message – to guide the effort.  

Importantly, this process will be a bottom-up approach. I am doubling down on our culture commitments of Appreciation, Support, Connection and Care, and we will involve all of the members of our team - all of you – along with students and Student Life’s key university and community partners, in our strategic planning process. The team will be gathering feedback throughout the process, through listening sessions, surveys and other feedback opportunities, so you can contribute your good ideas, hopes and dreams for our future. 

This process will also be iterative in nature. We will use a plan that doesn’t necessarily look five years into the future, but 18 months to two years, so we can be agile and nimble, particularly as the field, and really the whole world, approaches a post-COVID next normal. We will still have long-term vision and clearly established end goals. The destination will be firmly established. We will just allow for the flexibility and acknowledgement that when disruptions happen, like COVID (but hopefully not!), we may need to make shifts on how we get there. 

As I said, I need your help. Your first opportunities to engage in the strategic planning process start today. Please do some brainstorming about what you would like to see for the future of Student Life. How can Student Life continue to be innovative and forward-thinking? How can we be flexible and proactive in meeting the needs of our always-changing student body and staff members?  

Please take a few minutes to share your ideas for our future in this short, anonymous survey, which will be open until Friday, July 16. 

go.osu.edu/studentlifefeedback 

We also invite you to have further conversations in the following listening sessions with our strategic planning team, which will be held between July 12 and July 23. You can see the sessions at the end of this email. 

Thank you for your help in creating a Scarlet and Great future for Student Life! 

Listening Sessions 

The list of sessions is below; please choose the one most appropriate for your job classification and click the link to register. If you need assistance choosing the best group for you, feel free to talk with your unit director or contact Dr. D'Arcy Oaks at oaks.9@osu.edu

Student Life staff, non-manager/supervisor (virtual)

Assistant Directors (virtual) 

Associate Directors (virtual) 

Bargaining unit members, 1st shift (in-person, North District) 

Bargaining unit members, 2nd shift (in-person, Ohio Union) 

Bargaining unit members, 3rd shift (in-person, Ohio Union) 

Directors (virtual) 

Graduate Administrative Associates (virtual) 

Managers/Supervisors (virtual) 

Regional campus staff (virtual) 

Residence Life Hall directors (virtual) 

Student employees (virtual) 

Student Life Strategic Planning Team members: 

  • Dr. Anne McDaniel, Associate Vice President, Academic Partnership and Career Success, co-facilitator 

  • Dr. Stephen John Quaye, Associate Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, co-facilitator 

  • Zia Ahmed, Senior Director of Dining Services 

  • Adam Crawford, Assistant Director, Student Life Disability Services 

  • Lauren Etzkorn, undergraduate student 

  • Skylar Fought, Communications Specialist, Student Life Communications 

  • Dr. Shannon Jones, Program Coordinator, Student Advocacy 

  • Blake Marble, Director, Student Wellness Center 

  • Dr. D’Arcy Oaks, Sr. Associate Director for Program Review and Strategic Planning 

  • Enis Plasvic, undergraduate student, Ohio Union student employee 

  • Tiffany Quattlebaum, Business Manager 2, Financial Management 

  • Jaden Royal, GA in Student Activities, Graduate Student in Higher Education and Student Affairs 

  • Tessa Smith, Learning and Development Consultant, Buckeye Careers