Today's Update: Wednesday, June 3

June 4, 2020

Dear Student Life Team,

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees met today, and this has required a great deal of my attention, so I’m sorry I’m later than usual.  
It’s an exciting day – this morning we had the announcement of the 16th president of the university, Dr. Kristina Johnson. I hope you have had a chance to read about her background and experiences, and I am so excited for her and her wife, Veronica, to join the Ohio State family. 

In addition to the announcement of Dr. Johnson, there were many other happenings at the meeting. I will share more information and outcomes in tomorrow’s update, but probably the biggest news, other than our new president, was that we announced we will be in session in-person in the fall, while also employing a variety of health and safety measures. There are still many more questions than answers, but we do have a direction and are ready to move into implementation.  

As I think you all know, the residential education is an incredibly important part of the Ohio State experience, and living on-campus contributes to things like persistence toward graduation and student success. That said, being on campus in the fall will definitely include offering on-campus housing. To do so, we will take important measures to facilitate physical distancing which requires us to reduce the population density in residence halls. This will mean that we won’t be able to guarantee that our returning second-year students can have the rooms or buildings they requested, so we are temporarily expanding the housing exemption criteria for returning second-year students exclusively for the 2020-21 academic year. We sent them a message this afternoon with additional details. If you’re interested in learning more, information can be found on housing.osu.edu. 

Again, I will provide more updates from the board meeting tomorrow. 

I also wanted to let you know that yesterday I sent a message to all Ohio State students in which I talked about the deep pain, anger and hurt that the murder of George Floyd, and others before him, has caused our campus community. You can read my full message online. As you will see in the message, student government leaders have presented a series of action steps they would like the university to consider. I and the other university senior leaders are inviting students to join in a shared process of finding solutions to envision and advance a stronger, safer, healthier campus and Columbus community that upholds values of equity, justice and respect.  

As always, please remember, you are Scarlet and Great. And appreciated. 

Melissa