Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dean's welcome to the Chillicothe Campus community

Members of the Ohio University-Chillicothe community,
I would like to welcome all members of the OU-C community, both returning members and newcomers, to the opening of the 2009-10 academic year. Building on the campus’ recent success and ongoing initiatives, this promises to be an especially exciting time in the life of your campus.
In a quick glance back, OU-C enrolled more than 2,000 students during 2008-09, which is the highest number of undergraduate students at OU-C in at least 10 years. Further, the Chillicothe Campus was third among 24 regional campuses statewide in terms of enrollment growth.
In looking forward, the ongoing Parkway Project provides a new look to the front of campus that captures the vibrant learning community that exists on campus. The project is scheduled for completion this fall, and a ribbon-cutting will be a part of OU-C Day on Nov. 12. More details will be forthcoming.
This is your campus and you should take pride in its accomplishments and its future. As the first regional campus in the state, OU-C has a legacy of being a leader in higher education. That same forward-thinking, optimistic approach that led our predecessors to establish this campus exists today.
The Chillicothe Campus is a learning community in every sense of the term. The spirit of cooperation and friendship that makes this area such an outstanding place to live distinguishes our campus as an exceptional place to pursue a college education.
Students, as you face challenges, reach out to others for help, including fellow students, faculty and staff members. More than just classroom teachers, our faculty members take pride in serving as mentors to our students. We realize you are making sacrifices to attend OU-C and pursue your ambitions. We take your success seriously and are here to help.
In closing, I look forward to an outstanding year in the life of the state’s first regional campus and a vibrant learning community on the move.
Richard Bebee, Dean
Chillicothe Campus

Advising Center’s Web site continues student-focused approach

Another benchmark has been made in continuing efforts to provide a variety of academic support services to assist OU-C students throughout their college experience with the completion of the Advising Center’s new Web site. The Advising Center, housed in Bennett Hall 270, centralizes professional advising services and creates a one-stop experience for students. The new Web site allows them to provide a similar type of one-stop experience for answering questions, but on the Web. Cristy Null, Academic Advisor at Ohio University-Chillicothe, explained that the new web presence allows the center to reach current and prospective students, as well as parents and inform them that OU-C has a resource dedicated to academic advising. “We live in a “get it now” society, so whatever information and resources we can offer via the web are important,” said Null. “The web information will hopefully increase students’ general knowledge base regarding advising issues, but also raise awareness about the Advising Center.” The Advising Center, which opened just a year ago in August 2008, is still a fairly new academic support service offered by OU-C. The Web site also allows the Center to educate the campus community on what they have to offer. “We first want to make students aware of the services we offer and then we can begin the interactions with them regarding academic advising issues. We wanted to have a resource that they will hopefully bookmark and revisit on a regular basis. It also allows student to get some answers after hours,” said Null. Since the beginning of the Center the intention has been to provide quality services to all students. To accommodate the growing “New Traditional” student population, the Web site can provide a starting point for advising. “We hope the information on the webpage will provide some answers, however, most students’ situations are unique and answers to academic advising issues aren’t always ‘one size fits all.’ We encourage students to schedule an appointment, so that we can further address questions and concerns in a personalized manner” said Null. As campus numbers have grown over the past year, a focus on retention becomes a priority. One way to ensure retention is to provide quality academic advising and guidance. By combining the Web site that provides fast, timely information with the opportunities for assistance at the Center, students have a variety of ways to stay on-track with their college courses. “We view the website as a work in progress. As new ideas come to us and we assess students’ needs, we will change or add content as necessary.” “Our goal is to provide students the information, resources, and advising services they need in navigating their college career so they make well informed decisions,” said Null. “Retaining students, helping them achieve their goals and become successful, is always our goal.” The Web site is just one more addition to the number of advising services offered by OU-C. “Academic advising isn’t just scheduling courses. We address many other topics such as college readiness, career choice, financial aid, study habits/skills, disabilities, as well as personal/family and employment demands. The ability of the academic advisor to understand and address student concerns as a whole allows us to better address the students’ success as a whole,” said Null. Utilizing the web information can help students navigate through their college experience. However, Null explains that nothing can substitute for a visit to the OU-C Advising Center. “We strongly encourage students to meet with an advisor regularly. Sometimes students need intensive assistance; sometimes they just need a pat on the back. Either way, we welcome all of our students to visit The Advising Center.”

Dean addresses campus goals, aspirations during opening session

Dean Richard Bebee set the tone for continuing to adhere to the campus’ core values while taking a progressive approach to serving our students and serving our region during OU-C’s opening session Sept. 8. During the campus-wide meeting, on the first day of fall quarter, Bebee reflected on the campus’ heritage, recent accomplishments and strategic priorities as OU-C moves forward. “As the first regional campus in the state, we have a long and proud legacy of preparing learners for fulfilling lives and to pursue rewarding careers,” Bebee said. “There are several features that especially distinguish the Chillicothe Campus … First and foremost, we take a student-focused approach in our decision-making. Further, strategic thinking is part of our culture. It is how we set both long-term goals and go about our business on a daily basis." As the dean noted, the 2008-09 academic year was a banner year for the Chillicothe Campus, with the highest enrollment in 10 years and the third-highest enrollment growth of the 24 regional campuses in Ohio. “The real significance of these numbers is that we have an increased opportunity to impact the quality of life for residents of our region,” Bebee said. At the campus planning session in August, a framework was established to help guide the campus’ decision-making not only this year, but over the next 5 to 10 years, with a look at all areas of operation. With the ongoing Parkway Project creating a new look to campus, the focus is on moving forward with a theme of “From Campus to College” as OU-C looks to best fulfill its role of utilizing higher education to support the quality of life for area residents. The campus’ strategic priorities for this year and beyond are: Academic programming, Capacity, Flexible Scheduling and Student support & customer service. The dean urged individuals across campus to continue to work together and to become further engaged members of the OU-C community. “I welcome your suggestions on how we can become a better campus and better serve our students,” he said. Please post comments on how the campus can better meet its mission on the news blog.

OU-C Charles and Daisy Black Equestrian Farm to host Ross County Special Olympics Equestrian Games

The 2009 Ross County Special Olympics Equestrian Games will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Ohio University-Chillicothe Charles and Daisy Black Equestrian Farm, 32505 U.S. Route 50 East, Chillicothe. Approximately 15 participants from Ross County will be participating on teams representing Reinstorm Therapeutic Riding Center and Pioneer Center. This is the first time the event has been held in Ross County. Admission is free. For more information, contact event coordinator Amy Sims, (740) 253-3848.

OU-C holding some evening classes at Bishop Flaget

To best meet capacity needs, OU-C is holding some evening classes at nearby Bishop Flaget School during fall quarter. A total of 13 class periods are being held at the school in the academic areas of English, math, communication studies, social work and University College Experience. “We needed to add space to accommodate the needs of our current large enrollment. The 5:30 p.m. time slot is a popular time for classes, especially for students with full-time work schedules,” Associate Dean Mike Lafreniere shared. “Bishop Flaget offers the classroom space we need and a convenient location. This is the type of arrangement allows us to partner with a local school for the benefit of our students.” The campus notified by email students and faculty members are enrolled in or teaching classes at Bishop Flaget.

Chillicothe to host storytelling festival

The Southern Ohio Storytelling Arts and Music Festival will be held in Chillicothe this weekend, Sept. 11-12, in a tent outside the Pump House Center for the Arts in Yoctangee Park. Storytelling is a unique performance art, and the professional storytellers participating in the event will provide a rich variety of entertainment for audiences of all ages. Feel free to stop by early in the weekend for a free “sample” story and then purchase a ticket if you like what you hear. The schedule, ticket and other information are available online at

Upcoming Campus Events

• Academic Council at noon on Sept. 15, Sept. 29, Oct. 13 and Oct. 27 in Bennett Hall room 105 • Classified Group at 9 a.m. on Sept. 22 and Oct. 13 in Bennett Hall room 105 • Title IX Training at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 in Bennett Hall room 105 • Administrative Council at 9 a.m. on Sept. 24 and Oct. 15 in Bennett Hall room 105 • “World Laughter Tour” brown bag lunch at noon on Sept. 25 in Bennett Hall room 134. Open to entire campus community • Ohio University Human Resources meeting at 3 p.m. on Oct. 20 in Bennett Hall room 134 • OU-C Day on Nov. 12. Will include scholarship/donor breakfast, Parkway Project ribbon-cutting and other activities. Details to be announced