With strong enrollment and the preparation that paved the way for the switch to semesters paying off, Ohio University-Chillicothe has laid a solid foundation for the 2012-13 academic year, Dean Martin Tuck recently noted during the campus’ annual opening session.
Preliminary enrollment figures indicate the campus’ headcount is about 2,200, with Full Time Equivalency (FTC) at approximately 1,700, which in the same range as last year’s numbers.
“This is especially good news given the expected decline with the university-wide transition from academic quarters to semesters and the record high graduation of more than 500 students last spring,” Dean Tuck said. “Enrollment and retention are campus-wide efforts, and I credit individuals across campus for these good numbers.”
The dean noted that the summer orientation sessions seemed be especially helpful in preparing students for successful starts to their college careers by providing newcomers with the specific information they need to get their college careers off to a good start.
The dean also provided an update on the summer campus strategic planning session and the process to set the campus’ priorities for the current academic year. Plans will continue to be further developed and refined by appropriate individuals and committees on campus. “The goal is to develop plans that are reasonable; have clear, strategic objectives; and support the campus’ strategic objectives. Further, in support of the strategic plan, we will also continue the staffing plan that was begun last academic year,” the dean said.
The four areas of focus are:
• Academic mission
• Information technology/Facilities
• Communication plan
• Budget process
The campus’ transition to semesters seems to be going relatively smoothly, the dean said. “As expected, there have been some bumps in the road, but we are working through those challenges. A benefit of the semester schedule is that classes are more spread out during the day, allowing for smoother operations and less congestion, in hallways and parking lots at peak times. On a commuter campus, this is an important consideration,” Dean Tuck said.
Along with the switch to semesters, OU-C is offering three new academic programs this year. Those new programs include:
• Bachelor of Science in Applied Management (B-SAM). This degree is especially useful for individuals who have earned an associate degree and wish to improve their career prospects. It is also applicable for students beginning college who are seeking a well-rounded business degree.
• Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, in partnership with Adena Health System. This accelerated program allows students in other career fields to obtain a B-S-N in five semesters, spanning roughly 20 months. Classes are offered at the PACCAR Medical Center as well as on the O-U-C campus. The program is a result of a $750,000 grant that Ohio University secured from the Health Resources and Services Administration, a federal government agency.
• Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Students can pursue either a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work or Bachelor of Social Work degree. We anticipate that these bachelor’s degree programs will be especially attractive to Human Services Technology students, who can use that associate degree as a springboard to a bachelor’s degree.
“All of the new programs are in response to strong student interest in the programs and align with emerging career fields in the region, which are the criteria for developing new programs,” Dean Tuck said.
In campus personnel news, Dean Tuck updated the campus community on the search for a director of information technology. Ron Yoakem continues to fill in on an interim basis in the wake of Patty Griffith’s retirement in the spring. The search for her replacement continues with approximately 60 candidates. The initial screening process has been completed by the search committee, and selected candidates will soon be invited for campus interviews, with the expectation of hiring a new director during fall semester.
The campus also greeted two new faculty members. Former staff member Joe Triplett has been named assistant professor and program coordinator of computer science technology. Also, Brenda Miller has been named assistant professor of chemistry.
Also, this summer, faculty offices in Bennett second floor were renovated with fresh paint and new furniture to provide a more professional look. “We appreciate faculty members’ patience during this project,” Dean Tuck said.
Additionally, informational kiosks are being installed in campus buildings. “Once fully operational, they will provide important campus and community information, further strengthening our communication efforts,” the dean noted.
The campus dean closed on an upbeat note.
“In conclusion, I think we are in store for a very exciting year. We have a number of goals for campus and people rowing the boat in the same direction. Always remember that the success of our students is our number one goal,” Dean Tuck said.