Strategies and Initiatives
Over recent years, The Ohio State University has focused
on four core elements:
- Becoming a national leader in the quality of our academic programs;
- Being universally acclaimed for the quality of the learning experience
we offer our students;
- Creating an environment that truly values and is enriched by diversity;
- Expanding the land-grant mission to address our society's most compelling
These core elements were fundamental to the preparation
of this plan. They are reflected in the six strategies and 14 supporting
initiatives that follow. Consistent with our vision and circumstances,
these strategies are to:
1. Build a world-class faculty.
2. Develop academic programs that define Ohio State as the nation's leading
3. Improve the quality of the teaching and learning environment.
4. Enhance and better serve the student body.
5. Create a more diverse University community.
6. Help build Ohio's future.
It is important to emphasize that the University will continue
to be engaged in a wide array of useful and important initiatives, only
a few of which are reflected in this Plan. The initiatives and resource
plan contained herein are designed not simply to sustain progress,
but to accelerate it over the next five years - to take the University
to a higher level of performance. They represent a manageable number of
items with the potential to fundamentally transform the University.
In developing this plan, we have drawn on the thoughtful
and thorough work of the Research Commission; the Reports on Undergraduate,
Graduate and Professional Experience; the Diversity Action Plan; the President's
Council on Outreach and Engagement; and numerous other documents.
Strategy: Build a World-Class Faculty
Academic excellence begins with high-quality faculty. Faculty
not only enhance the University's teaching and programmatic reputation
but also attract the highest quality students at all levels. More than
any other single factor, attracting and keeping exceptional faculty members
will help us become a great university.
In its 1998 report, The Ohio State University Research
Commission found that, compared to benchmark institutions, Ohio State
has few faculty who have attained the highest honors and that our total
faculty complement in critical disciplines is low when compared to our
benchmark peers. Relative to peer institutions, for example, Ohio State
has no disciplines ranked in the first quartile of the NRC or USN&WR rankings,
and only three of 38 disciplines in the second quartile of the NRC rankings.
Clearly, every faculty hire is important. The ability to hire a dozen
or so exceptional senior faculty of international acclaim over the next
five years will significantly enhance our reputation and complement our
efforts to hire the very best faculty at every level.
But no strategy to enhance faculty quality will succeed
without compensation that is competitive with our peer universities. Today,
our faculty compensation does not rank in the top half of our benchmark
To address these challenges, we will:
1. Over the next three to five years, recruit at least
12 faculty members who have attained or have the potential to attain the
highest honors in their disciplines, concentrating these appointments
in areas of strategic focus. Implementation: Begin immediately to recruit
2-3 internationally eminent, National Academy caliber faculty members
per year. Cost: $3.6M in continuing funding for salary and benefits and
$15M in one-time funding for start-up packages.
2. Implement a faculty recruitment, retention, and development
plan - including a competitive, merit-based compensation structure - that
is in line with our benchmark institutions. Implementation: Adopt a 2-3
year merit-based plan to match the average faculty salaries at our benchmark
institutions, which requires an increase of 2.5% beyond the 4% baseline.
Provide competitively funded enhanced support for our most promising junior
and senior faculty. Cost: $13.5M in continuing funding over the next five
Strategy: Develop academic programs that define Ohio State
as the nation's leading public land-grant university.
Academic excellence requires that the quality and reputation
of our academic programs rival those of our benchmark institutions. While
we lag these institutions in the number of programs that are highly rated
in the NRC and USN&WR rankings, our 2010 Plan provides a roadmap for success.
As already noted, that plan is designed to move Ohio State into the top-tier
of America's public research universities by the year 2010, with 10 programs
ranked in the top 10 in their respective disciplines and 20 programs ranked
in the top 20.
In the last three years, the University has identified
13 programs that within the next few years will receive $1 million each
in additional continuing funding - a level of continuing support that
is equivalent to an endowment of $260 million. Already, our recent emphasis
on focused investment has fostered programmatic development in areas of
strategic importance. By continuing to "invest for success," we will create
top-quality academic programs that will move us toward parity or better
with our peer institutions.
We must also invest in research space. Although significant
improvements in research space are either planned or will be coming online
soon, Ohio State remains well below the benchmark institutions identified
by the Research Commission in providing the infrastructure needed for
modern research. With enhanced research facilities, we will be better
able to recruit and retain faculty and to increase the volume of funded
Finally, great research universities typically house a
number of nationally prominent research centers that flourish outside
traditional disciplinary boundaries. These centers initiate cutting-edge
research and educational opportunities that are oriented around important
problems rather than disciplines. Often, such world-class centers connect
with the community through outreach and technology transfer. Strong multidisciplinary
and interdisciplinary centers also help attract and retain exceptional
faculty and attract and retain to graduation talented students. Many of
the major research opportunities of the future, particularly in the international
arena, will require such multidisciplinary collaboration.
The following initiatives, and the two that precede them,
are closely linked in purpose and must be closely linked in execution.
For example, quality research space and equipment must be available to
effectively recruit and retain faculty and to develop multidisciplinary
institutes and centers.
To meet these challenges, we will:
3. Continue the Strategic Investment approach by competitively
funding initiatives that build programmatic strength and open new fields.
Build on existing capabilities and capture opportunities specific to Ohio
State and to Ohio. Maintain ongoing multidisciplinary initiatives where
appropriate and develop new initiatives that draw on University-wide strengths
to attack major problems of the next quarter century. Create multidisciplinary
centers that can attract additional faculty in key areas, helping reduce
student-faculty ratios in high-demand fields.
Implementation: Fund 3-5 initiatives each year that
will capture a unique opportunity within a discipline, create an interdisciplinary
program, or link a range of disciplines for a coherent attack on a highly
complex area. Fund at least one program of each type in each year. Fund
each initiative at a level that allows it to become one of the nation's
leading programs. Cost: While support for personnel, facilities, and equipment
can vary widely by research area, a typical threshold level for a multidisciplinary
center is approximately $1-3M in continuing funds and up to $10M in one-time
costs. Total: $9M/yr in continuing funds for five years for faculty and
staff salaries and operating expenses and $30-50M in one-time funds for
4. Significantly increase space dedicated to funded
research beyond what is currently planned. Include a multidisciplinary
building devoted to high- quality research space as well as to office
and meeting space. Implementation: Allocate $250M by FY05 through prioritized
capital budget requests to enhance research activity and pursue funding
from multiple sources; maximize the use of Ohio Board of Regents' matching
funds to enhance the research equipment base on campus; and increase support
for maintenance. Cost: About $250M in one-time funds plus $3.8M/yr in
increased operating costs. This level of investment will fully equip approximately
250,000 assigned square feet of new research space. [Note: Meeting the
University's total need in this area may require comparable sums over
the next 20 years.]
Strategy: Enhance the Quality of the Teaching and Learning
Academic excellence is dependent upon many factors, including
up-to-date infrastructure and leading-edge learning tools. One major driver
for this infrastructure need is technology, which is transforming teaching
and learning along with many other aspects of University life and operations.
Another is the need to renovate, update, equip, and maintain classrooms
and instructional laboratories and to maintain an attractive campus environment.
While it will require a number of years and significant resources to bring
all University facilities into the modern age, we need to jump-start the
process and instill a sense of urgency in achieving that objective.
We should also recognize that the development of distance
learning programs can help us benefit students from around the world while
reducing the need for costly physical facilities. In addition, following
a period of transitional investment, distance learning programs have great
To begin this process, we will:
5. Transform the Library into a 21st century, Information-Age
center within the next 5 to 10 years. Implementation: Combine fund-raising
with support from state capital funding budgets over the next several
biennia. Cost: $20-30M in one-time costs plus $2.5M in acquisitions over
the next 5 years. (Cost assumes that the private, fund-raising portion
of a $60-70M library renovation will be $20-$30M.)
6. Upgrade the quality of our classroom pool space and
enhance the appearance of the campus facilities and grounds. Implementation:
1) Build 25 state-of- the-art classrooms (5/yr for 5 years) in addition
to the 85 for which funding is in place while enhancing classroom cleanliness
and providing modern equipment. 2) Add Project Cleaning Teams (each with
8 custodians and a supervisor) to augment today's custodial staff as well
as high-intensity grounds maintenance to the seven most highly visible
areas of the campus. Total Cost: $2.9M in continuing funding and $1.9M
in one-time funding for updated classrooms.
7. Provide faculty, staff, and students with the latest
technology tools for leadership in teaching, learning, research, and career
development within the next 5 years. Implementation: Focus on distance
and web-based education programs, comprehensive student support, on-campus
Internet connectivity, infrastructure, remote connectivity, and a data
strategy to improve coordination, quality, and accessibility of information
and response times. Seek sponsored-research support to evaluate the effect
of new technologies and teaching methods on student learning. Create web-based
and distance learning programs that can reduce the incidence of closed
courses in high- demand areas and provide improved state-of-the-art Information
Technology capabilities to improve the quality of academic advising and
other student support services.
Cost: $10M in one-time funds for technology-enhanced
learning, $50M in one-time funds for Student Information System, $6M in
continuing and $2.5M in one-time funds for shared technology infrastructure,
and $1M in continuing and $5M in one-time funding for enterprise data
strategy. Totals: $7M in continuing funds and $67.5M in one-time funding.
Strategy: Enhance and
Better Serve the Student Body
To be an academically excellent institution, we must recruit
and retain to graduation an excellent and diverse undergraduate, graduate,
and professional student body. More talented and better-prepared students
require less remediation, face fewer academic difficulties, and graduate
in higher numbers and in a shorter time-span. Better prepared students
also help attract better faculty, grants, and awards and enhance the University's
Since the University began admitting fall quarter undergraduate
students on a selective basis in 1987, and particularly recently, the
quality of preparation of the incoming class has improved. We must now
accelerate our efforts to recruit and retain to graduation an excellent
and diverse student body. Today, only about half of our new undergraduate
students (the fall freshmen) are admitted selectively. To continue this
improvement, we must implement our enrollment plan and extend selective
admission to all incoming students - freshmen entering in winter and spring
as well as all transfer students.
In moving forward with the implementation of a selective
admissions policy, it is important to preserve our land-grant role in
serving the people of Ohio. In part, that role includes providing access
for qualified students regardless of their economic need, an issue that
is addressed in Initiative #10 below. Our land-grant mission also assures
access to the University to any student who can attain the preparation
and skills needed to succeed at Ohio State. The regional campuses will
continue to provide open access to students and provide them with the
opportunity to complete Ohio State University degrees - to a limited extent
at the regional campuses and more generally at the Columbus Campus. We
will also continue our efforts to improve articulation agreements with
community colleges and to provide financial aid to qualified transfer
In addition, we need to better serve the better-prepared
students who are entering Ohio State. Thus far, we have increased our
emphasis on enhanced student life and improved student support services.
It is now time to focus more on academic enhancements, including greater
course accessibility, smaller classes, more undergraduate research opportunities,
additional honors and scholars programs, and more and higher quality advising
and career counseling. We also need to utilize instructional technology
and changes in the budget process to more quickly and effectively respond
to academic program choices in emerging areas, such as Information Technology
Finally, the Research Commission found that, "Even in some
strong departments, OSU appears less able to attract graduate students
from highly ranked programs than some leading peers." To attract the best,
we must improve the fellowship packages we offer since our standard one-year
fellowships are less attractive than those of many competing institutions.
In focusing on recruiting higher ability, better-prepared graduate and
professional students, we should target candidates from highly ranked
undergraduate institutions. In the process, we must assure a growing proportion
of diverse graduate and professional students.
With these goals in mind, we will:
8. Within the next three years, make admission to Ohio
State selective throughout the year for new freshmen and for all transfer
students. Implementation: Move in stages to selective admission for transfer
students and those admitted in winter and spring quarters. More effectively
utilize the regional campuses as alternate entry portals. Enhance relationships
with community colleges for the recruitment of sophomores, juniors and
Cost: The net financial impact of these changes is difficult
to predict. Over the short run (next 3-5 years), tuition and state instructional
support are likely to decline along with the number of newly-admitted
freshman and transfer students. Over the longer run (next 4-7 years),
increases in student retention, increased state instructional support
for upper-level courses and better enrollment planning could generate
additional revenue. Recognizing this situation, the Enrollment Management
Steering Committee developed a number of alternative scenarios to model
the net impact of these changes. The estimate included in this plan -
a five-year revenue loss of $2.5M in continuing funds and $10M in one-time
funds - is in the middle range of these estimates. Actual results must
be monitored and carefully managed as the plan is implemented to appropriately
balance academic goals and financial implications.
9. Create a rich educational environment for undergraduates.
Increase course accessibility, reduce class sizes, and establish at least
10 Scholars programs within five years - expanding opportunities for students
to live with those who share common interests and enhancing students'
academic success and sense of community. Provide academic programming,
advising, and career counseling within these communities. Implementation:
One program was created last year. Add 3 programs in 2000-2001; 5 programs
in 2001-2002; and 1 program in 2002-2003. It's projected that 5,300 students
will be involved in scholar programs by 2005-2006. Cost: $5.3M in continuing
10. Provide ample need-based and merit-based aid for
undergraduates and a competitive financial aid and fellowship support
package for graduate and professional students to improve Ohio State's
graduate and professional matriculation rate. Implementation: Adjust need-based
aid funds commensurate with increases to undergraduate tuition. Implement
the relevant recommendations of the Research Commission Report and the
G-QUE (Graduate Quality of University Experience) and I-QUE (Inter- professional
Quality of University Experience) reports.
Cost: An additional $0-10M for undergraduate student
financial aid, depending on the extent to which tuition increases exceed
the cap. $5.34M in continuing costs, as follows: 125 additional first-year
graduate fellowships @ $16,800 ($2.1M); 125 additional dissertation-year
graduate fellowships @ $16,800 ($2.1M); 25 professional student fellowships
@ $16,800 ($420K); and increased graduate fellowship stipend level from
$1,200 to $1,400/month to match $16,800 annual level ($720,000).
Strategy: Create a Diverse University Community
A growing body of research links diversity and academic
excellence. We now know that students learn better in a diverse setting.
In fact, college students who experience the most racial and ethnic diversity
in the classrooms and in informal interactions on campus become better
learners and better citizens. As a result, students who attend a truly
diverse university are better prepared to live and work in a multi- cultural
society and a global economy.
To create this rich learning environment, Ohio State must
recruit and retain greater numbers of women and minorities into faculty,
staff, and administrative positions - especially senior positions. Such
senior faculty arrive with tenure and serve as role models and mentors
for their junior counterparts. We must also recruit and retain to graduation
greater numbers of ethnic minority students and create a culture of inclusiveness
that respects and values differences. We must assure that all groups are
represented in campus diversity policy and that the newly established
Women's Place receives adequate support. In our efforts to support P-12
education, we must enhance the pool of minority students who can succeed
at Ohio State. Finally, we must ensure that deans, department chairs,
and other leaders are held accountable for their part in increasing campus
A series of specific goals and initiatives are included
in the University's Diversity Action Plan. We strongly support them all.
Consistent with this Academic Plan's focus on academic excellence, we
have highlighted the following items. We will:
11. Hire at least 5-10 women and 5-10 minority faculty
at a senior level each year for 5 years through the Faculty Hiring Assistance
Program (FHAP) and other initiatives. Implementation: Modify the FHAP
by focusing funding on two especially important needs. One is to help
departments with small pools of women and minority candidates. The other
is to help units that have been successful in increasing diversity to
hire senior-level faculty. Cost: $250-500K/yr for 5 years for a total
of $1.25 - $2.5M in additional continuing costs.
12. Recruit, support, and retain to graduation larger
numbers of academically able minority students. Implementation: Increase
investment in relevant programs and more effectively coordinate efforts
of academic departments and colleges with the Offices of Admissions, Financial
Aid, Enrollment Management, and Minority Affairs. Improve the climate
for diversity through seminars, courses, and programs along with the establishment
of a multicultural center and support of the Women's Place. Cost: $3M
for additional new freshman recruitment and merit scholarships; $2.5M
for recruitment and scholarships for able transfer students from community
colleges; $1.5M for academic support programs; and $800K for improving
the climate for diversity. Total: $7.8M in continuing funding over 5 years.
Strategy: Help Build Ohio's Future
Since our founding in 1870 as a land-grant college, Ohio
State has proudly and effectively served Ohio and its people - educating
hundreds of thousands of Ohioans and applying our base of knowledge and
skills to economic and societal needs. Our pro-active outreach and engagement
initiatives integrate teaching, scholarship, and research. They also connect
our research results to community needs and to the global marketplace
- a dynamic aspect of academic excellence. And while few would contest
Ohio State's past and present success, economic and social trends have
changed contemporary community needs. In response, we must expand our
Ohio State's current outreach agenda reaches across every
facet of the University. Outreach programs number in the hundreds. For
example, our agricultural extension programs offer economic development
information and educational opportunities in every county of the state.
Our continuing education programs, supplemented increasingly by distance
learning, make lifelong learning a reality for all citizens. WOSU broadcasts
radio and television coverage of public affairs and other matters of important
public interest. Through the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and
Public Policy, and through other targeted interdisciplinary policy initiatives,
the University is studying policy issues and encouraging public service.
Faculty, staff, and students help people in the campus neighborhood with
health, educational, and legal problems.
In recent years, Ohio State has added to its traditional
focus on areas such as agriculture by initiating campus-wide outreach
efforts in technology-based economic development, community healthcare
delivery and neighborhood revitalization (Campus Partners). We are now
adding an additional area of campus-wide concentration, which is the improvement
of primary and secondary education. This is an area where we can serve
our community, state, and nation while strengthening the pipeline for
potential university students.
In economic development, TechPartners provides the infrastructure
and entrepreneurial environment to commercialize technology generated
at the University for the benefit of Ohio and its people. Involving three
University offices and four non- University organizations, this collaboration
is helping to build a greater Ohio presence in the new Information Age
economy. Among these partners are SciTech, the Science & Technology Campus
Corporation, a research park connected to the University. Over the long
term, Tech Partners' collaboration with business and government will increase
research funding, attract and retain entrepreneurial faculty, involve
students in experiential learning, increase inventions and licenses, attract
venture capital funding, and help to build Ohio's economy.
To launch this education initiative, and accelerate TechPartners,
13. Significantly strengthen the scope and effectiveness
of our commitment to P-12 public education, with a special focus on the
education of underserved children and youth. In so doing, we will work
with the State of Ohio and selected local school districts. This initiative
will be a University-wide partnership, with the College of Education in
the lead college role. More specifically, we will:
- Strengthen initial teacher preparation and teacher professional
development through collaborations between arts and sciences and education
- Build cross-college collaborative initiatives in math/science
education, early literacy, and education leadership.
- Work with Columbus and other urban school districts to develop
"best practice" P-12 learning strategies.
- Establish Ohio State as a vital source for education policy and
school improvement in Ohio and the nation.
Total Cost: $500K/yr in University-based funding for
campus-wide activity, which will leverage additional monies from foundations
14. Become the catalyst for the development of Ohio's
technology-based economy. Increase collaborations with the private sector
to enhance research, successfully transfer University technology, and
provide experiential learning and career opportunities for students. Implementation:
Make SciTech a national leader in technology transfer and University-related
enterprise development. Position TechPartners as a nationally recognized
vehicle to increase the University's competitiveness; attract top faculty,
students, and research funding; and create a tangible positive impact
on Ohio's economy.
- Complete development of a seamless University-wide strategy that
dovetails with internal and external partners and constituencies and
that integrates separate marketing and communications activities.
- Execute plan strategies, e.g., educational outreach to University
and technology communities and co-sponsorship of major events that
reinforce technology initiatives.
- Aggressively support activities that can "leapfrog" Ohio State
into a position of national prominence in technology partnerships,
particularly broad-scale involvement with companies that enhances
research and experiential learning opportunities for students.
Total Cost: $500K/yr in University-based funding for
campus-wide activity, which will leverage additional monies from foundations