May 2015

2020 Vision: Affordability, Community Engagement & Inclusiveness

Investing in Ohio State's future
During President Michael V. Drake's investiture address on March 31 — watched online by more than 3,200 friends and alumni in 38 countries — he outlined his vision for the university's future. This 2020 vision focuses on affordability, engagement with community partners and becoming a national model for diversity and inclusiveness.

Affordability: A "Best Value" institution
In an era of rising costs and competition, Ohio State continues to be recognized for providing an excellent and affordable education. Tuition and mandatory fees for both in-state and out-of-state students are among the lowest in the Big Ten, while 44 percent of Buckeyes graduate with no debt at all. Ohio State ranks No. 15 among public institutions across the nation in Kiplinger's Personal Finance "Best College Values."

Community Engagement: Targeting food insecurity
Ohio State will commit nearly $100 million over the next decade to help solve the issue of food insecurity. The Discovery Themes initiative, which will invest nearly $15 million to hire faculty experts in this critical area, is being supported by the efforts of colleges and centers across the university. That's good news for Ohio, which has a food insecurity rate of almost 17 percent — higher than the national rate.

Community Engagement: Education for Citizenship in action
Community engagement is a tradition long-embraced by Buckeyes. Ohio State ranks among the top 10 institutions for all-time number of Peace Corps volunteers since the agency was created in 1961. This year, the university is No. 4 for volunteers. And Ohio State's recent Alleviating Poverty through Entrepreneurship Summit has grown from a handful of students discussing ways to fight poverty in the community to one of the largest, student-run social entrepreneurship events in the Midwest with more than 1,000 attendees.

Inclusiveness: Building a model of excellence
President Drake has called on Buckeye Nation to celebrate diversity as a defining strength of Ohio State, charging a university-wide task force to look broadly at diversity issues that affect students, faculty and staff and develop best practices. Initiatives also include re-aligning the Office of Diversity and Inclusion with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, a nationally recognized research center, to further promote greater inclusion on campus and around the world.