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Ohio University's Faculty Senate gathers in Walter Hall to discuss concerns on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. 

Faculty senate discusses new mission statement, cocurricular activities

Ohio University Faculty Senate met Monday to discuss various topics, including updating Ohio University's mission and vision statement and a resolution regarding student organizations.

Robin Oliver, co-chair of the mission and vision committee, posed four questions to the Senate from a recent survey to gauge what the new mission statement should include. 

The current mission statement is: "Ohio University holds as its central purpose the intellectual and personal development of its students. Distinguished by its rich history, diverse campus, international community, and beautiful Appalachian setting, Ohio University is known as well for its outstanding faculty of accomplished teachers whose research and creative activity advance knowledge across many disciplines."

“The (change) really is to take a look at our existing mission and vision,” Oliver said. “You all are the mission, and you should be driving the mission, and it's really important to us that we hear your voice in that.”

Because the current mission statement was established in 2007, Oliver said the committee wants to create a new statement that better encompasses OU and its current students. 

Questions from the survey included various aspects of OU that the committee felt were essential to incorporate within the new statement, such as the university’s purpose, how OU differs from its peers, who benefits from OU and the faculty’s vision for the university as it approaches its 250th year. 

Oliver encouraged students, faculty and staff to take the time to fill out the six-question survey to help assist the committee in creating a new mission and vision statement. The survey will close Jan. 10. 

Justin Daering, professor of instruction in the School of Film, said a possible goal is for there to be a stronger bond between the Athens campus and regional campuses.

Senate also discussed a resolution proposed by the Educational Policy and Student Affairs Committee regarding the definition of cocurricular activities. 

According to the resolution, cocurricular activities will require an assessment that is consistent with Higher Learning Commission, or HLC, guidelines and be advertised as an experiential learning opportunity by the institution.

The resolution was only on its first reading and could not be passed at the meeting. 

Sarah Wyatt, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the senate, said the resolution would not affect larger student organizations, which already have assessments in place. 

“It’s just like courses,” Wyatt said. “All of our courses are assessed, but we assess them. We build the criteria that you need to assess, ensuring that they're useful. The same thing will happen with all the cocurriculars now. If some of those groups aren’t assessing already, then they're going to have to create an assessment.”

The resolution could be passed on the second reading, which will take place during the next faculty senate meeting. 


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