Search For The Provost/Vice President For Academic Affairs
Ohio Northern University (ONU), an independent, selective and comprehensive university, announces the search for its next Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost/VPAA is responsible for the overall academic program and the following additional areas: University libraries, Information Technology (IT), Institutional Research, Athletics, and the Registrar. It is anticipated the next Provost will assume the position on or around July 1, 2016 with the retirement of the current provost.
Founded in 1871, ONU consistently has reflected founder Henry Solomon Lehr’s vision of “providing a community of learning, rich with opportunities for intellectual and personal development.” The University has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1899, instilling core values into its teachings while offering religious freedom on campus. Today Ohio Northern has an enrollment of around 3,300 students from 34 states and 25 countries and offers more than 70 programs of study. Capitalizing on its historic reputation for quality, ONU is poised to move to a position of significantly greater regional and national prominence.
The University’s mission today is to “provide a high quality learning environment that prepares students for success in their careers, service to their communities, the nation, and the world, and a lifetime of personal growth inspired by the higher values of truth, beauty, and goodness.” This mission is achieved via a distinctive academic program with mutually supporting liberal and professional education components that integrate practice with theory, complemented by excellent co-curricular education.
Ohio Northern University demonstrates its commitment to the accessibility and affordability of higher education with the “Ohio Northern Promise.” Key components of this comprehensive and innovative initiative include strategies to facilitate on-time graduation in four years, hands-on, high impact learning as the core of every major, and sustained high job placement and graduate and professional school admissions rates well above the national average. Also included in these initiatives when The Promise was enacted was a reduction in tuition by 20-25% across all colleges.
Numerous college rankings and ratings consistently give Ohio Northern high marks. Most notably, U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the University No. 2 in the “Midwest Regional Colleges” category, and in the top ten “Great Schools, Great Prices” category in Best Colleges 2016. It was named “Private University of the Year” by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Programs and a “College of Distinction” in the 2014-15 guide profiling America’s most distinguished teaching-centered institutions. Ohio Northern University also ranks 2nd out of more than 1200 schools in best quality for the money.
THE FACULTY AND ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
The recognitions noted above are in large part due to the quality of ONU’s academic programs and faculty. Ohio Northern is organized into five colleges: The Getty College of Arts & Sciences, The Pettit College of Law, The Smull College of Engineering, The Dicke College of Business Administration, and The Raabe College of Pharmacy. Unlike many smaller, private institutions, ONU has had professional colleges since its founding.
The faculty consists of 210 full-time and 97 part-time members. They are both teachers and scholars, and routinely speak of their dedication to students and pride in students’ successes. Faculty enthusiastically support the University’s commitment to high impact practices (HIP) – those practices that directly contribute to student learning and success, such as student engagement in learning communities, service-learning, research with faculty, internships or field experiences, study abroad, and senior culminating experiences. This commitment to students is further enabled by the small, personal classes with a 12:1 student-faculty ratio.
- The Getty College of Arts & Sciences is comprised of 17 academic departments offering 50 undergraduate majors. Programs are grounded in a rigorous liberal arts foundation. Hands-on learning, internships, mentorships, and student-guided research projects are essential parts of these programs resulting in an impressive 92% placement rate. Programs in the College are accredited by 11 different accrediting bodies.
- The Dicke College of Business Administration offers five undergraduate majors and a Master’s Degree in Professional Practice in Accounting (MPPA). Internship experiences are required, and a student investment group manages real assets of more than $175,000, in keeping with ONU’s commitment to hands-on learning. The College is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
- The Smull College of Engineering is ranked as one of the nation’s top 40 undergraduate engineering schools by U.S. News and World Report. With six majors to choose from, students learn through community engagement via the Engineering Projects in Community Service Program (EPICS). As with other ONU colleges, co-op learning programs and internships give students opportunities to gain the real-world experience with an impressive College placement rate of 98% after graduation. The Smull College of Engineering is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
- The Raabe College of Pharmacy offers the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, enrolling almost 1,000 students each year. The unique direct-entry program combines a strong liberal arts experience with numerous real-world experiences resulting in an impressive 96% placement rate. The College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education.
- The Pettit College of Law was founded in 1885 and is accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools. It has recently been listed as one of the top six best values among private institution law schools, and was recognized by National Jurist as one of the most innovative law schools in the country. In addition to the JD degree, the school offers an LLM in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law and a joint JD & Masters in Public Pratice of Accounting with the Business College. The Pettit College of Law offers individualized attention and extensive clinic and externship opportunities.
The academic mission is strongly supported by The Heterick Library and the Taggart Law Library. In addition, ONU greatly benefits from participation in the statewide-shared OhioLink catalog of books, ebooks, ejournals and other resource materials. These consortia tremendously expand the resources available to faculty and students.
THE STUDENT BODY AND CAMPUS LIFE
The University’s undergraduate student body boasts an impressive average ACT of 26 and average high school GPA of 3.7. Retention first to second year averages 88%. As noted earlier, students come from throughout the nation and world.
Ohio Northern University students explore their passions by involvement in the more than 200 clubs and organizations including multicultural organizations, academic and professional groups, intramural sports, faithbased clubs and Greek groups. The University also offers students the opportunity to participate in 12 men’s and 11 women’s NCAA Division III athletic teams with an emphasis on the Division III philosophy of student athlete. The University is a member of the highly regarded Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), and approximately 30% of undergraduates participate in athletics.
THE CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY
Ohio Northern University is situated in rural northwest Ohio in the historic village of Ada (population 5,582). There is an array of local restaurants, shopping, and culture both locally and in the several near-by larger communities surrounding Ada. Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo are within easy reach.
The beautiful 342-acre campus is made up of 60 plus modern residences and academic buildings including the Freed Center for the Performing Arts that showcases more than 30 theatre, dance, musical and headliner events each year. Guests of the University, as well as the public, enjoy the luxury and comfort of The Inn at Ohio Northern. More than $100 million in capital projects over the past decade have helped maintain the beauty and functionality of the campus.
The University enjoys an excellent relationship with the local community and with the broad base of ONU alumni. This is evidenced, in part, by strong fundraising, and alumni and community participation in the life and support of the institution.
THE AGENDA FOR THE NEXT PROVOST
The next Provost/VPAA will join President Dan DiBiasio’s leadership team as the University prepares for its sesquicentennial celebration in 2021. The Provost will engage in balancing both continuity and change to meet the challenges and opportunities inherent in private higher education today. Ohio Northern is poised to move forward in new and exciting ways, and the next Provost will benefit from faculty, staff, and students who are prepared to embrace dynamic and creative academic leadership to ensure the University’s ongoing quality and sustained excellence.
With several significant steps already taken to ensure the University’s continuing quality and sustainability and a strong leadership team in place, the next Provost has the opportunity to play a significant role in shaping the University’s future as the chief academic leader, a University officer, and as a key member of the President’s cabinet. It is within this context that Ohio Northern seeks a highly effective leader to collaboratively develop and implement academic policies, programs and support operations to achieve future growth. Specifically, the next Provost will be expected to:
- Articulate and enact a strategic academic agenda for the future consistent with the University’s mission, vision, and strategic plan priorities that emphasize high impact practices, strong student outcomes, and new program development.
- Value and develop the talents of faculty, administrators and staff. This includes attention to professional development, performance review with timely feedback, and reward and recognition of good work. Given the number of new faculty, mentoring and faculty development are increasingly important.
- Strengthen, maintain and enhance the quality of academic programs, ensuring they meet the needs of the changing environment. This includes systematic program review, assessment of student learning outcomes, new program development, and effective utilization of traditional and new teaching/learning strategies (such as on-line learning).
- Astutely manage institutional resources, demonstrating strong knowledge of financial management and creative resource allocation strategies in support of the academic agenda, working in partnership with the President and the Vice President for Financial Affairs.
- Provide leadership and clarity of expectations to the academic deans, especially their roles in fundraising and student recruitment. Work with the Deans in support of the teaching, scholarship and service elements of faculty work, recognizing that these elements may differ among disciplines and across faculty career stages.
- Serve as an articulate spokesperson to peers, President, and Board on the needs and issues of the academic sector while effectively articulating institutional issues and decisions to that sector.
- Build bridges across various areas of the institution – colleges, departments, and service areas – in order to enhance the quality of academic programs, improve services, and more effectively use human and financial resources.
- Provide collaborative leadership among his/her cabinet peers, and provide academic leadership to various committees of the Board of Trustees. At the request of the President, oversee campus operations and represent the University to various constituencies.
- In cooperation with the President, maintain a strong athletic program that emphasizes the NCAA Division III philosophy of the student athlete.
- Optimize the University’s role in professional consortia and associations such as the New American Colleges and Universities and Council of Independent Colleges.
- Create strong administrative systems/processes for managing and supporting the academic tasks of the university. This includes effective delegation, accountability, and defined processes for decision-making, reporting, and communication.
- Strengthen IT through effective strategic plan development consistent with the University and academic sector plans and priorities, establish IT priorities and mechanisms for their implementation.
DESIRED QUALITIES AND CHARACTERISTICS
In order to accomplish the agenda described above, key qualities and characteristics for the next Provost are:
- An appreciation and understanding of traditional undergraduate education, including mutually supporting liberal arts and professional education components, and of graduate education.
- Evidence of increasing responsibility as an academic leader.
- Experience working with academic program development and assessment.
- Evidence of excellent collaboration skills.
- Ability to foster a sense of community and shared governance.
- Strong organization and management skills with a bias for action.
- The ability to inspire trust and confidence based on transparency, integrity, and vision.
- Personal strength and confidence to lead while embracing the contributions of others.
- Effective personal communication and listening skills, using technology to enhance these skills.
- Visible and accessible leadership.
- An earned doctorate or terminal degree with a record of teaching experience and scholarship.
- Enjoyment of the role of Provost, bringing enthusiasm, imagination and a sense of humor to the position.
NOMINATIONS AND APPLICATIONS
Nominations and expressions of interest may be submitted electronically to:
- Dr. Steven Martin, Chair
Provost Search Committee
Ohio Northern University
Candidates are asked to submit the following electronically (MS Word or PDF):
- A letter of interest reflecting on the Provost’s agenda and characteristics noted above;
- A curriculum vitae; and
- The names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of five professional references. References will not be contacted without first securing the permission of the candidate.
To assure full consideration, materials should be received by Thursday, December 31, 2015.
Drs. Tom Courtice and Saundra Tracy of AGB Search, Inc. in Washington D.C. are assisting with the search. Interested candidates or nominators may contact them at:
Ohio Northern University is an affirmative action/ equal opportunity employer.
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