Portrait of Dean/Director William MacDonald on campus McConnell Hall in the background and yellow leaves on the trees in the fall.

William L. MacDonald

The dean and director provides leadership for the Newark campus in academic programming and research; in student, faculty, and staff recruitment, retention, and development; and in financial resource management and development.

A message from the dean

The Ohio State University at Newark gratefully welcomed many students, staff and faculty back to campus for autumn semester after an extended absence due to COVID-19. And as the semester progresses, we look forward to increased campus engagement and a return to our favorite Buckeye traditions.

This autumn, one particular highlight is the opening of the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology. This $32 million, 60,000-square-foot building was dedicated on August 13 at a public ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new facility will offer students enhanced research space, state-of-the-art classrooms, interactive technology, dedicated spaces designed to encourage collaboration – and most importantly – opportunity.

It's inspiring to realize that the research that will take place in this new facility has the potential to impact our community, region and even the globe for generations to come. This includes Associate Professor Özlem Doğan Ekici’s drug-discovery research, which could extend or save the lives of those suffering from multiple myeloma, and Professor Karen Goodell’s work to protect Ohio's at-risk bumble bee populations, to mention just a few of the exciting research projects being conducted by Ohio State Newark faculty.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to Ron Alford and Barb and Mike Cantlin for embracing this project and choosing to honor their parents’ community involvement and support of Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) and Ohio State Newark through their $2.5 million transformational lead gift. John and Mary Alford were unwavering supporters of Ohio State Newark and COTC for several decades. Through their early involvement and the continued involvement of their children, they have helped shape the college and university’s unique co-located, cost-shared partnership, which continues to be a model for other higher education institutions across the state and even throughout the country.

I would also like to recognize Dan DeLawder, who led the community fundraising campaign for the Alford Center. And to the 300 unique donors who helped us reach our $14 million fundraising goal —we could not celebrate this milestone without your generosity. Thank you for investing in our current and future students.

In many ways, the Alford Center is also a stepping stone to future projects. With several instructional science labs and research labs moving from Founders Hall into the Alford Center, we can now turn our attention to a complete renovation of our campus’s first building. We can also start planning for the addition of more residential space for students. The Alford Center allows us to move forward with the campus’s framework plan to continue enhancing our physical facilities, academic offerings, and student support resources.

If you haven’t had a chance to tour this outstanding facility, you can watch a brief video tour of the Alford Center and read more about the Alford Center.

We are deeply grateful for the continued support of our generous community, and we look forward to sharing many future stories of how the Alford Center will allow Ohio State to further champion the power of human potential.

Stay safe and stay well.

About William L. MacDonald

William L. MacDonald joined the faculty of The Ohio State University at Newark in 1992, and has served as dean/director for Ohio State Newark since 2004. He served as executive dean of the regional campuses from 2010 to 2019. His research interests include religion, gender, race and class. Bill earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Bowling Green State University in 1992 and is an associate professor in Ohio State's Department of Sociology.