Portrait of Dean/Director William L. MacDonald in front of McConnell Hall.

Letter from the Dean

2023 Update from the Dean

In November 2022, the university launched its new academic plan that defines actions to create an environment where all faculty, students and staff can reach their full potential. The plan identifies six goals: advance faculty eminence; accelerate student success; enhance impact through external engagement; strengthen talent, culture, and inclusive excellence; improve technological innovation; and achieve operational excellence. These goals encompass the university as a whole, including the regional campuses.

Newark's On Seas of Care strategic plan is aligned with the new academic plan, and our local planning efforts and our work cascade down from these goals. Our plan is squarely focused on student success, which is strongly aligned with the university's goal to accelerate student success. We are continuing our work to fulfil our goals with respect to reducing the gaps between underrepresented minorities and all other student with respect to retention and graduation rates. We recently restructured our student support services and are currently engaged with the larger university to identify the optimal enrollment for our campus through a study that will result in a strategic enrollment infrastructure that aligns marketing, admissions, financial aid, registration, and data analysis.

Our work to add a director of diversity, equity and inclusion and to champion Ohio State's shared values help to create an environment where all individuals can fully participate in the life of our campuses. These initiatives directly align with the university's goal of strengthening talent, culture, and inclusive excellence. Mindful integration of the institutional values—excellence and impact, diversity and innovation, inclusion and equity, care and compassion, and integrity and respect—into our discussions and decision-making supports our commitment to a consistent, healthy and ethical culture and presents an opportunity for framing and motivating new initiatives and positive collaboration.

Most recently, we have spent considerable time focusing on achieving operational excellence by studying and identifying ways to improve academic, administrative, and business processes to advance the university's academic priorities. This work will guide both our long- and short-term financial and academic planning. Three consecutive years of enrollment declines, a continuing decline in the number of high school graduates attending college, and a high rate of inflation have created enough financial pressure to warrant a comprehensive review of both our support-unit and our academic budgets to find savings by reducing operating expenses. Additionally, we have made both the autumn and spring course schedules more efficient by canceling under-enrolled courses. Currently, using data to facilitate insights and enhance our curriculum, we are conducting a comprehensive review of the degree-completion pathways that students can follow by taking all of their courses from the Newark campus.

We will continue to revisit this plan on a regular basis to ensure that the Academic Plan serves as a guidepost, and to provide regular updates on our efforts to implement the plan. Strategic planning is a continual process, and as we proceed, we will study our progress, explore new curricular paths and revise old ones, and adopt new initiatives, all with the purpose of continually enhancing student success.


William L. MacDonald
Executive Dean of the Regional Campuses
Dean and Director of The Ohio State University at Newark