Ohio State University President Michael Drake addressed mental health, sexual assault prevention and response, Ohio’s opioid crisis and Framework 2.0 in his goals for the university for the 2019 Fiscal Year during the Board of Trustees Talent and Compensation Meeting Thursday.
The issues he addressed are part of the university’s strategic plan and its “five pillars”: teaching and learning; access, affordability and excellence; research and creative expression; academic healthcare; and operational excellence and resource stewardship.
“These pillars were selected after our careful investigation as the best ways for us to be able to advance ourselves,” Drake said. “And we took my Presidential Goals and aligned them with the pillars.”
His Presidential Goals also include enhancing the campus learning environment by making improvements to sexual misconduct prevention and response and mental health resources—two issues that have been of prominence recently at the university.
“We are not immune to the problems and the stresses that are around the world today,” Drake said. “We need to continue to be leaders in how we address those things, these everyday, ongoing issues.”
Drake said he received around a dozen recommendations to improvements from his mental health task force, with no word on when these would be released to the public.
Drake also said he is looking to add and improve resources for prevention of sexual misconduct, in regards to prevention and resources for survivors, as this is a pressing issue for the campus community.
Ohio State announced its plans to replace the Sexual Civility and Empowerment office Aug. 21, after shutting down the office in June after failing to properly document and report information regarding some sexual assault complaints made by students.
Drake said he wants the university to be of service to community issues and looks to do that by helping with Ohio’s and the country’s opioid epidemic.
“We are able to look into economic causes and the social causes and other things that all together make a holistic view of this universal problem,” Drake said.
The continuation of Framework 2.0, the overarching updates to Ohio State’s campus, was included in his Presidential Goals, using the newly reconstructed Pomerene Hall and the Historic Mirror Lake District as an example of where the university is heading.
“We are looking actively at creating a campus of the future,” Drake said. “We have a year and half process to develop Framework 2.0, which is to imagine how the campus might grow over the next decade.”
Drake also addressed what goals were achieved from the previous year, including the collaboration with Apple for Digital Flagship Initiative and affordability measures.
Ohio State distributed iPads to approximately 11,000 students Drake said, beginning at orientation, including freshmen and transfer students.
In regards to Ohio State’s affordability measures, Drake said that the University is ranked No. 1 among flagship public universities in efforts to control in-state tuition and No.4 for out-of-state.
The university has implemented tuition lock-in guarantee for the second-straight year and full tuition coverage for in-state students who qualify for the Pell Grant.
Drake also said the university hit a record number of applications for the fourth year in a row and have “the most talented and diverse class in our university’s history.”
Presidential Goals were approved unanimously by the Talent and Compensation Committee and will need to be approved by the full Board.