OUS to host regional faculty conference

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The 14th annual Regional Campus Faculty Conference this year will take place at Ohio University Southern in Ironton.

The occasion brings together faculty from all five regional campuses for two days of workshops and presentations determined by the regional faculty throughout the academic year.

“Every topic discussed at the conference was thought of by a member of the faculty,” Dr. Bill Willan, executive dean of the Ohio University Office of Regional Higher Education, said. “It’s essentially a conference for the faculty by the faculty.”

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The two-day conference begins at 8:15 a.m. Thursday and covers multiple topics both general and discipline-specific.

“It’s a great opportunity for faculty to get to know one another and share ideas,” Willan, former dean of OUS, said. “They will also discuss issues and the conference generally kicks off the new school year.”

The event is sponsored by the Office of Regional Higher Education Regional Higher Education, which states its mission as providing access to a high-quality education for students throughout southeastern Ohio. There are five regional campuses and two satellite centers.

“Many students who study at a regional campus work full or part-time. Some are single parents,” Willan said. “Others are working to improve their job opportunities. Some simply want to live at home while earning a college degree.”

Regional campuses, Willan said, still provide students with the “college experience.”

“Ohio’s regional campus students experience a vibrant, student-centered learning environment,” he said. “Each campus has its own character, but all provide the excellence in education that is an Ohio University tradition.”

Many regional campus students begin their studies at a regional campus and later relocate to the Athens campus to complete their chosen degree, Willan said, while some complete an entire program of study at the regional campus and graduate with an Ohio University degree.

“Over the years the feedback about the conference shows the faculty appreciates and looks forward to the event,” Willan said. “The faculty, staff and students at our regional campuses are a big part of what makes Ohio University a great place.”

Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit expressed the benefit of the conference and said she looks forward to it.

“I appreciate that it is held at a different campus each year. This gives regional faculty a chance to see how substantial the regional campus system is, and to share in celebration of the accomplishments of each campus,” she said. “This conference also provides an excellent forum for professional development.  It’s the one time each year that regional faculty assemble as a group, and it has produced research collaborations, the dissemination of best practices and a sense of community.”