Photo credit: Ben Wertz Siegel
The following message was shared with the Ohio University community on Friday, June 30, 2023.
Dear students, families, alumni, colleagues, community members and friends,
Tomorrow is an important day in my life and I hope it will be fondly remembered in the long history of Ohio University. On July 1st, I will officially begin my tenure as President of Ohio University.
I have devoted my career to public higher education and have worked at institutions in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina, working my way from faculty to associate dean to dean to president. That trajectory helped prepare me for this role, but I want you to know that this opportunity is more than a professional pinnacle for me. I am a second-generation college student raised in a small town in Appalachia by parents who deeply believe in the power of education to shape our lives and the responsibility we have to give back to our neighbors and society at large. I have always understood my personal mission and purpose to serve in and through education. And I consider it an incredible gift to have the opportunity to serve that purpose as president of Ohio University.
With that in mind, my promise to you is to always share and champion Ohio students and their commitment to success. To work hard, collaborate and elevate faculty so that they can do their best work. To see, hear, and respond to the needs of the state, with a particular focus on the Appalachian region, where many of our campuses are located. And focus on the change we can and will make together, as we pursue discovery, change lives, and provide access to experiential education that improves the communities we serve. is to keep guessing.
First, I have some homework. President Sherman has been very kind since I was elected president-elect in March, providing me with updates and briefings on important issues each week. Additionally, since moving to Athens in early June, I have met with many university leaders and learned a great deal about their major initiatives and important short-term decisions. But there is still much more to discover.
In the coming weeks, we will spend meaningful time getting to know our university and learning about its many unique initiatives and research in preparation for the fall semester. I want people to see and know what I’m learning, so I’ll be posting about my work on Ohio’s social media accounts. Look for the #knowOHIO hashtag. If I’m missing something important, please post using the same hashtag. Let my team review your content and contact you to learn more.
As the fall semester begins, I will engage more extensively with stakeholders across the institution and begin work to define the strategic direction to move us forward. This process is not a turnaround for this institution that is already on a great trajectory. Rather, we will more clearly define our direction and pillars of excellence, setting an ambitious vision for our collective destination.
Whatever goals we set together, we are confident that we can achieve them. We certainly face challenges here in Ohio and throughout higher education, but together we will meet them and continue our mission. We have proven it many times before, so we are confident in our success. We founded Ohio’s first university, first regional campus, first distance learning program, first Honors Tutorial College, first osteopathic medical school, and first guaranteed tuition program. It just scratches the surface. The only question is what will happen next. We look forward to finding the answers together.
President on a mission with a purpose,
Dr. Lori Stewart Gonzalez
https://www.ohio.edu/news/2023/06/special-message-president-elect-lori-stewart-gonzalez Special Message from President-elect Lori Stewart Gonzalez