Navigating OSU

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Presenter: James DeFrance.Tips on moving a project idea through the bureaucracy of Ohio State.

Transcript of Navigating OSU

Page 1: Navigating OSU


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What’s Happening Now?• Overview of the University’s Structure

• Understanding with whom and how you should interact within that structure

• How to make friends and influence people at the University

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Infinity itself looks flat and uninteresting. Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity—distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless…. [It] was anything but infinite, it was just very very very big, so big that it gave the impression of infinity far better than infinity itself.

-Douglas Adams; The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy

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Act 1: The IdeaLet’s say you have an idea for an event, policy change, program or life-changing, mind-blowing rollercoaster ride of an initiative of one sort or another.

Where do you start with this idea?

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Aiming Your IdeaTreat Your Idea Like a News Story• What – is that you want to do

• Who – benefits and needs to be involved

• When – what is the timeline

• How – what is needed to complete your project

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Start Here. Obviously.


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Aiming Your Idea• Who – benefits and needs to be involved

• How – what is needed to complete your project• Stakeholders

• Responsible Parties

• Interested Parties

• Collaborators

• Beneficiaries

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Aiming Your Idea - Example

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Parts of OSUUniversity Community

Student LifeAcademics




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Structure of Ohio StateWhy should we care?• Changes happen through channels of the

structure that affect all of us

• Enable project and event planning

• Gain support in useful areas

• Create contacts to help oneself and one’s organization

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Board of Trustees


Senior Management


Council of Deans

University Senate

Senate Committees

Presidential Councils

Organizational Charts

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Senior Management CouncilVice President for Student LifeExecutive Vice President and ProvostAdministrative Director and Assistant Senior Vice President of Government RelationsCounselor to the PresidentSenior Vice President for Business and FinanceChief Financial OfficerVice President for University CommunicationsSenior Vice President and General CounselVice President for Strategic Enrollment PlanningSenior Vice President for Health SciencesChief Executive Officer, Wexner Medical CenterSenior Vice President for Alumni RelationsPresident/CEO OSU Alumni Association, Inc.Secretary, Board of TrusteesPresident, The Ohio State University FoundationSenior Vice President for Advancement

Vice President for Outreach and Engagement

Vice President and Executive Dean CFAESSpecial Assistant to the PresidentSenior Vice President for University CommunicationsSenior Vice President for Administration and PlanningVice Provost for the Office of Diversity and InclusionVice President and Enterprise Executive for Energy and the EnvironmentVice President for Human ResourcesChief Information OfficerSpecial Assistant to the PresidentVice President of Government AffairsJoint Vice President, Institutional Affairs for Battelle and Ohio State University Vice President for Research

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Using Org Charts• Can be found on most division/offices


• Aim just below the top for first contact

• Remember, there may be charts within charts

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Caveats• Sometimes groups do similar/overlapping things• FOD & FML

• Not everything appears online/on an org chart• Ask in your first meeting

• Sometimes there will be other interested student groups/academic units = collaborators

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First Meeting• Set it up letting them know the topic

• Come with some sort of take away • Try to have as many questions already answered

• Have an agenda, but be flexible

• Leave with a to-do list

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Routes to Completion

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PolicySupport •Petitions, Benchmarking…


Committees •University Senate Committee•Other Committees

Passage •University Senate/Senior Mgmt•Board of Trustees

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Project/EventIdeation •Plan


Support •Academic Unit/Administration•Funding

Execution •Getting it done

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Types of Money• Donations – Earmarked, usually

• Revenue – Athletics, Intellectual Property, Sales

• Fees – Student Activity, Residence Hall Activity…

• General Fund