2010 September | UToledo News







Archive for September, 2010

Services slated for MCO leader and benefactor



A service and family remembrance for Ashel G. Bryan, former chair of the Medical College of Ohio Board of Trustees and well-known local businessman and philanthropist, will take place Thursday, Sept. 30.

The funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the First Christian Church, 875 Haskins Road, Bowling Green.

A reception will follow from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Bowling Green State University School of Art.

Bryan died Sept. 26 at age 89 in his Bowling Green home.

From 1976 to 1985, he was a member of the MCO Board of Trustees, serving as chair for four years. Under his leadership, the Health Science Campus grew. The hospital, Dowling Hall, the Kobacker Center and the Dana Conference Center were built.

Bryan also was a member of the MCO Foundation Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1995; he served as president from 1991 to 1994.

He and his wife, Dorothy, were longtime benefactors of the Health Science Campus. Their generosity created an outdoor landscaped commons area for patients, students, faculty, staff and the public. Their donations also supported the infusion center, renovations to the UT Medical Center Outpatient Pharmacy, and a boardroom and student lounge named in their honor. In addition, they established a number of scholarship funds in their names, endowed professorships, and an emergency hardship fund for UTMC nurses.

Earlier this year, Bryan donated his wife’s artwork, “The Chemo Painting Series,” to the University. She created the paintings to chronicle her battle against cancer; she died in 2001. The series is on display on the second floor of the Health Science and Human Service Building. Dorothy’s artwork also hangs in the UT Cancer Center and other locations on Health Science Campus.

In 1987, Bryan was named an MCO Distinguished Citizen; he received an honorary degree from MUO in 1996.

The retired bank executive was a member of the Presidents Club and Heritage Oak Society.

The family suggests tributes to the Ashel and Dorothy Bryan Nurses Emergency Fund at the UT Foundation. For more information, call 419.530.7730.

UT advantage gives students automatic entrance into law school

The decision to attend law school can be overwhelming. First there is the LSAT, then getting all the recommendations together, plus the costs associated with the applications. But The University of Toledo College of Law wants to make it easier with the UT Advantage Program.

“The UT Advantage Program offers presumptive admission to University of Toledo undergraduate students with a 3.4 GPA and who score 156 on the LSAT. This will give students peace of mind that they will have a place in the fall,” said Jessica Mehl, assistant dean of admissions in the College of Law.

This is the first time the College of Law has offered this program to students; applications can be submitted starting Friday, Oct. 1. It is hoped that at least 12 to 15 students enroll; there is no application fee for any student, regardless of their credentials, to apply.

Dr. Sam Nelson, UT professor of political science, who is an academic adviser for pre-law undergraduate students, added that the program serves as a guide for students during their undergraduate years.

“You get the question, what do I need for law school? This program is valuable to freshmen because it gives them something concrete to work toward while in school if they are considering law school,” he said.

Each year the law school receives more than 1,000 applications and only enrolls about 160, which means the competition can be tough. This program will not only help to alleviate the stress involved in the process, but help students remain connected to the University and Toledo community.

Breanne Democko, a second year law student, who received her bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration and a minor in English from UT in 2009, said maintaining the connections she made during her undergraduate years at the University is part of the reason she chose to attend law school here.

“I interned with general counsel on the Health Science Campus in undergrad and was offered a position as research assistant while attending law school. I would not have had that opportunity if I moved away,” she said.

Democko pointed out that staying in a city you are familiar has its benefits.

“Law school is a huge transition,” she said. “Taking the jump to a new city can be detrimental to your studies because you’re spending time figuring out the new school and area. Being settled here helped me ease into my academic experience.”

In addition to maintaining the connections established during undergraduate years, Mehl said there are many opportunities for continued growth both personally and professionally at the UT College of Law.

“In addition to Toledo Law just being named best value by National Jurist Magazine, Toledo has a very close-knit legal community,” she said. “There are opportunities for students to take part in pro bono work and legal clinics as they progress in their individual studies. The opportunity for hands-on experience is limitless.”

Last year the UT College of Law offered more than $1 million in scholarships and aid to its students. UT Advantage is just one more way the school aims to help students, Mehl said.

UTMC to share how it made improvements at national conference

The accolades continue for The University of Toledo Medical Center. After being recognized by University HealthSystem Consortium in March for surgical care and improving patient safety measures, two University representatives will present how UTMC made these improvements possible at the University HealthSystem Consortium Quality and Safety Fall Forum.

“This presentation isn’t just important to the UTMC community, it is important to patients,” said Dr. Ronald McGinnis, associate dean for clinical affairs and UTMC medical director. “The Surgical Care Improvement Project aims to prevent complications from surgery like blood clots and infection. We have transformed the process and now rank in the top 10 percent of university medical centers and this helps keep patients healthy.”

The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) is an alliance of 107 academic medical centers and 241 of their affiliated hospitals, representing approximately 90 percent of the nation’s nonprofit academic medical centers.

According to its website, the mission of UHC is to advance knowledge, foster collaboration, and promote change to help members succeed in their respective markets. The consortium’s vision is to be a catalyst for change by accelerating the achievement of clinical and operational excellence.

Barb Hankenhof, clinical performance improvement coordinator, will join McGinnis in San Diego for the UHC national Quality and Safety Fall Forum Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The duo will share how UTMC was able to improve its surgical care measurements through simple steps such as instituting new forms and holding educational meetings and frequent sessions with staff.

“Requirements can change quarterly and we meet with the staff to educate them on the new guidelines,” Hankenhof said. “We know that there will be new challenges, but you can continue to improve if you work together.”

In addition to lessons on processes that can help prevent surgical complications, McGinnis said there are some practical lessons other institutions can take away from UTMC.

“Leadership is important, from the top down, everyone was focused on the issue,” he said. “We also partnered with outside agency KePRO to learn new things from other institutions. We used that information to get better and now KePRO is using us as an example because of our high level of performance.”

KePRO is a quality improvement and care management organization with offices around the country. Its headquarters is in Harrisburg, Pa.

UTMC continues to better surgical safety and recently received a high score for the number of cases that met all 10 compliance measures. The medical center received 100 percent compliance scores on six measures and 96.6 or higher on the other four measures.

“We aren’t resting on our laurels. We are always testing new things to make things better,” McGinnis said.

President to recommend restructuring colleges

In an effort to reorient The University of Toledo to meet students’ needs, the challenges of a changing world and increasing fiscal pressures, UT President Lloyd Jacobs presented his recommended organizational structure for the institution at a meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee Friday.

Calling the plan an amalgamation of the various plans and proposals suggested over the previous weeks and months, Jacobs said he considered all alternative plans in formulating his recommendation, which reorganizes the University into colleges, schools and departments while maintaining the position of centers and institutes throughout UT.

“The overarching purpose of a reconsideration of our structure is to accelerate our pursuit of excellence,” Jacobs said, emphasizing that reorganization is not meant to fix a problem, but elevate and distinguish the University. “Nothing is broken. This is about our journey from good to great.”

Jacobs’ plan calls for the creation, renaming and reorganization of several colleges:

• College of Adult and Lifelong Learning;

• College of Business and Innovation;

• College of Engineering;

• College of Graduate Studies, Library and Learning Systems;

• Honors College;

• Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science and Human Service;

• College of Language, Literature and Social Science;

• College of Law;

• College of Mathematics and Science;

• College of Medicine and Life Science;

• College of Nursing;

• College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences;

• College of Solar and Advanced Renewable Energy; and

• College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Under the plan, colleges would continue to serve their present function — provide a home for tenured and other faculty, an identity for students and budgetary authority over the schools and departments organized below it.

“The definition of colleges will be fairly clear and certain,” Jacobs said. “None of that is a great departure … there will continue to be room for and need for a tremendous amount of discussion about departments and considerable discussion about schools.”

Schools, Jacobs proposed, would be distinguished and visible cross-disciplinary units existing within a single college or across multiple colleges that ordinarily would borrow faculty from the sponsoring colleges. Departments, in the newly recommended model, would be defined by a single discipline, would always exist within a college, could exist within a school, and would be led by a chairperson. Under the recommended structure, the University would also continue to support various institutes and centers.

Jacobs said school creation would be largely in the purview of the deans of the various colleges, but offered recommendations for the creation of several schools, including:

• School of First-Year Experience, which would house what is currently the Learning Collaborative and be primarily housed in the College of Language, Literature and Social Science, but have voices from every college at the table;

• School of Libraries, housed in the College of Graduate Studies, Library and Learning Systems;

• School of Teaching and Learning, housed in the Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science and Human Service;

• School of Engineering Technology, housed in the College of Engineering;

• School of Engineering Science, housed in the College of Engineering;

• School of Computer Science, Engineering and Technology, housed in the College of Engineering;

• School of Patient-Centered Primary Care and Wellness;

• School of Chronic Disease Management and Longitudinal Care;

• School of Advanced Interventional and Surgical Care;

• School of Interprofessional Education and Advanced Simulation; and

• School of Health Innovation and Accountable Care Organizations.

Jacobs said the creation of schools would help in the drive to provide more interdisciplinary interactions for students and faculty — one of the major themes of the draft of the 2010 Directions strategic planning document.

“Reasonable people could differ about whether interdisciplinary is better served by creating smaller units or larger units,” Jacobs said. “My own belief is that more access and bringing more groups to the institutional table will improve interdisciplinary more than relying on a single unit … I believe that this is a way to accelerate our pursuit of excellence.”

Ken Evans, a senior majoring in political science and public administration, and founding member of the Arts & Sciences Student Council, asked the president how there will be enough time to provide feedback by Monday, Oct. 11, the date Jacobs plans to submit the proposal to trustees for consideration, a concern echoed by others in attendance.

Jacobs said that he will make himself available to meet with anyone over the next several weeks. Additionally, there is a town hall meeting in the Student Union South Lounge Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 11 a.m. that will be broadcast live at http://video.utoledo.edu.

William C. Fall, chair of the Board of Trustees, said excellence is the future of The University of Toledo.

“We believe we can do better, we can be better than where we have been,” Fall said before Jacobs delivered his recommendations. “I am very excited. I know from personal association with [Jacobs] that he is very thoughtful and very fair. He is the first to place considerations of his own aside for the betterment of The University of Toledo.”

“I have this dream,” Jacobs said. “I have this vision that The University of Toledo already rightfully belongs and needs to take its place among the world’s greatest universities. We’ve made great contributions, but we can do more, we can do better.”

The full presentation is available at http://slideshare.net/utoledo and the video of the event, which was streamed live, will be posted on the Strategic Planning Committee’s website Monday. Click here.

Honors College approved by UT Board of Trustees

The new UT Honors College is the evolution of the Honors Program that has met the needs of academically talented students at the University for 47 years.

The creation of the Honors College, which will replace the existing Honors Program, was approved last week by the UT Board of Trustees.

“We have been underselling honors by calling it a program,” said Dr. Tom Barden, director of the Honors Program and professor of English.

There is enhanced prestige associated with an Honors College and this change will put the University’s honors curriculum in line with many other major institutions in Ohio and around the country, Barden said.

“This will make a significant difference in the quality of students we attract to The University of Toledo,” he said.

The UT Honors Program started in 1963 in the College of Arts and Sciences and was expanded University-wide in 1986.

There are currently 923 students in the UT Honors Program, which is housed in Sullivan Hall, and the newest class has an average ACT score of 28.1 and 3.92 high school GPA. “Those statistics already put the program in line with national standards developed by the National Collegiate Honors Council,” Barden said.

The Honors Program also requires a thesis and has three existing scholarships.

“The creation of an Honors College will build on our successful Honors Program that has long provided a challenging and nurturing environment for our students,” said Dr. William McMillen, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

McMillen and Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity, also provided the Board of Trustees with an update on the new students at the University.

Total enrollment rose slightly at the University to 23,085, but the first-year student class of 3,841 is smaller by design.

Under the direction of the Board of Trustees and UT President Lloyd Jacobs to recruit better-prepared students, the University this year deferred 300 underprepared students to spring semester. The UT colleges of Business Administration, Nursing and the Judith Herb College of Education also raised their academic admission standards.

Burns and McMillen emphasized that deferments and raised standards are part of UT’s strategic enrollment plan. The University expects next year’s freshman class to grow, as well as to contain better-prepared students. The trend will continue with the goal of 4,000 freshmen in 2014 with a 24 composite ATC score.

Jacobs and the Board of Trustees expressed their support for continuing these strategies to raise the academic profile of the University.

University changes learning management system to Blackboard 9.1

The University of Toledo has updated the way students and faculty members interact in online courses with an upgrade to Blackboard 9.1 from its former version, WebCT.

The upgrade was necessary because Web-CT was going to become obsolete after Blackboard acquired it in 2006 and announced it will cease support beginning next spring, according to Dr. Ben Pryor, assistant vice provost for learning ventures.

Because of the University’s strong presence in online learning, pursuing this upgrade also was important as part of Learning Ventures’ goals to step outside of what’s known and do something different with education technology and explore what’s possible, Pryor said.

Blackboard has a much more modern look with modules that students and faculty can personalize and enhance opportunities for collaboration using better interactive tools, including Wimba chat, writeboards and student blogs. Students also can change the information on the homepage to show their mail, tasks and due dates for all courses.

Many of WebCTs features are incorporated, but with a different interface for both design and navigation. Pryor encourages people to “just play around — you’re not going to break anything.”

“After a while, you’ll notice it works in recognizable ways. It’s just updated and faster,” he said.

Learning Ventures offers workshops on Blackboard, online teaching and learning, and education seminars. It also is beginning to reach out to students to give workshops for them as well, Pryor said.

“The success of the tool depends on effective course design,” Pryor said. “And faculty who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable need to consult Learning Ventures’ designers, as they are there for assistance.”

The Blackboard program will be assessed at the end of the year, comparing it to what else is out there, Pryor said.

So far, feedback has been a mixture of good and bad. But even if a majority of people love it by the end of the year, the University could still change the program if there is something better out there, Pryor said.

For more information on the seminars and workshops, visit the Learning Ventures blog at wordpress.utoledo.edu/learningventures or contact Pryor at 419.530.2075.

Forums planned to allow faculty input on UT accreditation self-study

Three forums have been scheduled to allow faculty members to share their views and provide feedback for the self-study report The University of Toledo is preparing for its 2012 accreditation visit from the Higher Learning Commission.

The sessions will be held Friday, Oct. 22; Friday, Oct. 29; and Friday, Nov. 5, and will focus on ways to further integrate the cultures of the University’s different campuses; to improve teaching and learning synergies; and to advance the University’s economic viability and role in helping jumpstart northwest Ohio’s economy. Those topics are subjects of a special-emphasis report UT is conducting as part of the self-study. The locations and times for the forums will be announced soon.

“The focus of the special-emphasis study is to see what went well in the merger and to identify new opportunities it brought to the University,” noted Dr. Thomas Sharkey, associate professor of marketing and co-chair of the self-study.

The input also will be used to address five Higher Learning Commission criteria in the self-study — the University’s mission and integrity, planning for the future, student learning and effective teaching, application of knowledge and lifelong learning, and engagement and service.

The University began preparations last year, and now six teams comprised of some 60 faculty members are meeting regularly, gathering data and evidence of activities and efforts in the areas, and writing first drafts of the criterion chapters.

Dr. Dorothea Sawicki, professor of microbiology and immunology and co-chair of the self-study, stresses that faculty input is critical and the forums are important opportunities for this.

“We want the entire self-study process to be transparent and open, and for the faculty to play an active part in the self-study and to be fully engaged in discussions at the forums,” she said, adding that as the criterion teams continue to gather data, many University offices again will be asked to respond to requests for information and should do so as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

She added that the self-study process is an opportunity for UT to identify its strengths and areas for improvement through gathering data, analyzing and drawing conclusions.

A copy of the first draft report will be made available online for comment by faculty, staff and students next April and again in the fall after revisions are made in response to University and community feedback.

UT trustees support reorganization to strengthen academics

The UT Board of Trustees said it is encouraged by campus conversations to finalize a plan to reorganize the academic operations of the University.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs updated the board during its regular meeting Monday on the communication efforts surrounding the reorganization proposals, noting there has been uneasiness and tension, but he feels the conversations have been productive and have allowed him to receive input from across all sectors of the University.

Last week, two stakeholder meetings were held — one on each campus — in which faculty, staff and students were able to share their thoughts on the proposal offered by the committee of 12 people Jacobs convened to look at the organizational structure, as well as counterproposals that have since been offered.

Jacobs said the conversations were positive during those meetings and he continues to receive input; in fact, just that morning he met with the chairs from the College of Arts and Sciences to get their thoughts.

“It has largely been a constructive conversation that has strengthened the University already,” Jacobs told the board, adding that he continues to seek input.

Several trustees expressed their support of looking at ways of making proactive changes to the University that will enhance academics and better prepare for the future.

Trustee Susan Palmer said that she was initially against change but is now a strong supporter of what the University is proposing.

Trustee William Koester also noted he supports improving academic performance and encouraged the president to look to universities such as the University of Notre Dame that made changes for the better.

UT Trustee Dr. S. Amjad Hussain said he supports dialogue, but disapproves of the tone of some of the ongoing discussions at the University and called it “unbecoming of an institution of higher education.”

“I am appalled by the tenor of some of the conversation,” he said.

William Fall, chair of the UT Board of Trustees, said it is clear Jacobs has been deliberate and respectful during the conversations about reorganization. Fall noted it is important to connect with the past, but to be ready for the future, which has already thrown the University a curveball.

The University of Toledo learned late last week that the state of Ohio plans to defer to 2012 a total of $127.5 million set aside for state share of instruction dollars in fiscal year 2011. UT’s share is $7.9 million and UT leaders are now investigating its response to these cuts, explained Dr. Scott Scarborough, senior vice president for finance and administration.

Jacobs said this means nearly $8 million planned for this fiscal year will no longer be paid to UT and existing concerns about a difficult fiscal year 2012 — with a projected $8 billion shortfall at the state level — prompted the president to wonder if that money would ever ultimately be transferred to the University.

Dating back to his recent address to the community, Jacobs has said the stresses of the local, state and federal economies are requiring universities to think creatively about the way they deliver high-quality education most effectively and efficiently.

Jacobs plans to have a recommendation on University reorganization soon to offer the board and its Academic and Student Affairs Committee will discuss the recommendation at a planned committee meeting Monday, Oct. 11.

“Those recommendations will be consistent with the strategy of excellence the board has outlined,” Fall said. “I’m looking forward to hearing the president’s recommendations and discussing them as a board.”

Innovation Enterprises Challenge offers cash prizes for novel business plans

UT students, faculty and staff who have a great, innovative business idea may win up to $10,000 to establish their business in the first Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan Competition.

“The goal of Innovation Enterprises is to foster regional economic growth in alignment with the mission of UT,” according to Mary Jo Waldock, associate vice president of innovation enterprises. “What better way to pursue that goal and encourage innovative thinking than by focusing on business ideas of UT students, faculty and staff.”

“This competition reflects UT’s belief in innovative thinking and is intended to advance a creative culture of growth in all areas of the University,” she added.

Innovation Enterprises at The University of Toledo is providing prize money:

• First place: $10,000;

• Second place: $5,000

• Third place: $2,500; and 

• Honorable mention: $500.

Moreover, you might qualify for up to $50,000 in an Ignite Grant from the Regional Growth Partnership to continue the development of your innovation if it meets their guidelines.

The UT College of Business Administration is conducting the business plan competition.

“The UT College of Business Administration is committed to playing a key role in advancing the economic development in this region. Supporting entrepreneurs is an important part of that role,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, professor and chair of the Management Department. “By judging this business plan competition and offering assistance with business functions such as accounting and marketing, the College of Business Administration can play a hands-on role in helping entrepreneurs within the UT family.”

Dr. Thomas Gutteridge, dean of the College of Business Administration, said, “This is yet another component of the college’s effort to further enhance the UT culture of entrepreneurship and innovation”

Submission information can be found at utoledo.edu/business or by clicking on the “Innovation” link on myUT.utoledo.edu.

Information sessions have been scheduled to answer questions about the Innovation Enterprises Challenge, provide assistance in developing proposals for the business plan competition, and to share information about other community resources available for business funding and development.

Sessions will take place:

• Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 3 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Room 1027 (refreshments served) and

• Thursday, Sept. 23, at noon in Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement Room 3100 (pizza served).

An application workshop for those who decide to apply for the Innovation Enterprises Business Plan Competition will be held Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to noon in Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement Room 3100.

 Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan Competition entries must be submitted by Monday, Oct. 11.

Semifinalists will be announced Thursday, Nov. 4, at the Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Hall of Fame ceremony. Winners will be announced Thursday, Dec. 2.

Questions or comments on the competition can be directed Ariss at sonny.ariss@utoledo.edu or Mark Fox, patent technology associate, at mark.fox@utoledo.edu.

Nationally recognized educational consultant to address area educators

Chelonnda Seroyer, a nationally recognized consultant in classroom management and an acclaimed expert in the field, will speak Wednesday, Sept. 22, at The University of Toledo.



Seroyer’s talk, “Creating a Customized Classroom Management Plan,” will address planning to teach. She will give two presentations — a morning session from 9 a.m. to noon in Doermann Theater and an evening session from 5 to 8 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Auditorium.

The addresses will be followed by question-and-answer sessions. The presentations are free and open to public and private school teachers and administrators, as well as community members throughout the region.

“Seroyer’s presentation will provide our students and area teachers the opportunity to see demonstrations of effective classroom management techniques and how these techniques influence students’ academic performance,” said Dr. Leigh Chiarelott, professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the UT Judith Herb College of Education.

Seroyer, a high school English teacher in Madison, Ala., is well-known for her collaboration with Dr. Harry Wong on his book, The First Days of School: How to Be An Effective Teacher. She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the Toyota International Teacher Award and the Patriot Award.

Seroyer’s visit is co-sponsored by the Judith Herb College of Education, the college’s Alumni Affiliate, and UT3 (UToledo, UTeach, UTouch the Future).

Registration is required for the presentations. To register, click here.

For more information, contact Libbey McKnight in the Judith Herb College of Education at 419.530.4967.