[Theaterfacultystaff] Matthews charge

Denhart, Daniel denhart at ohio.edu
Thu Aug 31 13:48:27 EDT 2017

Dan Denhart: Professor
Interim Artistic Director/Head: Theater Division
School of Dance, Film, and Theater (SoDFT)
College of Fine Arts
Ohio University

740-590-3963 (Cell)

From: Denhart, Daniel
Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:22 PM
To: Biechler, Merri <biechler at ohio.edu>
Subject: Matthews charge

Here is where I am at this point... I need help with the notion of getting the Division started and moving in the right direction language.
Please advise


Good afternoon,
During this past Tuesday Leadership meeting chaired by Dean Matthew Shaftel, the conversation regarding increased revenues and strategic high payoff investments as a means toward growth and COFA's ability/need to position ourselves for future economic conditions proved to be the main agenda item.

Matthew stressed the need for growth throughout each division/area of COFA .  Matthew serves on the Budget Planning Council having involvement in the financial strategies and direction of the university.  He wanted the division directors to clearly communicate the following to their respective faculty and staff:

1.       Ohio University is committed to having (supporting) the College of Fine Arts however...

2.       University enrollment is down this year (as we have been told)

3.       More importantly, Credit Hour production has dropped over the past 5 years.

Matthew explained that this means that COFA is losing enrollment to other programs with regard to Gen. Ed. classes.

*         Interim Provost Descutner has identified 2 areas of student dissatisfaction with regard to current Gen. Ed. offerings:

o   Students want more courses that explore diversity and cross cultural perspectives.

o   Students are interested in courses that explore global studies.

*         Courses offerings at the Gen. Ed. Level that explore the 2 areas of student dissatisfaction would be greatly welcomed with potentially high pay-off.

*         The UCC (University Curriculum Council) Website is a good reference.

4.       Growth/Investment strategies are the basis of arguments against cuts!  "Each Division needs to find its path to Growth: What are we working on?"

Matthew needs to be armed with Growth and Investment ideas/strategies as he meets with the Board of Trustees within the next 6 weeks.  To that purpose Matthew has:

*         Charged each Division to consider 1 BIG IDEA and 2 SMALLER IDEAS for Growth within the Division.  We have been charged to identify ideas, assign people to work on them, begin developing cost structures, within the next 2-3 weeks.

COFA has resources to help us with the Cost Structure aspect of this charge. This begins with an investigation of what resources are needed to support the idea, when is it needed (more resources as idea grows: start small/build as grows), what are the costs?

*         5 weeks from now:  Basic Work on the Initiative to be completed:

o   Project Defined

o   Rough Budget established

o   Idea of the anticipated outcomes: What/How will this idea support increased revenues and/or strategic investments for Growth?

5.       Certificates are a reasonable short term investment however because they generally lead to redistribution of the existing money pools, certificates generally do not increase budgets.

I know we've been tasked with these questions before and there are no easy answers. Shelley suggested that our one BIG IDEA is making Tantrum Theater sustainable; there might be others.  I wanted to let you know everything Matthew's thinking so we can have a productive faculty meeting on the 6th as we are being charged to make this a priority.

Thank you
Best Wishes


Dan Denhart: Professor
Interim Artistic Director/Head: Theater Division
School of Dance, Film, and Theater (SoDFT)
College of Fine Arts
Ohio University

740-590-3963 (Cell)

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