When we announced operational and structural changes to the college last summer, one of the primary areas to be reorganized focused on the operations of the Wooster campus. While OARDC and Ohio State ATI have two distinct missions and stakeholder groups, there are certainly opportunities to continue to explore how we leverage opportunities on faculty and staff hires, facilities, livestock, and other assets. A major focus has been and will continue to be the operations of the Wooster campus and how we better integrate and leverage opportunities in the future. Two key positions leading these efforts will be Dave Benfield and Rhonda Billman. Following is an overview of their responsibilities.
Associate Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Director, Wooster Campus (reporting to Ron Hendrick)
Dave will provide overall and strategic leadership for the planning, budgeting, coordination, resource development and implementation of all plans for the Wooster campus, outlying research stations and all farm operations; will provide leadership for facility and infrastructure needs of the academic institute, schools and departments with a presence on the Wooster campus; will work collaboratively with the team focused on college capital planning; and will coordinate with the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education to ensure needs and opportunities related to research infrastructure are being addressed. Dave also will serve as an administrative adviser to select regional research projects and will play a key role in planning and reporting on federal research projects.
Assistant Director, Wooster Campus (reporting to Dave Benfield)
Rhonda will focus her leadership efforts on the oversight of service department heads within CFAES’s Wooster campus. Additionally, she will develop operational policies and procedures and lead strategic and long-range planning activities for facilities and operations, including but not limited to financial planning, budgeting, allocation and oversight of resources and facilities for programs based in Wooster and agricultural operations across the college. Specific departments that Rhonda will provide leadership for include Public Safety, Environmental Health and Safety, Library, Hawk’s Nest Golf Course, Hospitality (Fisher Auditorium and Shisler Conference Center), Grace Drake Learning Laboratory, Agricultural Operations, Research Operations, and Facilities Services.
As we continue to refine the leadership roles and responsibilities of other staff members, we will share those details with you as well.— Ron Hendrick