17:52 PM

COVID-19: Ohio State preparing for transition back to on-campus operations

University leaders caution a date has not been determined and will be based on COVID-19 data

The Ohio State University today announced the establishment of a post-pandemic operations task force to direct the return to appropriate on-campus operations once the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has been deemed contained. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic remains a real and immediate threat to all of us. Ohio State is actively engaged in this fight and in moving forward into a safer future,” said President Michael V. Drake. “We established this task force to engage in rigorous planning and to accelerate our return once it is safe to do so.”

Drake has charged the post-pandemic task force as a plan-ahead team to address an eventual return to appropriate campus operations and business continuity, though a time table is still uncertain. 

“While our collective efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have shown encouraging results, we are still in the midst of the pandemic,” said task force chair Gail Marsh, senior vice president and chief strategy officer. “We’ll work closely with our own safe campus advisers and with the governor and his team to make return decisions.”

A safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup will use a data-driven approach for recommending when it is safe to begin transitioning back onto campus. The subgroup is led by chair Amy Fairchild, dean of the College of Public Health, and vice chair Bernadette Melnyk, dean of the College of Nursing and the university’s chief wellness officer, with members from the Wexner Medical Center’s Division of Infectious Diseases and other colleges, departments and offices at Ohio State. 

Task force members lead teams in their own areas with involvement from faculty, staff and students where appropriate. The task force leaders include:

  • Chair: Gail Marsh, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer
  • Vice Chair: Mike Hofherr, Vice President, Office of the Chief Information Officer and Office of Distance Education and eLearning 
  • Senior Adviser: Colonel Michael Carrell (U.S. Air Force, retired)
  • Amy Fairchild, PhD, MPH, Dean, College of Public Health
  • Bernadette Melnyk, RN, PhD, Dean, College of Nursing, Vice President for Health Promotion, Chief Wellness Officer
  • Katie Hall, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
  • Kay Wolf, PhD, Senior Vice Provost, Office of Academic Affairs
  • Jessica Eveland, Secretary, Board of Trustees  
  • Justin Fincher, PhD, Vice President, Advancement Strategy and Administration, Office of Advancement
  • Mike Papadakis, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Business and Finance 
  • Chris Davey, Interim Vice President, University Communications 
  • Jay Kasey, Senior Vice President, Office of Administration and Planning
  • Gene Smith, Senior Vice President, Athletics Director, Department of Athletics 
  • Susan Basso, Senior Vice President, Talent, Culture & Human Resources, Office of Human Resources
  • Stacy Rastauskas, Vice President, Office of Government Affairs
  • Melissa Shivers, PhD, Vice President, Office of Student Life
  • Morley Stone, PhD, Senior Vice President, Office of Research
  • Adrienne Nazon, Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, University Marketing
  • Anne Schira, JD, Associate General Counsel, Office of Legal Affairs
  • Ryan Meadows, JD, Chief of Staff, Office of the Chancellor for Health Affairs
  • Roaya Higazi, Undergraduate Student Government
  • Jordan Vajda, Interprofessional Council
  • Stephen Post, Council of Graduate Students

The safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup includes:

  • Chair: Amy Fairchild, PhD, MPH, Dean, College of Public Health
  • Vice Chair: Bernadette Melnyk, RN, PhD, Dean, College of Nursing, Vice President for Health Promotion, Chief Wellness Officer
  • Susan Koletar, MD, FACP, FIDSA, Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Wexner Medical Center
  • Eileen Ryan, DO, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, College of Medicine and Wexner Medical Center
  • Gretchen Ritter, PhD, Executive Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • James Borchers, MD, Head Team Physician, Department of Athletics
  • Tina Bogac, Senior Director, Office of Environmental Health and Safety
  • Efthimi Parasidis, JD, Moritz College of Law
  • Gladys Gibbs, MD, Director, Student Health Services
  • Bill Miller, MD, PhD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Research, College of Public Health
  • Mike Oglesbee, PhD, Director, Infectious Diseases Institute 
  • Stephanie Schulte, Assistant Director for Research and Education, Health Sciences Library
  • Zachary Weber, Epidemiology Student, COVID-19 Literature Review Liaison, College of Public Health
  • Gail Marsh, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer
  • Henry Zheng, PhD, Strategy Management Office

“All university units have begun transition planning while still responding to the crisis at hand,” Drake said. “The task force will align planning across the wide spectrum of functions and operations necessary to the university’s return to on-campus operations.”

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