LIMA ‚?? When retiring OSU-Lima Dean and Director John Snyder returns to campus to teach in the fall of 2014, his new office will give him the perfect view of the student life center, which is expected to be under construction.
Snyder will watch with great delight as the project that has been in the works most of his tenure as dean comes to fruition.
‚??It really confirms the direction we are going,‚?Ě Snyder said of the center, which will continue his push to give the regional school a real campus feel, something Snyder hopes he is remembered for. ‚??I hope people recognize that the campus continued to evolve in a way that made it a more holistic learning experience. That the quest toward excellence was never lost, we just simply expanded our scope and our understanding and our services to students.‚?Ě
The question on what he is most proud of comes easy for Snyder. It‚??s things like adding a pep band and dance class, both requested by students. It‚??s the continued evolution of athletic teams. It‚??s all those things that helped close the gap between what once made his campus different from the Columbus campus.
‚??The big contrast between the smaller campuses and Columbus is the opportunity for students to be engaged beyond the classroom,‚?Ě he said. ‚??It has been fun to watch this campus start to transition from a purely commuter campus to having housing adjacent to campus and to watch those students both enjoy that experience and become part of the campus. It has been an area of natural development for us and it will continue.‚?Ě
Snyder, 63, came to OSU-Lima in 2003, replacing Dean Violet Meek. He was previously dean of the School of Allied Health Professions at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, a position he held since 1996.
Snyder had been a former associate director in Columbus at OSU‚??s School of Allied Medical Professions and former director of the Allied Medicine Graduate Studies. He worked at OSU from 1983 to 1988, including teaching a graduate course at OSU-Lima.
Snyder has continued to teach a few classes while dean and will return to campus as a full-time professor in the fall of 2014. He‚??s ready to embrace his new role. Snyder called impacting students‚?? lives his great satisfaction.
‚??It is at one level where you can kind of direct the services and where the institution is going,‚?Ě he said. ‚??It is another level to be able to personally connect with people and watch them grow in their understanding of things and then watch them move into the community and become part of the workforce. For me having the opportunity to have both experiences is just great looking back on a career.‚?Ě
Snyder worked to bring new academic programs to campus, including one requested by Rhodes State College that gave its nursing graduates a place to go to achieve their bachelor‚??s of science in nursing degree. Last fall, the school became the only regional OSU campus to offer a theater major. A bachelor‚??s degree in social work program will begin this fall.
The school, Snyder said, focused on adding programs to meet specific community needs. It also leaned on its existing strengths when expanding and adding programs.
‚??I am proud of the fact that it is less about degrees that are easy opportunities and we are going to see if they are going to fly or not,‚?Ě he said. ‚??But instead we are really building upon kind of a needs assessment of the community as well as our strengths here.‚?Ě
Things have not always happened as quickly as Snyder might have liked. Needing approval from the main campus and being a co-located campus with Rhodes State has at times slowed things. OSU-Lima and Rhodes have sometimes struggled through the recent years. Snyder described it as a relationship that waxes and wanes.
‚??Competing agendas and to some extent even competing programs often get in the way of our best opportunities to connect with the community and serve it,‚?Ě he said. ‚??There are always ways to improve, but there clearly has to be the desire and commitment to partnership.‚?Ě
OSU-Lima Dean and Director John Snyder