George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
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The George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, United States, is the first multidisciplinary school at Ohio University which engages students, faculty, and professional staff in projects across Appalachia, the state of Ohio, the United States, and internationally. Project teams, composed of individuals from the School and various departments and colleges, work with businesses, non-profit, and government partners on applied research and other efforts to contribute to economic and entrepreneurial growth, leadership development, and the environment in the region.
The School has three programmatic areas of concentration: Energy and Environment, Policy Innovation and Strategic Leadership, and Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. In each of our three programmatic areas we house an applied Center/Institute and an academic program, which work together to provide students with superior education and to help made a difference in the region, state and nation. This model allows students pursuing degrees to gain valuable, real world experience by applying what they learn in the classroom to project work, while working on project teams with practitioners beyond the walls of the traditional classrooms.
The Voinovich School houses two degree programs: the Master of Public Administration and the Environmental Studies Program which offers a Masters of Science, a Graduate Sustainability Certificate and an Undergraduate Environmental Studies Certificate. In addition there are three applied Center/Institutes: the Consortium for Energy, Economics, and the Environment (CE3), the Center for Entrepreneurship, and the developing Center for Public Strategy and Innovation. The school partners with a variety of Ohio University's colleges and academic units to present unique learning opportunities and educates more than 150 undergraduate and graduate students each year.
The George V. Voinovich School of Leadership was named after U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich, a 1958 graduate of Ohio University, in recognition of his commitment to public service.
- 1 History
- 2 Location
- 3 George V. Voinovich Collection
- 4 Faculty and special appointments
- 5 Academics and degree programs
- 6 Areas of concentration
- 7 Visiting professionals and professors
- 8 References
- 9 External links
In 1981, the Institute for Local Government Administration and Rural Development (ILGARD) was created by the Ohio University Board of Trustees. Founder Mark Weinberg remains the Director. Since its inception, the organization has been associated with the College of Arts and Sciences, until 2007, when it became an independent academic entity within Ohio University. It is now one of more than 275 institutional members of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).
The Ohio General Assembly created the Rural Universities Program (RUP) in 1985, which served as the major statewide public service program of the Ohio Board of Regents until 2009. Ohio University was the lead institution of the RUP, which also included Miami University and Bowling Green State University. Within the Voinovich School the RUP funds were utilized by The Institute of Local Government Administration and Rural Development.
In 1995, the university’s Board of Trustees created the Center for Public and Environmental Affairs (CEPA), which would house both ILGARD and the Environmental Studies Program. Three years later, on Dec. 11, 1998, the Board voted to rename the center “The George V. Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs” and expand it to include an Executive Leadership program and entrepreneurship program. The Ohio University Executive Leadership Institute (OUELI) was established at this time to address the challenges faced by public sector executives. The program offers professional development courses on strategic leadership for public and nonprofit managers and executives on public value, with an emphasis on strategy, change and performance. OUELI faculty and staff worked closely with representatives from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University to design the program and based the model on the Mark Moore Strategic Triangle.
In 2001, Governor Bob Taft, the Ohio Board of Regents, and the Ohio General Assembly implemented the Appalachian New Economy Partnership (ANEP) at the Voinovich School, to strengthen the region’s growth and competitiveness by building knowledge and technology use. This region has traditionally been underserved by those providing sophisticated business expertise, especially in the areas of technology assistance and financing. Through a combination of unique programs supported by ANEP funds and partnerships, the Voinovich School is helping to provide this assistance and increase the economic competitiveness of the region.
In 2005, OUELI’s scope continued to expand on a national stage through collaboration with the Public Children Services Association to deliver executive development to children services executives in Ohio and nine other states.
The George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs was established on April 20, 2007 when the Ohio Board of Trustees voted to rename the Center. The School became the first multidisciplinary school at Ohio University and continues to focus on applied research, leadership development and applications learning across colleges.
The Voinovich School is housed at The Ridges, the former location of the Athens Lunatic Asylum. The site, owned by Ohio University, also hosts the Kennedy Museum of Art, Ohio University Recycling, a nature reserve and other university offices.
George V. Voinovich Collection
Ohio University’s Vernon R. Alden Library is fortunate to be the permanent home of the George V. Voinovich Collection (1991-1998), an exceptional and distinctive resource. The collection boasts correspondence, reports, legal opinions, subject files, renditions, requisitions, speeches, audio tapes, video tapes, photographs, briefing files, public inquiries, legislative bills, executive orders, schedules, interoffice and agency communications, and memorabilia. Additional materials include records of the two Lieutenant Governors and the First Lady.
In November 2012, the Ohio University Libraries and the George Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University partnered with the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities and the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University to bring to you[who?] an interactive digital home of the Voinovich Collections. This Omeka-based web platform provides users the opportunity to explore exhibits composed of material from the collections, view multimedia pieces, and learn about George Voinovich's impressive 45-year career in public service.
The Voinovich Collections are three sets of archival collections created by three of the offices held by George Voinovich: Mayor of Cleveland, Governor of Ohio, and United States Senator. In addition to this virtual location, The Voinovich Collections are physically housed at two institutions: •The Mayoral Papers(1979-1989): The Western Reserve Historical Society - Cleveland, Ohio •The Gubernatorial (1990-1998) and Senatorial Papers (1998-2010): Ohio University- Athens, Ohio
This project does not seek to digitize the Voinovich Collections in their entirety. Documents drawn from the collections will be digitized in an incremental fashion according to thematic foci. These foci are chosen based on faculty, classroom, and student demand. The Voinovich Collections are online at: http://www.voinovichcollections.library.ohio.edu/
Faculty and special appointments
Currently the School has eight full-time faculty, numerous joint appointments with various colleges across Ohio University, and 8 visiting professionals and 3 visiting professors.
Faculty involvement in multidisciplinary project teams is a critical component of the engaged scholarship model at the Voinovich School. The School provides opportunities for faculty from across Ohio University to work with students and professional staff in providing services and applied research to help make a difference in Appalachian Ohio and the state.
The Voinovich School grants special appointments on an annual basis to several nationally prominent leaders from both the public and private sectors. Special appointments are chosen for their contributions to public service and business, and for their leadership in State and national affairs.
Academics and degree programs
Master of Public Administration (MPA) program
 The Master of Public Administration Program is a two-year program and is available in two flexible formats. The MPA program is designed to be responsive to students at all levels (from novie to career-service professionals), students in disparate geographic locations, and students in various employment circumstances. The program equips graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to address difficult social problems, meet complex challenges, and enhance public value and innovation.
Master of Science in Environmental Studies (MSES) program
 The Environmental Studies Program utilizes a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to prepare students for a range of careers in environmental, energy, and sustainability fields. Created in 1970, the program offers a Master of Science in Environmental Studies (MSES) and graduate and undergraduate certificates. Working closely with faculty and staff at the Voinovich School and across campus, students combine coursework, applied research, and internships to gain both academic and workplace expertise. The Voinovich School's Consortium on Energy, Economics, and the Environment, a project-driven partner with Environmental Studies, provides additional opportunities for hands-on learning in numerous professional settings.
Areas of concentration
The work of the Voinovich School is focused in three main areas – Public Innovation and Strategic Leadership, Energy and the Environment, and Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. In each of these three areas, the School manage degree programs, conducts applied research and provides services that address regional and state problems.
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Policy innovation and strategic leadership
The Voinovich School works with a variety of local, regional, and state government and non-profit agencies to build public leadership capacity and provide applied research and technical assistance.
The School has done applied research work to improve decision making in health care, children's safety, economic growth, and education. The School also has a history of training and leadership development of educators and public sector and nonprofit professionals through the Ohio University Executive Leadership Institute (OUELI); and the Regional Nonprofit Alliance. These programs help shape government and nonprofit officials into better strategic leaders and provide them with the research they need for better decision-making.
The Voinovich School also provides value-added research and technical assistance to government and non-profit organizations, covering areas such as safety net services, health care, education, and community development. The School provides project facilitation and evaluation, data analysis for use in decision-making, geographic information system (GIS) support, and survey and focus group research.
The School is developing a Center for Public Strategy and Innovation emerged from the realization that there was a need to advance government innovation and entrepreneurial solutions for the public sector. Public and nonprofit managers and leaders are facing tremendous challenges in today's economic environment and their organizations can benefit from opportunities for innovation. By leveraging the Voinovich School's strengths to address major local, state, and national issues associated with improving public sector productivity and value creation we will make positive impact on our region, state, and nation. 
Energy and the environment
The Voinovich School, through the Appalachian Watershed Research Group, the Consortium for Energy, Economics and the Environment (CE3), the Center for Air Quality, and the Environmental Studies program, facilitates interactions between people who are interested in energy and environmental problems.
The School has over a decade of experience in working with faculty and staff from across Ohio University, local watershed groups, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and with other local, state, and federal agencies on restoration of rivers and streams which have been polluted by abandoned coal mines in southeast Ohio. The Voinovich School continues its watershed work while also providing leadership through CE3 on issues related to energy, environmental health and economic growth.
The Consortium for Energy, Environment, and Economics (CE3) focuses the energy and environmental expertise at Ohio University through Projects, Research, Teaching and Learning. CE3 faculty, staff, and students work together with government, industry, and nonprofit groups to develop solutions to energy and environmental problems and promote economic growth and sustainability. The Center's work aims to bridge the gap between science and policy, helping to explain the real-world impacts of proposed policies on future energy availability and the environment.
Entrepreneurship and regional development
The Voinovich School's applied learning and consulting programs are delivered through the Center for Entrepreneurship, which houses professional business consultants, Ohio University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC)  and Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and TechGROWTH Ohio, the Third Frontier premier Entrepreneurial Signature Program for Southeast Ohio.
The Center for Entrepreneurship builds upon and raises to new levels lonststanding efforts at the University and throughout the region to provide entrepreneurial education, business assistance services, and investment capital for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. The Center creates exciting opportunities for internationally competitive entrepreneurial studies, enhanced commercialization of faculty research, and coordinated support for entrepreneurship, business, development, and job creation. It brings to life ideas and innovation that change lives and create both economic opportunity and prosperity. The Center is product of a unique partnership between Ohio University's College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.
TechGROWTH Ohio is the $15 million Southeast Ohio regional Third Frontier program that connects early-stage, technologically innovative entrepreneurs with technical assistance and sources of funding in the areas of interactive digital media, bio-sciences, bio-agriculture, and advanced energy.
The Voinovich School also supports the development of other businesses in the region through the SBDC and PTAC programs, which provide technical assistance and government procurement assistance, respectively. Over the past three years, the SBDC has worked with over 500 companies, leading to the creation of over 200 new jobs and retention of over 1,000 jobs in the region. Over the same period, the PTAC has helped regional businesses successfully compete for more than $80 million in government contracts, supporting over 1,800 jobs.
Visiting professionals and professors
W. Warner Burke, Visiting Professor of Leadership and Public Affairs, is the current Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science and past editor of both Organizational Dynamics and The Academy of Management Executive. He holds a number of leadership positions at Columbia University.
Faculty Geoff Dabelko, Professor and Director of Environmental Studies, focuses on environment, natural resources, development, conflict, and security linkages. From 1997 to 2012, Dabelko directed the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He remains a senior advisor with the Wilson Center's new Global Sustainability and Resilience Program.
Merry Foresta, Scholar in Residence, served as the Director of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative from 2000 to 2011. She joined the Smithsonian Institution in 1977 and was named the museum's first Curator of Photography in 1983. She later became the Senior Curator of Photography for the Smithsonian's International Art Museums Division. In 2007, Foresta oversaw the launch of the Smithsonian's first interactive program devoted to photography at the Smithsonian.
Beverly Jones, Senior Advisor and Strategic Coach, coaches executives and professionals to restructure their work lives at federal agencies, like the Federal Reserve Board and Los Alamos National Laboratory, and other institutions, like the Organization of American States and the NAS Institute of Medicine. Jones was Vice President of External Affairs and Policy of Consolidated Natural Gas Company, a Fortune 300 energy and utility company, for 13 years.
Faculty Natalie Kruse, a Voinovich School faculty member, is a Morris K. Udall, Barry M. Goldwater and Marshall scholarship recipient. Kruse is an assistant professor teaching in Environmental Studies.
Gayle Channing Tenenbaum, Senior Policy Fellow and OUELI Faculty, has previously directed several human services organizations in Cuyahoga County and served as a member of the Strickland Transition Team focusing on health and human services policy. In 2009, Tenenbaum served on President Barack Obama's Health and Human Services Transition team.
Faculty Mark Weinberg, founding and current Director of the School, is a Professor of Political Science specializing in the areas of organizational strategy and public sector value creation. In 2002, he was named the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Whisman Scholar and served in that capacity for three years.
David Wilhelm, Visiting Professor of Leadership and Public Affairs, has managed campaigns for President Bill Clinton, Sen. Paul Simon, Sen. Joe Biden, and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. In 1993, he became the youngest ever Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Michael Zimmer is the Executive in Residence for Energy and the Environment. He serves on the United States Green Building Council EA TAG-Committee, and is co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Renewable Energy Resources Committee and the Vice Chair of the ABA Carbon and Energy Trading and Finance Committee.
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