Attended a very nice dinner with Karen Holbrook…

Attended a very nice dinner with Karen Holbrook this week, President of The Ohio State University. heard an update on the university, lots of new info for me. The growth and change in the University since my day is dramatic. Student quality has risen dramatically, as has admissions selectivity — the days of open admissions for ohio students are long gone (when I was going to OSU, they basically accepted all Ohio high school grads). The regional campuses have become 4 year residential institutions — I remember when the Marion campus was brand new, a single building. A $3.7B annual operating budget — not including capex. Nearly 60000 students — that at least hasn’t changed much.

One anecdote I heard from Karen — she always walks around on move-in day in the fall meeting new students. On day one, everyone is overwhelmed by the size of the institution. In 3 weeks that sense is gone — a student’s experience collapses down to the communities that student is involved with — the “liability” of size dissipates quickly, whereas the benefits endure. That is certainly my recollection as well.