In a decision that bodes well for the growth and stability of the College of Social Work, Tom Gregoire has been reappointed dean through June 30, 2020. The move was announced earlier this year by The Ohio State University Board of Trustees.
Since becoming dean in 2010, Gregoire has made it a priority to showcase faculty, staff, students and alumni for their contributions to the understanding of society’s most vexing social problems. In the years to come, he looks forward to working with them to develop innovations in teaching, research and funding that will advance the College of Social Work through the 21st century.
“Ohio State’s College of Social Work is a great place to teach, engage in the community, and conduct research,” he said. “But we can’t stand still as the world changes around us. Finding new ways to fund our research, for example, is an urgent challenge. The traditional model no longer exists, and we need to be creative and innovative to find alternatives.”
In his first term as dean, Gregoire worked aggressively to raise the national profile of the college by recruiting noted researchers and helping bring the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery to Ohio State.
As part of his agenda to increase the use of technology, the College of Social Work became the first unit on campus to provide iPads to all faculty and staff and to train them in the use of mobile technology for teaching, research and field work.
“Integrating technology into the classroom so our students can put it into practice is critical to our program, and to social work as a whole,’’ he said. “The most effective social-work practitioners will be those that adapt as the technology evolves.”
Gregoire also recognized the imperative to establish an online presence for the college. In 2013-14, the College of Social Work offered 58 sections of 20 different courses online, enrolling 1,106 students. Just three years before, the college had no online courses. The college will be offering its first fully online ASAP (Advanced Standing Alternate Program) in autumn 2016.
As an extension of its online mission, the college expanded its undergraduate program to regional campuses in Lima, Newark, Mansfield and Marion. The move not only increased enrollment, it helped social service providers in all four communities, where the need for social work graduates has largely gone unmet.
During Gregoire’s first term as dean, the college also:
- Became the first of three programs at OSU to offer an international undergraduate track that allows students to prepare for practice abroad.
- Developed the first social work doctoral program designed to prepare students for careers as scholars in translational research.
- Created or expanded research, teaching, and service collaboratives with campus partners in Nursing, Law, Pharmacy, Student Life, Engineering, Public Health, Food Agriculture and Environmental Health, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, Integrative Medicine, Education and Human Ecology, and Athletics.
- Exceeded its fundraising goals and expanded alumni activities in central Ohio and outside the state.
Gregoire joined the OSU College of Social Work faculty in 1996 and served as associate dean and director of the master’s program from 2003 to 2009. He took over as interim dean in September 2009 before being named dean the following May.