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Newly appointed faculty leaders to Office of Academic Affairs share their visions for the new year

The Lantern
Jason Reece was appointed the university’s first-ever vice provost for urban research. Credit: The Ohio State University

Ohio State announced the appointment of three new leaders to the Office of Academic Affairs in Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa L. Gilliam’s blog Academic Voices: A Provost’s Blog .

Jason Reece was appointed as the university’s first-ever vice provost for urban research, and Ange-Marie Hancock was appointed executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Michelle Hansen also joined the office as the associate vice president of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning. They began their new positions Jan. 1.

University President Kristina M. Johnson tweeted Jan. 11 her excitement in regards to their recent appointments. She said the three will play “integral roles” in advancing the university.

According to a July 25, 2022, release , Hancock previously served as dean’s professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations and Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Southern California.

Hansen formerly served as assistant vice chancellor of institutional research and decision support at Indiana University–Purdue University in Indianapolis, according to Gilliam’s blog. In a Linkedin comment, Hansen said she was “very excited about this opportunity.”

Reece has been a university faculty member for over two decades, most of which he spent at the Kirwan Institute and more recently at the Knowlton School of Architecture as a member of the city and regional planning faculty, according to Gilliam’s blog.

During his time at Ohio State, Reece said he has worked extensively on community-engaged research regarding public health, youth developments, affordable housing and community development as a whole.

“I’m really excited to have this opportunity to build off of that foundation,” Reece said. “To support faculty and students who want to work in partnership with community members and to help those folks in the community who are looking for resources and contacts here at OSU.”

Reece said his primary goal in this new role is to help center the university’s stakeholders on key issues within central Ohio — such as housing affordability, the aging population and long-term health issues.

“It is really about building the supportive infrastructure for faculty and staff on the university side as well as on the community side, so that we have stronger relationships with our community partners,” Reece said.

Reece said his experience in community-engaged scholarship at Ohio State also developed during his time as interim executive director of the Kirwan Institute, the same position Hancock has just stepped into.
Ange-Marie Hancock was appointed e xecutive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Credit: The Ohio State University. Credit: The Ohio State University

Hancock said her position is meant to provide research expertise to communities across the country and aid organizations in answering questions specifically regarding housing, education, employment and health disparities.

“I’m most excited about the idea that we can really use the data that we collect to partner with communities, to give communities the choice of how they would like to see their futures,” Hancock said.

Hancock said a strategic planning committee will be collaborating with her during the beginning phases of her new role.

“This strategic planning process is going to make sure that I’m not coming in and saying, ‘I’m queen of the world. I’m gonna make all the changes and everybody’s just gonna have to live with them,’” Hancock said.

Through the strategic planning process, Hancock said she hopes to expand the Kirwan Institute to be more inclusive of the students by providing graduate students with mentorship and professional development opportunities, in addition to hiring them as research assistants.

The Kirwan Institute traditionally does not have much contact with undergraduate students but Hancock said she is hoping to change that, allowing them to get more involved with research opportunities within the institute.

“Dr. Hancock will take a critical role in accelerating the work of the Kirwan Institute, and Dr. Reece has a deep connection to the university and the Columbus community,” Gilliam said in a statement. “We are excited to see their visions thrive.”

Hansen was unable to participate in an interview, but according to Gilliam’s blog, her leadership will help the university develop a more “data-informed culture that enables us to make data-informed strategic decisions.”

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