Photo Caption: Ryan Lombardi
Ryan Lombardi, Ohio University's associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, has been appointed interim vice president for student affairs.
His appointment begins June 1. Upon completion of the requirements for his doctoral degree in fall 2012, which is a requisite for the position, Ryan will assume the full title of vice president for student affairs, the position vacated by Kent Smith.
Smith has left OU to take a job as president of Langston University in Oklahoma. Smith will be the second-youngest university president in the nation once he begins his new role as president of the historically black Langston University.
In a news release, OU President Roderick J. McDavis praised Lombardi's work as dean of students. "Ryan has been a staunch advocate for Ohio University's students. He is a person of great integrity who inspires and motivates students, administrators and staff," McDavis said in the release. "He has developed strong working relationships with the city of Athens and has spearheaded unique partnerships with our faculty and colleges to enhance the student experience."
Lombardi joined OU in May, 2008.
He said his current plan is to appoint an interim dean of students "very shortly" and conduct a search once students return in the fall. "Given the obvious relationship and connection with students the dean of students has," Lombardi added, "I feel it is critical that they are involved from the start with this search, thus my rationale for waiting until the fall to proceed permanently."IN EARLY MAY, according to an article that appeared in OU's online news site, Compass, nearly two dozen students gathered in the lobby of Perkins Hall on East Green for a farewell gathering for Kent Smith.
The evening was a testament to Smith and his "people first" approach, and featured a look back at his career in student affairs as well as a look forward to his impending role as president of Langston University, the Compass article said.
At the gathering, Smith said that his decision to pursue this opportunity "has nothing to do with OU, and everything to do with my family and living out a dream."
As the new president of a university of 3,000 students, according to the Compass article, "Smith hopes to institute new traditions like those of Ohio University, like President Roderick J. McDavis' First-Year Student Convocation, and the first-year march through the University gates on College Green."
Smith credited his time under McDavis and the student population at OU for some of his inspiration and motivation as he moves forward with his career.
"Bar none, the best thing I like about Ohio University is the students are engaged," Smith said in the Compass piece.
He said he will miss the unusually tight-knit atmosphere amongst the student body and the administration, which is not typical of a school as large as OU.