WCMO’s Lucy Welles recently sat down for an interview with Rudd which aired on Oct. 18 at 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. on SuddenLink channel 15.
L: What hooked you on Marietta?
R: First of all, the opportunity is the private sector, the opportunity is some things that I’ve done in the past in terms of increasing enrollment, increasing endowment, putting things together on campus so that we’re going in the right direction, putting together a strategic plan, coming back to Ohio! I started my career in Toledo, I think a lot of people don’t know that I started my career at the University of Toledo, so I’ve come full circle, from 1981 when I was a young assistant professor at the University of Toledo, to 2016 back in Southeast Ohio at Marietta College, so.
L: Well, it’s good to have you back in the Buckeye state!
R: Oh, this community is so wonderful, there’s always something to do, we’re very fortunate where we live we can walk downtown so we can walk everywhere. We walked yesterday in the car show, we walked downtown, the house is fine, Fuzzy’s settling in fine, we’re very very spoiled. The goal would be, is to have every student at Marietta College come through the President’s house at least once before they graduate.
what sort of activities did you have in mind for that? I know with President Bruno he did do a cooking class, which was popular.
R: Right, really wide open. We’ve had the CAs and the RAs from Residence Life over, we threw bags, we did cornhole, we ate hamburgers, hot dogs, we talked, we had some good conversation, we’ve had the neighbors over with a tent up in the back, we’ve had a couple student groups who have just come over to eat, so really kind of whatever’s, whatever the students are interested in, really talk to them about what they’re doing, what their careers are, where they want to go, try and influence them to go into the academic life like I’ve been in; my wife, obviously, as an attorney and a professor could talk to a lot of students interested in going to law school, interested in teaching, just interested in what’s out there, so those are the kinds of things we’d like to do at the house to bring students over.
L: How do you plan to foster involvement between the college community and the city? R: Oh, well, first of all, I have to get involved, get out and do service projects, service-learning and civic engagement with the community.
L: How do you plan to help Marietta College improve this year, short-term goals? I know I have seen all the chairs popping up, too!
R: Right, number one, number one are the chairs, number one are the 20 navy blue and white chairs, so people can move them around and really engage in the community, the other issues I think are to make sure that we communicate well, internally and externally, through emails, through meetings with students, faculty, and staff, uh, we’re building a strategic plan where last Friday we engaged students, faculty, and staff to be involved in strategy for where Marietta College is going 2017 to 2022. We’re working hard in enrollment management, we’ve added some positions in enrollment management, changed a little bit of the layout, changed a little bit about how we’re considering students to come, and that group, the enrollment management group, the admissions office, is very active, they really go out and promote Marietta College success, what we’re doing, so we can encourage other people to do that.
L: You knew that coming in, we were experiencing challenges, namely enrollment, was it easier to accept the position knowing exactly what those challenges were, or have you been having more fun, per se, trying to find more challenges to solve?
R: Oh, I think it’s a little bit of both. As we go on, not only do I find that there are some challenges that I didn’t know about, but there are so many more successes. I’m so impressed by the students; students are engaging, they’re very personable, they question, they make me and my wife feel like we’re home, so I’m still finding out a few things. What we need to be careful of, is through the strategic planning process is that we tackle three or four things where we can make some changes right away and really enhance the enrollment and Marietta College, but maintain the fabulous academic experience the students have, the one-on-one relationships students have with their professors, the mentorship, the student groups where students interact with each other, so, just because there are some things we’re changing, doesn’t mean there aren’t some things we’re going to leave the same.’
L: Thank you so much Dr. Ruud, that’s all I have for you today.
R: Thank you Lucy, it was a pleasure, and, open invitation to come back anytime.