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News & Announcements

Newsletter for Alumni & Friends
April 2012

Read excerpts of the newsletter below or read the complete issue by clicking here. You can also sign up to receive future issues by clicking here.

Muskies in Health Care: R. EDWARD HOWELL '71

R. Edward Imagine that you have a huge academic medical center—seven hospitals, dozens of clinics and specialty centers, $1.1 billion in annual revenue, 6,300 employees (and that’s only the full time staff.) Factor in a national health care delivery system undergoing huge changes and myriad pressing needs squeezing tight budgets. Who would be your choice to lead your institution successfully into a critical future?

If you are the prestigious University of Virginia Medical Center, you choose R. Edward “Ed” Howell ’71, who as CEO and vice president has been at the helm of the sprawling teaching-based system since 2002.

University of Virginia president John Casteen praised the new executive for his “unusual depth of understanding of the links between clinical and academic medicine” and for his “convictions about serving people compassionately, as well as his advocacy for doctors, nurses, and patients. He is a visionary for all aspects of health care.”

Ed’s affinity for people and commitment to service are rooted in his early career as a teacher and coach. The son of educators - his father was a high school principal, his mother was  a high school teacher - Ed loved what he calls “the family business.”

It was a business he planned to pursue, matriculating at Marietta (his father’s alma mater,) then transferring to Muskingum, his mother’s alma mater, where his legacy roots run deep. (The short list also includes his brother, John Howell ’77, who is married to Karen Schoeppner ’78, and a great uncle, Dwight Lyons’22.) Ed remembers the excitement of Muskingum homecoming during his childhood. His very first sentence, “I want a bite,” was uttered during one of the games, inspired by his mother’s hot dog.

During his own Muskingum years, Ed worked full time in Zanesville at the former Clossman Hardware store, selling sporting goods, notably Muskingum football uniforms. “It was darn hard to find a good magenta,” he laughs. After earning a degree in biology, he joined Zanesville High School as a biology teacher, head track coach and assistant basketball and football coach. In 1974 his track team was favored to win the state championship, but an unusual round of players’ injuries left the team with no points at all! It was time for some serious soul-searching.

Ed discovered his new career when his tennis partner, a hospital administrator, invited him to shadow his job. Within a year, he was enrolled in Ohio State's master's degree program in hospital and health services administration. “I wanted something that was a little different, that would change from day to day and create a demand on the intellect, and I found it,” he says.

Even so, his  roots remain in “education and in the values of academic institutions. They are places where you can feel that you're making a difference, where you know you have a crack at leaving a legacy.” He hasn’t left his coaching values behind, either. He knows that principles of motivation and leadership transfer smoothly from the playing field to offices and board rooms. He describes his style as “principle-based collaborative leadership,” which can also be expressed as “Neither good managers nor good coaches can win without good team members.”

Ed’s legacy is extensive. Prior to joining the University of Virginia Medical Center, Ed held leadership positions at the university medical centers of Minnesota, Georgia and Iowa. He has always combined teaching with his administrative career and even now teaches at the universities of North Carolina and Alabama in addition to his own institution. His background in education and hospital leadership made Ed a natural choice to be appointed chair of the Board of Governors for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center. At the time he said, “As an educator I know that the knowledge developed here is for the greater good and that disseminating it to all is paramount.”

Ed’s 14-page resume also details dozens of publications and presentations, and years of service on national, state and local boards, both professional and charitable. He has received distinguished alumnus and/or distinguished service awards from Ohio State, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, American Heart Association, American Hospital Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Ed and his wife, Susan, an RN, have two sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

A passionate advocate of liberal arts education, Ed believes that it “sets the foundation for lifelong learning” and “provides an enriching and freeing approach to learning.” His own experience at the Iowa Writer’s workshop bears this out. Although it was a huge challenge for him to participate with the high caliber writers in attendance, he persisted and discovered he loves to write. He looks forward to a later stage of life when he can devote more time to writing.

For now, Ed’s time is devoted to his work and dealing with issues facing his industry—the mega sizes of health care systems, the potential doubling in size of his own system, to the increasing emphasis on health care as a business rather than a social good, the future lying in molecular medicine.

“I've had a rich and rewarding career,” he says, “one in which I hope I have made a difference.”

Nursing at Muskingum

Muskingum Nursing ProgramOn May 5, Commencement Day, graduating nursing students will mark a milestone – we now have alumni classes from both the traditional and the adult baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) tracks of Muskingum’s nationally-accredited nursing department.

In 2011 we welcomed the first graduates of the RN-BSN program – licensed RNs who earned their BSN from Muskingum. In 2012 we welcome additional RN-BSN graduates and the first graduates from the traditional undergraduate program – the first pre-licensure graduates who have earned their BSN and who are now prepared to take the RN licensing exam.

Our BSN alumni are well-prepared for twenty-first century health care careers -- a complex and ever-changing practice environment which requires effective critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership, communication and technological skills combined with lifelong learning.

These characteristics, which are fundamental to liberal arts, are so important in a baccalaureate nursing education that the national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, requires grounding in liberal education as well as in the natural sciences for a program to be considered for accreditation.

The long-term foundation of this new department has been established over the four years since the first nursing students were accepted. In addition to liberal arts and natural sciences, majors complete nursing coursework that includes theory, laboratory and clinical practice. We have seventeen affiliated health care agencies for the practice component of the major, covering five southeastern Ohio counties and offering experience in wide-ranging environments including acute-care hospitals, out-patient care, hospice, senior health, community health, school nursing and mental health. The pediatrics clinical practice is held at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

Muskingum is fortunate to have Dr. Elaine Haynes as chair of the department and director of nursing programs. Dr. Haynes is ideally suited to the task of building the first baccalaureate nursing program in our region of Ohio. Dean of Capital University’s school of nursing for eight years of her 32-year career there, she is also President of the Ohio Council of Deans and Directors of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Nursing Programs.

Geographically, Muskingum’s rural and small community setting is well-located for this program. Students gain a deeper understanding of health care access issues and the needs of underserved areas. Local health care facilities have access to resources that previously have not been available. Area employers have access to Muskingum BSN graduates to augment their staffing needs and to advance the needs of their current employees.

Click here to learn more about Muskingum’s nursing program.



What year was the Muscoljuan first published? If your answer was 1907, you're correct. If your answer was 1906, you're still correct. The book was published by the juniors (class of '07) in honor of the seniors (class of '06).

These 5 images are from the first published Muscoljuan Click on each image for a larger view.

1st Muscoljuan 1907 - Frontispiece 1st Muscoljuan 1907 - Forward 1st Muscoljuan 1907 - Editors 1st Muscoljuan 1907 - Greeting 1st Muscoljuan 1907 - Muskingum advertisement
1st Muscoljuan 1907
1st Muscoljuan 1907
1st Muscoljuan 1907
1st Muscoljuan 1907
Muskingum advertisement
1st Muscoljuan 1907


Muskingum's 175th Anniversary

See photos and documents from Muskingum's rich archives at our archive website or Facebook page. The website features an amazing panoramic photo viewer deveoped by Caleb Eno '12, Digital Media Design major.

Read "A Digital Historic Campus Walking Tour" of Muskingum. Read sample pages & download this e-book.