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Voinovich School’s Faith Knutsen recognized with Outstanding Administrator Award

Daniel Kington
May 8, 2018

Ohio University President Duane Nellis presents Faith Knutsen with the 2018 Outstanding Administrator Award.Faith Knutsen, director of social innovation and entrepreneurship at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, was recognized with the Ohio University Outstanding Administrator Award on April 25 along with two other administrators.

Knutsen directs the Appalachian Regional Commission-funded Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE) Appalachia project, which brings venture development services to regional for-profit and nonprofit social enterprises, combining a market-based approach with a mission for social good. She also lectures on entrepreneurship and venture development and manages regional pitch competitions at the K-12 and college level.

Describing it as a milestone in a long administrative career, Knutsen said she was humbled to receive the Outstanding Administrator Award.

“My career has, in essence, always been in administration, from administration of a family to administration in my family’s small business, administration of overseas programs and my current role administering state and federal contracts in social enterprise,” Knutsen said.

In all this work, and particularly with her current team, Faith perceives herself as a representative of a deserving subset of the staff rather than an individual.

“Administrators, as a team, are the load-bearing walls of the institution. We are indivisible, essential and invisible,” she said. “I am grateful to the entire supportive ethos of the Voinovich School; together, everyone here is making such an important impact on our region and on its key challenges.”

Knutsen specifically thanked the Voinovich School’s founding dean, Mark Weinberg, who has helped her to have a “wonderful experience at an amazing institution,” and her colleagues John Glazer and Megan Weber, who help “hold up our section of the wall.”

Weber, who has long known Knutsen from prior community collaborations, nominated Knutsen for the award.

“Faith produces the best work in the shortest time with the least expense,” Weber said. “She achieves this not by running a hard-nosed regime, but by building successful relationships with coworkers and stakeholders, by being open to innovation and by supporting the development of other leaders in her network.”

First given in 1975, Outstanding Administrator Awards are presented annually to individuals who exemplify a strong commitment and distinguished service to Ohio University. The awards program is sponsored by the Administrative Senate and voted upon by an Administrative Senate committee.

Co-recipients of the 2018 Outstanding Administrator Award were Laurie Sheridan Lach, director of development and external affairs at Ohio University Lancaster Campus, and Jeff Whitehead, athletic director at the Lancaster campus.

For more information, visit the Ohio University coverage on the award ceremony.