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Emeritus Profile: Ron Borton

Ron Borton may not have been one of Ohio State ATI's original faculty members (he joined the faculty in the institute's second year), but he possibly wins the prize for most positions held.

Ohio State ATI classes were being held in Phase I (now known as Halterman Hall), and Ron Borton was hired to coordinate the lab sciences program."When Ohio State ATI first started, everybody [in Columbus] was protecting their territory," Ron said. Eventually, he noted, everyone accepted Ohio State ATI as "just being there -- part of the program." The relationship wasn't necessarily collegial, but neither was it hostile. He later became chair of the Animal Industries Division. where he taught the introductory animal sciences course and orientation classes.

He later returned to lab science, and then became coordinator of two of the new Associate of Science programs, pre-agricultural education and pre-agricultural communication, during which time he served not only as an academic advisor but a faculty advisor to one of Ohio State ATI's most active student organizations, the Ag Ed Society. He took on the enormous task of serving as awards chair when Ohio State ATI hosted its first NACTA Judging Conference in the mid-1970s. 

Ron retired in 2008 after 35 years of teaching, including four years on the Columbus campus. He then came out of retirement and returned to teaching in the Arts, Sciences, and Business Division and taught until 2012, when the university switched from quarters to semesters. "I'd never been at a semester institution, even as a student," Ron said. 

Ron stays active with golfing and gardening and is quite active in the Wooster community. He served for many years as a member of the Wayne County Fair Board and was heavily involved in the Junior Fair. He serves as treasurer to four different groups, including a scout troop. 

Ron enjoys following the careers of his former students. "It's always interesting when you hear one of your former students has retired" Ron chuckled. He has seen several of his former students go on to earn Ph.D.s in addition to the dozens who hold teaching or Extension positions.

He has observed numerous changes over the years, from the relationship with the Columbus campus to computers on every faculty member's desk. "It used to be that you gave your test to the department secretary to type and copy instead of doing it all yourself." And there are some things that Ron notes have not changed. "The philosophy of hands-on instruction is still here, even among the newer faculty. And we have always been strong in caring for and advising students."