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President McDavis addresses media at Dec. 7 press briefing

ATHENS, Ohio (Dec. 8, 2005) -- Ohio University President Roderick McDavis met with the local media on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Cutler Hall to update them on the university's latest news and initiatives.

McDavis alerted the media about Ohio University's progress in expanding research dollars. At the beginning of his tenure as president, he established a goal of doubling research dollars at the university during the next five years and he said the progress made so far has been encouraging.

"In fiscal year 2005, faculty, staff and students submitted a record high number of 926 grant proposals to external funding agencies, up from 823 in 2004," McDavis said. "Researchers also received 589 awards up from 528 in 2004. External funding for research and sponsored programs exceeded $57 million this year, the highest amount of research and creative activity on campus to date."

He said the money has facilitated research and programs at the university, most notably the College of Arts and Sciences, which brought in $16.2 million. He also praised the Russ College of Engineering for increasing its research dollars by more than $3 million, the largest increase in research funding at the university. The president pointed out that research funding from federal, state and private sponsors accounted for $29.4 million of the $57 million.

McDavis was happy to announce that the university's success in moving innovations from the laboratory to the marketplace was featured in the Dec. 2 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education. The report ranked Ohio University 52nd among 164 schools it surveyed that produced more than $2 million in licensing revenue and patent activity during fiscal year 2004. The ranking was a result of Ohio University's revenue from licensing and patents increasing from $43,000 in 2003 to $2.4 million in 2004.

McDavis credited much of the revenue increase to the success of the Pfizer drug, Somavert, which is based on research by Ohio University Professor John Kopchick and the Edison Biotechnology Institute. The drug treats the growth hormone disorder, acromegaly.

"While the increase in revenue seems sudden, it's actually a result of 15 years of work at Ohio University to take a scientific discovery from the laboratory to the marketplace while committing to a strategic, long-term vision," McDavis said. "In fact, 63 of the 67 patents issued to Ohio University have been since October 1989."

The president also praised the Ohio women's volleyball team for its wonderful season and said he was excited about the team's Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Bobcats play the University of Arizona on Friday in Palo Alto, Calif., at 10 p.m. EST. If they win, their next match would be carried live on ESPNU on Saturday. McDavis also lauded the team for posting a 3.05 GPA.

McDavis also applauded the dedication of more than 20 Ohio University interior architecture students who will develop floor plans in future homes to be built by the Ohio University Coalition of the Athens County Habitat for Humanity. The students are members of the student organization, The Design Group, and are volunteering their time. They will participate in all phases of the design and construction of the homes under the guidance of Associate Professor of Interior Architecture David Matthews. Plans are underway for the coalition to build its 20th home in Athens County since 1990.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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