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President McDavis addresses media at January press briefing

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 12, 2006) -- Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis met with the local media on Wednesday, Jan.11, in Cutler Hall to update them about the university's latest news and initiatives.

The president began by inviting members of the media and the Athens and university community to attend the Vision OHIO Convocation at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan.17, in the Margaret M. Walter Hall rotunda. The event, which is open to all members of the public, is a celebration of Ohio University's academic excellence and serves as the first step in implementing Vision OHIO, the university's strategic plan. "The convocation marks a milestone in the university's history," McDavis said.

Vision OHIO serves as the university's road map for its future success as it works toward achieving its goals of increasing its national prominence, diversity, resources and partnerships.

McDavis explained that Ohio University will have a newly created department beginning March 1, which will be named the Office for University Outreach. The new department will be part of the Office for Regional Higher Education, whose name will be changed to University Outreach and Regional Campuses. Vice President Charles Bird will continue to have responsibility for this area of the university and will assume the new title of Vice President for University Outreach and Regional Campuses.

The new office will assist in the development of partnerships that support multidisciplinary research and other outreach activities. In the near future, the university plans to appoint a director to head the office. This office also will promote partnerships that engage all members of our community including faculty, staff, students, and alumni in activities that serve the needs of the region, state, nation, and beyond. "Our goal is to strengthen our commitment to serve Appalachia Ohio, especially in the areas of public education, economic development and health issues," McDavis said.

He announced that the American Advertising Federation selected two Ohio University journalism students to participate in its Most Promising Minority Students Program. Only 51 finalists and a small selection of honor roll students were chosen from a national pool of nominated students. Tiffany Bowden was named a finalist and Erin Joyner an honor roll finalist for the program. Both students will be featured in an article in USA Today and in an issue of the professional journal Advertising Age.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Center for Community Service at Ohio University will host the Love Luggage Community Service Project, the president said. The event will take place this from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, in the 1954 Lounge and the Corner Room of Baker University Center.

More than 200 student volunteers will decorate second-hand suitcases. The children's-themed suitcases will be filled with donated toys, school supplies and other necessities children placed in foster care need. The public can support Love Luggage by donating children's toiletries, art and school supplies, and books. All donations can be given to the Center for Community Service at Ohio University's Baker University Center Room 033.

The president reported that Wired for Books, a Web site established by the WOUB Center for Public Media at Ohio University, has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities as one of the best online resources in the nation for education in the humanities. Wired for Books features streaming audio and video presentations of lectures, poetry and book readings, and children's stories. The National Endowment for the Humanities will include Wired for Books in EDSITEment, an Internet site that provides a central resource bank for parents, teachers and students across the country who seek excellent, content-rich sites.

The number of students who have applied for admission and accepted for the fall 2006 incoming class are ahead of last year's pace, the president said. As of Wednesday, the president said, a total of 10,029 prospective students have applied. This number is an increase of 527 over the same time period last year (9,502 students). A total of 6,920 students have been admitted, which is an increase of 424 students over the same period last year (6,496). The average ACT score of the students applying is 23.5, which is the same as last year at this time. This past fall, the university welcomed an incoming class of 4,166 first-year students, the largest incoming class on record.

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

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