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President McDavis addresses media at March press briefing

ATHENS, Ohio (March 16, 2006) -- Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis met with the local media on Wednesday, March 15, in Cutler Hall to update them about the university's latest news and initiatives.

The president began by explaining that, along with Kent State University, Ohio University announced yesterday the formation of Complete to Compete, a partnership between the two universities that will expand access to higher education for adult learners in Eastern Ohio. Kent State and Ohio are the first universities in the state to link outreach and regional campuses at this level - as presidential initiatives with the express intent to expand the availability of academic programs to meet the needs of the state.

Ohio and Kent State have 14 campuses between them - 12 of them regional campuses - more than half of the state's total. By expanding regional outreach and economic development efforts, the universities are complementing other initiatives in place to support the mission of extending learning opportunities to underserved populations and remaining a center of learning in our regions.

McDavis explained that Ohio University has received a high research activity classification from the Carnegie Foundation. The Carnegie classifications, which are released in the Foundation's 2005 Basic Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, are respected markers among leaders and researchers in higher education. Being classified as a research university with high research activity can assist Ohio University in securing more research funding as it seeks other sources of revenue. The "Research University (high activity)" classification places the university with its peer institutions that have significant research agendas. Peer institutions such as Clemson University, Auburn University and the University of New Hampshire also appeared on the "high research activity" list.

Ohio University is hosting the 2006 Baker Peace Conference, McDavis said. The conference will take place March 30-31. The theme is "Religion and Violence." The conference, which is hosted by the university's Contemporary History Institute, will feature some of the nation's most knowledgeable scholars and authors who are studying the relationship between religion and violence. The conference seeks to spark lively debate among participants and provide a stimulating intellectual experience. Each discussion panel will be comprised of experts with diverse philosophical views concerning religion's relationship with violence and peacemaking. The keynote speaker for the conference is U.S. Ambassador Dennis Ross from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He will speak on Thursday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

McDavis announced that Ohio University is experiencing nationally competitive award success. Fifteen Ohio University students are finalists for Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards. This year, Ohio University has two Harry S. Truman award finalists: juniors Gretchen Cataline of Gahanna, Ohio, and Rachel Cook of Barnesville, Ohio. Both students recently interviewed with the Truman Selection Committee in Cincinnati. Last year's Harry. S. Truman award winners from Ohio University were Sarah Sexton of Athens, Ohio, and Annie Valente of Solon, Ohio. They became the seventh and eight Ohio University students to win the award.

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

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