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Scripps College named a Center of Excellence at Ohio University

Erin Roberts | Nov 9, 2009

Scripps College named a Center of Excellence at Ohio University

By Erin Roberts, roberte1@ohio.edu

ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 9, 2009)—The Scripps College of Communication was among three Centers of Excellence at Ohio University approved by the university’s Board of Trustees on June 26, 2009 and continues to be in contention for the designation in the newly-created University System of Ohio (USO).

“Being designated a Center of Excellence by the Ohio University Board of Trustees is recognition of our national prominence as a college,” said Scripps College of Communication Dean Gregory J. Shepherd. “The Scripps College of Communication helps distinguish and differentiate Ohio University from other institutions, and this designation will bring us additional attention and, I hope, additional resources. Our faculty, staff, students, and programs are undeniably excellent; I'm thrilled that they have been publicly labeled as such.”

Identification of Centers of Excellence throughout the state is part of the USO's strategic plan to raise the national profile of Ohio's public institutions, prioritize resources and better meet student needs. According to the USO's strategic plan, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut, in consultation with the state's director of development, will make final determinations on Centers of Excellence at each of Ohio's public institutions in order to guarantee a range of academic strengths.

The Scripps College of Communication is one of three entities put forth by Ohio University for state Center of Excellence consideration. On Oct. 28, Chancellor Fingerhut announced that Ohio University is a Center of Excellence in Energy and the Environment. Ohio University’s Center of Excellence designations in the Scripps College of Communication and Advancing Health and Wellness through Translational Biosciences, Educational Innovation and Rural Health Services, are yet to be determined.

In an email sent to faculty in late May, then Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl said the process to determine Centers of Excellence on the Ohio University campus was complex, but that it drew heavily on the university’s strategic planning initiatives.

"Our initial Centers of Excellence candidates embody the progress that we have made toward many of the goals that were set forth in Vision Ohio," she said. "Their strong academic accomplishments have been enhanced by strategic investments in faculty and facilities, the deans' willingness to support interdisciplinary work, and some of the largest donations received in the history of the university."

The Scripps College of Communication is a national point of pride for the Ohio University, with its breadth, quality and reputation for housing exceptional communication programs. The college's excellence is upheld through the quality of its students who become influential figures in journalism, broadcasting, television and film, and business.

Recently, the college has been the beneficiary of several large private gifts, including a $15 million gift from the Scripps Howard Foundation and a $7.5 million gift from alumnus Steve Schoonover, CEO of CellXion. The college's multidisciplinary nature, housing a broad range of disciplines, from the humanities, the social sciences, engineering, arts and professions, and its educational outreach endeavors through the WOUB Center for Public Media further enhance its stature.

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