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President McDavis on WOUB Newswatch

Budget and relationships were discussion topics

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis went on WOUB's "Newswatch" on Monday to discuss budgetary issues and the university's relationships with other institutions.

McDavis said that despite the budget cuts that went into effect July 1, the beginning of the 2011 fiscal year, the university is in "good shape." He said the university is still preparing for the worst, however, and will continue to be cautious with spending. This includes a hiring freeze that went into effect this spring.

"We're trying to slow down the rate of spending," McDavis said.

According to the president, slowing spending and saving money will better prepare the university for more possible budget cuts next fiscal year. McDavis also said the university is not planning on any more layoffs.

"We enter this year hopefully not having to lay off any other employees," McDavis said. "That's the most difficult part of my work, and certainly the most difficult task within the university is to ask our very, very loyal and longtime employees not to come back."

Switching gears, McDavis said he recently visited the University of Leipzig in Germany where students from the Scripps College of Communication and the College of Business are taking courses in various subjects.

"We have an 18-year relationship with the University of Leipzig and we have four or five different academic areas, including communication that we have relationships with the faculty and the staff there," he said. "We just wanted to renew those relationships."

McDavis said he spoke with a variety of groups there, from individuals in American studies to the College of Business to chemistry. In two years, OHIO will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of its relationship with the University of Leipzig.

Visiting with other institutions is also on McDavis' plate. Today, he met with Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee to discuss the research collaboration between the two universities.

"What we're trying to do right now is lay the groundwork for where we want to go in the future with developing a relationship with Ohio State University in a wide variety of areas," McDavis said.

McDavis said he hopes these future relationships will include not only expanding academic relationships, but economic development as well.

McDavis will be the guest on WATH 970 AM's Party Line talk show at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5.