Dr. E. Gordon Gee

Dr. E. Gordon Gee

Photo courtesy of: Katie Hendershot

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Gordon Gee visits Athens Campus to collect ideas from education, business leaders

As part of Gov. John Kasich's Quality and Value in Higher Education plan

Dr. E. Gordon Gee paid a special visit to Ohio University’s Athens Campus late Monday afternoon for his latest stop in the Quality and Value in Higher Education discussions. The sessions are designed to formulate ideas that will help public colleges and universities deliver greater value and quality to those they serve.

A detailed report on the discussions complete with Gee’s recommendations will be provided to Gov. John Kasich later this year.

“Basically we’ve really talked a lot about the financial structuring and restructuring, but how do we add value and how do we make sure that that quality is maintained and increased?” Gee explained.

Gee noted that recommendations presented to Kasich will not be “one-size-fits-all,” but will instead mean different things for different institutions due to varying needs.

“Each time we’re together, we learn something. We listen more than we talk, which is a healthy dose of opportunity for us,” he said.

Gee met with members of the Ohio University community who were selected by President Roderick J. McDavis, including leaders in education as well as local business.

Though there have been many stops along the Quality and Value in Higher Education discussion tour, it was at Ohio University that more members of the surrounding community were invited to attend. During Monday’s meeting, representatives from career and technology programs and high school counselors also were included in the discussion.

“This was an opportunity to hear a broadened perspective,” said Jeff Robinson, director of communications for the Ohio Board of Regents.

The goal of including a cross section of people in the discussion is to establish what Robinson referred to as a “pipeline” system, meaning it bridges the gap between K-12 education, colleges and businesses which students will work for later in life. The aim of the discussion is to create recommendations for Kasich to institute within the state. By including leaders in all facets of the timeline of a student’s education, they begin to understand each other and their needs.

“One of the educators talked about wishing there were more businesses here because this is what they need to hear,” Robinson said. “The businesses need to hear what the educators are facing as far as trying to tell their students where the jobs are and where they can get jobs, and in what fields they can get jobs. The businesses need to hear whose being educated, and hear what kind of skills they’re getting.”

The meeting allowed education and business leaders to share ideas, which Gee helped facilitate. The ideas will contribute to the statewide suggestions presented to Kasich in the future.

While in Athens, Gee enjoyed visiting campus to meet with leaders of the educational and business spheres in Athens. “It’s a beautiful campus. This is one of the real treasures in this country,” he said. “I like the campus but I also like the fact that there’s a wonderful little town. It’s a great little college town and I like that feel of the community and the town being together.”