Revenue from mineral rights on Ohio University regional campus will fund scholarships, student success opportunities for Appalachian students

Published: November 7, 2022 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University has announced that all current and future revenue generated from the recent unitization of mineral rights on the campus of Ohio University Eastern in St. Clairsville will be utilized to create a new University fund for scholarships, student success initiatives, and experiential learning opportunities for students from Ohio’s Appalachian counties.

This new fund will support students residing in any of the 32 Appalachian Ohio counties and attending Ohio University, regardless of their course modality or campus location.

The University’s proceeds are the result of an involuntary unitization process that began after OHIO declined to voluntarily lease or sell the mineral rights located on approximately 70 acres of undeveloped land at OHIO’s Eastern Campus in Belmont County. 

Unitization, which is permitted under Ohio Revised Code Section 1509.28, can occur when at least 65 percent of owners living on land with oil and gas minerals apply to “unitize” the area into a singular drilling unit. Unitization does not preclude a landowner from continuing to retain the mineral rights on their property.   

Although future revenues are speculative, OHIO has received approximately $380,000 in unitization proceeds since June 2022 and anticipates added future revenues in the years ahead.

The creation of this fund not only aligns with multiple presidential priorities, it also underscores the University’s continued commitment to closing equity gaps in student success and providing the Appalachian region with opportunities to engage in life-changing educational access and support. 

“Ohio University has a long history of service to both our state and the Appalachian region, where many of our campuses are located,” Ohio University President Hugh Sherman said. “This new fund will allow us to further invest in students across Appalachian Ohio and help them build an educational foundation that can lead to sustained personal and professional success.”