Ohio University

OHIO President Nellis engages with business leaders during luncheon on the Lancaster Campus

OHIO President Nellis engages with business leaders during luncheon on the Lancaster Campus
Published: June 4, 2018 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis met with local business leaders to discuss industry, education and more during a June 1 roundtable luncheon on Ohio University’s Lancaster Campus.

President Nellis opened by sharing his strategic pathways for Ohio University and discussed how the creation of a more engaged ecosystem between the University and local communities, within each of OHIO’s campuses, can lead to economic growth and shared success.  

“Ohio University and its regional campuses are uniquely equipped to serve future students and their communities, including local businesses, through traditional education, continuing education and professional development. However, we can’t do it alone,” said President Nellis. “We need to work with our community partners to create a more powerful and engaged experience for our students, our communities and our region.”

The Lancaster roundtable attendees, many of whom are OHIO graduates, represented numerous local industries, including: banking, construction, education and economic development.

The group discussed opportunities for solutions that would help everyone involved – students, local businesses and Ohio University – including the possibility of increased certificate programs on the Lancaster Campus. Such programs could ultimately help community members to successfully attain the educational experience necessary for sustained employment and professional growth.

Many luncheon participants also lauded the existing partnerships between the Ohio University-Lancaster and the Lancaster area.

Mike Pettit, the City of Lancaster’s director of economic development, highlighted a current partnership between the City of Lancaster and OHIO’s Lancaster Campus in which faculty are working to shape and model campus curriculum based on the area’s current economic demand.

Ohio University-Lancaster Dean Jim Smith noted that shared resources and close community partnerships are a role that regional campus locations are distinctly equipped to play.

“Providing faculty the ability to connect and communicate with local industry places the Lancaster Campus in a unique and valuable position to both address the needs of the community and place our students in a position to succeed,” Dean Smith said.

Dr. Nellis closed the luncheon by thanking each of the area business leaders for their attendance; he expressed excitement for ongoing discussions and the opportunity for OHIO to work more closely with the Lancaster community.

Mareion Royster, assistant vice president and trust officer at Park National Bank, said after the luncheon that he shared President Nellis’ excitement for the possibility of increased area partnerships.

“OHIO’s Lancaster Campus is so important to our area,” Royster said. “We haven’t had a President come down and offer a forum like this. It was very refreshing and extremely valuable.”