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McDavis: University has made exciting progress on Vision OHIO implementation

ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 16, 2006) -- This quarter, Ohio University named three focus areas for investment in its academic plan -- undergraduate education, graduate education and research, and faculty compensation. The university has made exciting progress toward these goals and toward implementation of Vision OHIO, President Roderick J. McDavis told local reporters Wednesday.

"This is not the end. This is the beginning point of implementation of Vision OHIO," he said.

Ohio University has approximately $6.3 million to invest in the three strategic areas it named for this year. Defining focal areas and investing in them will be an annual process as part of the academic plan, McDavis said.

For this year's goals, the Faculty Compensation Task Force has been appointed to create a multi-year plan for increasing faculty salaries. That group's recommendations are due by the end of January.

Planning units will submit proposals for funding related to undergraduate priorities to the Budget Office by Jan. 1. After the proposals are vetted by deans and senior administrators and the Budget Planning Council, McDavis will announce the awardees in March.

The Graduate Education and Research Board has requested proposals for funding in that area that are due on Nov. 22. Provost Kathy Krendl will announce the recipients on Jan. 15.

McDavis also discussed student-related topics with reporters. He explained that off-campus community assistants led a food drive Wednesday by distributing paper grocery bags to Ohio University students living off campus. The students will use the bags to donate nonperishable food items to the Athens Food Pantry. "Service is a major aspect of what our students do," he said.

Also on the topic of students, McDavis said he is proud of the success of the university's athletic programs this fall. The women's cross country team won the Mid-American Conference title; the women's field hockey team won the MAC tournament championship; the women's volleyball team had an undefeated season on its home court for the fourth straight year and is the no. 1 seed heading into the MAC tournament; and the football team plays Akron tonight for the MAC East Division championship. McDavis encouraged responsible behavior after the football game.

"We want this to be a night that we will long remember," he said.

Commenting on whether the university will stay on the quarter system or move to semesters, McDavis said that while he hopes to announce a decision before the end of the academic year, he intends to engage several groups, including faculty, student and graduate student senates, in the conversation.

"What I am committed to is time to allow for input from constituent groups," he said. He explained that if a switch is made, there would be a three-year transition process to semesters.

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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