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Friday, October 20, 2006
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Board of Trustees to take action on degree revocation procedure on Friday

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 20, 2006) -- Ohio University's Board of Trustees will take action on many university business items on Friday, Oct. 20.

One of the most important items is a proposed change to university procedure that will allow the president to revoke an academic degree if the Academic Honesty Hearing Committee recommends that action to the provost.

"Academic integrity is something that the university takes very seriously," said Provost Kathy Krendl. "It can not be compromised."

The board will also act on resolutions to name the new university center the John Calhoun Baker University Center and to rename The Sales Centre at Ohio University to The Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre at Ohio University.

Baker is already the namesake of the current university center. The new center is scheduled to open on Jan. 2, 2007. The Scheys have already received the first Lifetime Friend of The Sales Centre award and Ralph is a former Ohio University Board of Trustees member and a founding member of the Professional Sales Advisory Board of the Sales Centre.

Other important board decisions on Friday will be whether to approve a new Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. The proposed center would perform ecological and evolutionary research that will enhance the prominence of the research and learning at the university.

The board also will hear reports by President Roderick J. McDavis and Provost Kathy Krendl.

McDavis will talk about his goals for the academic year, which are improving communication and collaboration with faculty, managing the information technology recovery process, implementing high-risk drinking strategies and Vision OHIO priorities, raising funds to support the university's identified strategic priorities and strengthening the university's financial outlook.

He is also scheduled to update the board on the chief information officer search and civic responsibility initiatives.

Krendl will share enrollment numbers for this academic year and the university's recruitment priorities for the next academic year. She also will give an overview of academic honesty procedures and information technology priorities, as well as progress to date on the review of general education learning outcomes.

On Thursday during committee meetings, Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt updated the Student Life, Human Resources and Athletics Committee on progress in revising the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.

Hocutt has conducted a thorough review of the university's current Student-Athlete Code of Conduct, has researched policies of peer institutions, spoken with athletics directors nationwide and looked at best practices standards. He is establishing a framework for the revised code of conduct, which he will forward to President McDavis for his review. The goal remains to implement the revised policy by the start of winter quarter.

"I am confident that we are developing a policy that is the right approach for Ohio University and that will be a model policy on the national level," Hocutt said.

The policy will include standardized discipline for all teams and will allow for some situational flexibility.

Vice President for Student Affairs Kent Smith updated the committee on the university's strategies to reduce high-risk drinking. More alcohol-related cases are being referred to University Judiciaries than in past years, with a noticeable increase involving students living off-campus.

"We are looking for a long-term shift in student behavior. We need students to take ownership of the situation. This is a long-term effort," Smith said.

McDavis added, "We are reaching out to new students about expectations regarding civic responsibility, and I think the approach is taking effect. As we go forward, we want to help students who are having problems with drugs or alcohol so they can be successful in their college careers."

The board will have its formal meeting at 10 a.m. in the Walter Hall Governance Room.

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Media Contact:  Media Specialist George Mauzy at 740-597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu 

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