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Wednesday, October 4, 2006
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McDavis: University's reputation remains strong

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 5, 2006) -- While acknowledging that recent months have been challenging, President Roderick McDavis told local reporters Wednesday that Ohio University's reputation has been built over the course of 202 years, and several indicators point to its continued strength. 

"We've had some problems over the course of the last year," he said. "But we look at the trends -- enrollment, national rankings, fundraising. Enrollment is up. Fundraising is up. Our rankings are holding steady. We've not seen any evidence of a negative effect to the reputation of our university to date." 

McDavis added that he is concerned about negative press because it inhibits people from hearing about the good things that the university is doing. 

Other topics discussed at the briefing included:

  • The recent Day of Discourse regarding academic honesty
  • The first Year of the Woman event, a Kennedy Lecture by National Public Radio host Diane Rehm on Oct. 5
  • The success of the women's volleyball team
  • Revisions to the student-athlete code of conduct
  • Allegations of mismanagement in the College of Business

McDavis discussed in detail the university's approach to recently publicized incidents of student-athlete misconduct and revisions to the student-athlete code of conduct. He said the Board of Trustees' Executive Committee discussed the situation Tuesday. 

"We talked about how each coach is implementing the policies and procedures and the impact of those policies on our student-athletes," he said, noting the committee did not feel sanctions against football Coach Frank Solich or Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt were in order. "Our concern is with our student-athletes."

McDavis indicated that the revised policies will standardize the university's approach and will be enforced by the athletic director rather than individual coaches. The university plans to have a draft report of the revisions by the October Board of Trustees meeting, with a second report by the December board meeting. Implementation of the policies and procedures will begin winter quarter, he said.

When asked if he supported the decision to let football player Paul Johnson play in a game the day after he was convicted of assault, McDavis responded, "I would have made a different decision, but I do understand why the decision was made." 

McDavis also was asked about an Administrative Senate committee's conclusion concerning the firing of former information technology employees Tom Reid and Todd Acheson. "It is in keeping with university policies and procedures for that report to be submitted to the provost as the final arbiter in that matter," he said.

The Grievance Committee report is to be submitted today to Provost Kathy Krendl. According to senate policy, the contents of the report are shared only with the planning unit head, in this case Krendl, and the dismissed employees.

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

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