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McDavis looks to year ahead
President describes three sets of goals, developed with faculty, students and strategic plan

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 21, 2006) -- Ohio University has three new sets of goals for the upcoming year, President Roderick McDavis said at a meeting with local media yesterday. The goals were developed in partnership with faculty leadership, student leadership and as part of the strategic planning process.

Year of ...

President Roderick McDavis said yesterday that academic year 2006-07 has two special themes:

The Woman
Ohio University will recognize the achievements of women with Year of the Woman, which will include special programs and events throughout the year. The culminating event will happen in January, when the university's new women's center opens as part of the new Baker University Center. 

Study Abroad
Ohio University continues to be a recognized leader in global education. The university will celebrate this legacy by joining with the president of the United States to honor the Year of Study Abroad.

The administration and faculty have agreed to work jointly on developing a plan to improve faculty compensation, assessing general education, assuring that faculty have a voice in decisions about information technology and enhancing the culture of academic honesty. "Academic integrity is a core value at Ohio University," McDavis said.

Improving the off-campus living experience and enhancing the university's relationship with the Athens community are two goals on which the administration and student leadership plan to work together.

"I've said for a long time that students are not only members of the Ohio University community, but also the Athens community," McDavis said.

Developing additional programming to meet student needs and interests, continuing efforts to reduce high-risk drinking and giving students a clear look at the university's budget are also among the groups' goals. 

Regarding Vision OHIO, McDavis said faculty, staff and students involved in the strategic planning process recommended three top priorities for immediate attention. They have recommended investment in undergraduate education, graduate education and research, and faculty. 

"The provost is working with Faculty Senate and other appropriate bodies to develop specific objectives to support those goals," he said.

The president also shared updates on other institutional issues. On academic honesty, he said a committee will soon begin reviewing the plagiarism cases from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. On Sept. 28, the university will hold a day of discussion at which campus stakeholders will have the opportunity to help the university consider ways to improve the culture of academic honesty.

Regarding data security, McDavis said building a perimeter firewall and phasing out the use of social security numbers are top priorities. He also said that the university expects to hire a new chief information officer by the end of October. 

McDavis said that the university is right on target for freshman enrollment. Its goal was 4,100 freshmen, and it has 4,094. The academic quality of the freshman class is strong, with a mean ACT composite score of 23.4 this year, compared to 23.2 last year. 

In other news, he said that Ohio University will receive $2.1 million from the state this year. $1.9 million will be spent on the Athens campus, with $200,000 going to regional campuses.

"This is the first time in five years we have had new money to talk about investing," he said. The money is part of a $30 million state allocation for state colleges and universities.

McDavis added that with last year's budget realignment, the university will have an additional $6.4 million to be spent on Vision OHIO priorities.

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

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