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Dr. Nicole Pennington, dean of OHIO’s Southern Campus, Dr. Nellis and Dr. Bill Willan, executive dean of regional higher education.
August 15, 2018 : OHIO President Nellis meets with Ironton, Proctorville business and industry leaders
Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis met with local business leaders to discuss industry, education, healthcare and more during an August 10 roundtable luncheon on Ohio University’s Southern Campus.
 
Dr. Nellis was joined by Dr. Nicole Pennington, dean of OHIO’s Southern Campus, and Dr. Bill Willan, executive dean of regional higher education. It was the fourth stop on Dr. Nellis’ roundtable tour that has included visits to Lancaster, Zanesville and Chillicothe.
 
Dr. Nellis was joined by Dr. Nicole Pennington, dean of OHIO’s Southern Campus, and Dr. Bill Willan, executive dean of regional higher education.President Nellis opened the meeting by sharing his strategic pathways for Ohio University; he discussed how the creation of a more engaged ecosystem between the University and the region, within all of OHIO’s campuses, can lead to economic growth and shared success. 
Nellis also outlined the need for OHIO to serve its communities, whether through the Opioid Task Force he recently established, the Ohio University Innovation Center’s business incubation capabilities, or the internships and partnerships available across the University. 
 
"I want us to be engaged within each of our regional campuses and focus on providing educational value and opportunities that make a long-lasting, positive impact,” President Nellis said. “Our goal is to serve OHIO’s communities and its businesses for the betterment of the entire region, whether that’s through the Southern Campus or the rest of Ohio University.”
Southern Campus roundtable attendees, many of whom are OHIO graduates, represented numerous local industries, including: healthcare, business, education and economic development.

The group discussed opportunities for solutions that would help everyone involved – students, local businesses and the surrounding community – including a need for increased broadband access for rural areas in the region, exploring the development of shared grants and scholarships for OHIO students and fostering increased connections with non-traditional students across the Appalachian region in an effort to provide avenues for lifelong learning. 
Dr. Nellis agreed; he also noted that it’s clear that Ohioans value higher education, and that the need for such important technology and learning opportunities would be tremendous for the region.
 
Dr. Nicole Pennington, dean of OHIO’s Southern Campus, Ohio University President Dr. Nellis, and Dr. Bill Willan, executive dean of regional higher education.Many luncheon participants also noted the community pride exuded by the students and graduates of Ohio University Southern; they also lauded OHIO for taking the lead to explore solutions to the region’s opioid epidemic. 
 
Both President Nellis and Dean Pennington thanked the group for their thoughts and feedback; they also shared their desire for continued discussions geared toward identifying ways to further strengthen the community’s OHIO pride and boost the area’s economic development. 
“I know that there are a lot of people out there asking how Ohio University can help our area, and we’re always looking for ways to provide value to, and lifelong learning opportunities for, our region,” Dean Pennington said.