August 6, 2007

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President Sidney Ribeau (left) confers with Gov. Ted Strickland during the governor’s campus visit March 28.

President Sidney Ribeau (left) confers with Gov. Ted Strickland during the governor's campus visit March 28.

New, unified state university system ordered by governor

Ohio higher education institutions woke up to a new reality Aug. 3 with the announcement of an order by Gov. Ted Strickland creating a “University System of Ohio” that will unite the state’s 13 four-year universities, 23 two-year colleges, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and regional adult Career Centers.

The new system, planned to go into effect in January, will not replace the institutions’ governance structures but will increase cooperation and collaboration among the schools while keeping tuition down and raising quality, the governor said.

Calling for a “new Ohio birthright” of access to higher education, Strickland charged Eric Fingerhut, state chancellor of higher education, with the creation of a 10-year plan setting benchmarks for improving quality and affordability and a timeline to achieve the unification.

President Sidney Ribeau, who had met with the governor along with the other state university and college presidents and the superintendents of the state’s Career Centers at the Inter-University Council Aug. 2, said representatives from the various institutions will join with the chancellor and Bruce Johnson, IUC chair, to develop the plan, which is due March 31, 2008.


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