Ohio University President Roderick McDavis returned to his alma mater 13 years ago to serve as president, the second alumnus and first black man to do so at OU.
He came to the university with a list of goals — some since met, some not — including increasing diversity in the student body, improving university athletic programs and further renovating residence halls.
In his first interview with The Post, McDavis, whose salary increased from $275,000 to $500,000 over the course of his presidency, outlined how he wanted to decrease the university’s party school reputation and increase enrollment and scholarships, specifically to students from rural and urban areas.
OU’s party school reputation has fluctuated throughout his time and has been on the decline since OU topped The Princeton Review’s list in 2011.
Overall enrollment has increased about 40 percent since he became president, and scholarships and financial aid have also increased.
He helped create the Urban Scholars program and the Appalachian Scholars program, both of which have seen a decline in the number of recipients in recent years.
During his time as president, he has also faced conflict with faculty and student activists on campus, particularly when he and his wife, Deborah, left 29 Park Place for 31 Coventry Lane, a property that the Ohio University Foundation entered into a $1.2 million lease-purchase agreement in March 2015.
He has also helped raise more than half a billion dollars for the university through the Promise Lives campaign.
McDavis will wrap up more than a decade as university president Friday and will soon after depart for Washington, D.C., where he will work as a managing principal for AGB Search, a higher education search firm.