News Recap


Take a look back at the biggest news from the 2016-17 academic year

Megan Henry / News Editor

The 2016-17 academic year came to a close at Ohio University, during which Roderick McDavis served his last day as OU president, 70 students were arrested during a protest and an investigation found that an English professor sexually harassed female students.  

Here is a look back on some of the biggest news of the academic year.

Roger Ailes Newsroom

Roger Ailes Newsroom

Laila Riaz | FILE

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis announced during the Sept. 12 Faculty Senate meeting that Roger Ailes' name would be taken down from WOUB.

Roger Ailes’ name was removed from a WOUB newsroom last fall after more than 20 women accused Ailes, the former Fox News chairman and CEO, of sexual harassment.   

Then-OU President Roderick McDavis announced during September’s Faculty Senate meeting that Ailes’ name would be removed, and the letters of his name were taken down before the meeting ended.

Ailes, an OU alumnus, donated $500,000 to the university in 2007. As part of a contract with the university obtained via a public records request, Ailes agreed to pay the full amount within five years in exchange for naming a newsroom after him.

Bill Clinton visited Athens

Bill Clinton

Lauren Bacho | FILE

Former President Bill Clinton shakes hands and takes selfies with students and Athens residents after speaking on college green on Oct. 4, 2016.

Former President Bill Clinton visited OU’s campus in October during a campaign stop for his wife, Hillary. He spoke to about 3,500 people on the west side of Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium where he talked about Hillary’s college plan, the Affordable Care Act and Donald Trump.  

Wayne National Forest

A combined more than 1,800 acres of the Wayne National Forest were auctioned off for oil and gas purposes. The sale could lead to hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — on public land. Fracking is a process in which pressurized liquid is used to fracture rock and release gas.

More than 700 acres were auctioned off Dec. 13. The Bureau of Land Management netted more than $1 million in their first sale of Wayne National Forest. On March 23, the bureau auctioned off 1,147 acres of Wayne, netting more than $5 million.

'Bobcat 70'

The charges against the demonstrators were later dismissed at the end of March after the Ohio University Police Department Chief Andrew Powers asked Athens City Prosecutor Tracy Meek to drop the charges  “out of fairness to the other similarly situated defendants.” That decision came after Athens Municipal Court Judge Todd Grace  found Michael Mayberry not guilty in the first trial of the students arrested in Baker Center, according to a previous Post report.

McDavis departure

President Roderick McDavis

Patrick Connolly | FILE

Now-former Ohio University President Roderick McDavis poses for a portrait in Cutler Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.

Roderick McDavis’ last day as OU’s President was Feb. 17. He started working for AGB Search as its new managing principal on March 1.  

AGB Search, based in Washington, D.C., focuses on higher education leadership, conducting executive searches in partnership with colleges, universities, systems, boards and related foundations across the country.

McDavis was the second OU alumnus and first African-American to serve as OU president. He started his presidency in July 2004 and earned $500,000 for the 2016-17 academic year.

Interim President

David Descutner has served as OU’s interim president since Feb. 18. He previously served as a special adviser of Faculty & Academic Planning in OU’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.  

OU President Duane Nellis

Duane Nellis was unanimously selected as OU’s 21st president by the Board of Trustees in February at the university’s Dublin’s campus.

He was the final candidate in the presidential search, which included OU Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit. His initial annual salary will be $475,000, and his first day at OU will be June 12.

Andrew Escobedo

The Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance found that Andrew Escobedo, an English professor, sexually harassed female students and engaged in sexual conduct without their consent.

Escobedo, who is facing de-tenuring and dismissal, has requested a hearing before a faculty committee to respond to the allegations against him.

Student Senate elections

Student Senate

Carl Fonticella | FILE

(From left to right) Vice Presidential candidate Nicole Schneider, Treasurer candidate Zachary Woods and Presidential candidate Landen Lama embrace after their ticket, Green Light, swept the executive candidate positions during the 2017 Student Senate Elections.

The Green Light ticket swept the 2017-18 Student Senate elections in April.

Landen Lama was elected president, Nicole Schneider was elected vice president and Zach Woods was elected treasurer.

Clarification: This article has been updated to include additional information about why the charges against the ‘Bobcat 70’ were dropped.

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