Changes on Campus


The news you missed from Ohio University over the summer

Megan Henry / News Editor

This summer was the start of a new chapter for Ohio University.

OU President Duane Nellis took office, employees took on new roles and Republican Gov. John Kasich’s state budget pushed to make higher education more affordable in Ohio.

President Nellis

Duane Nellis

Meagan Hall | FOR THE POST

Duane Nellis laughs during an interview on July 19, 2017.

Nellis took office as OU’s 21st president on June 12. On his first day in Cutler Hall, he received his Ohio Bobcat ID and met with Athens Mayor Steve Patterson.

“I’m so honored to be here and excited to see what’s to come these next upcoming years,” Nellis said on his first day.

Nellis, who earns the third-highest university paycheck with an annual salary of $475,000, is familiar with running a university.

He served as Texas Tech’s president from June 2013 to January 2016 and the University of Idaho’s president from 2009 to 2013. During his time at Idaho, he was on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, which was composed of a dozen university presidents who gave their approval for the college football playoff system. The playoff system, which began during the 2014-15 season, replaced the old Bowl Championship Series.

Nellis worked for about 22 years at Kansas State University as a provost and senior vice president, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, director of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research, head of the geography department, an associate professor and an assistant professor.

He has previously worked in the Appalachian area before, where he served as a dean at West Virginia University from 1997 to 2004.

Nellis earned his Ph.D. in geography from Oregon State University in 1980, his master’s in geography from Oregon State in 1977 and his bachelor’s in earth sciences and geography at Montana State University in 1976.

During his presidential forum Jan. 10, Nellis said diversity and transparency are crucial to being a university president.

Party school reputation

For the second year in a row, Ohio University did not make the Princeton Review’s top 20 list of party schools.

OU did, however, land a spot on six other lists: Financial Aid Not So Great, Least Accessible Professors, Professors Get Low Marks, The Best 382 Colleges, Best Midwestern and Green Colleges.

For its 2018 edition, The Princeton Review surveyed 137,000 students from across the country to determine which college has “the best food, best career services, happiest students, and more.”

Board of trustees

During June’s Board of Trustees meeting in OU’s Zanesville campus, the board approved the university’s budget, setting into motion a series of budget cuts totaling $4.9 million for the 2018 financial year. The board also approved a “minimal” tuition, fee and rate increase up to $10 per credit hour for the 2017-18 academic year.

The increase would have been allowed if it were finalized in the state budget, but Kasich vetoed that item.

“Limiting the ability of state institutions of higher education to increase costs best aligns with Ohio’s ongoing efforts to increase access to higher education, improve careers opportunities for Ohioans, and make Ohio’s workforce more desirable to job creators around the world,” Kasich said in his veto.


Development by: Taylor Johnston / Digital Production Editor

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