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5 things President Nellis has done so far in office

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Dr. Duane Nellis speaks before the Sept. 11, 2017 Interfaith Peace Walk. Photo by Connor Perrett.

Ohio U’s 21st president, Dr. Duane Nellis, might have only taken office a few months ago, but they’ve been an active few months. Here are 5 things he’s done since taking office.

President Duane Nellis joined Ohio University this semester as the 21st president, bringing new aspirations and ideas for the future of Ohio University. Nellis is taking steps to improve the university through the suggestions of the community, students, alumni and faculty. Here’s an outline of what Nellis has accomplished in his time at Ohio U.

Signed the National Climate Change Initiative

Nellis signed the National Climate Change Initiative’s open letter, calling leaders and universities to take action against climate change. Ohio U’s Sustainability Plan, Climate Action Plan and composting system have received national praise for reducing the university’s carbon footprint. “Ohio University chooses to lead by example by working toward a sustainable future in every capacity we can,” Nellis said on the university’s commitment to addressing climate change.  

Introduced the Presidential Leadership Society

Nellis announced the university’s first Presidential Leadership Society. This society will allow selected students to network with

leaders, donors, alumni and friends of the university, while receiving training in professionalism, public speaking and philanthropy. Students that demonstrate exceptional volunteer service, a love for Ohio U and a strong understanding of the university’s missions will serve as representatives for events throughout the year to aid in forwarding the university’s goals.

Started conversation with Ohio U leaders during Breakfast for Progress series

Duane Nellis, Board of Trustee Appointment Announcement
Photo courtesy of Ohio University.

Dr. Nellis and faculty discussed sexual misconduct at the first Breakfast for Progress, a conversation series about issues on campus.

“We all have a responsibility to be leaders and to take care of one another, our students, and our community,” Nellis opened. “By working together, we can create a safe campus environment and stop sexual misconduct on our campus.”

Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones remarked on sexual education, prevention and revising the university’s policy, and others addressed new sexual misconduct training and the sexual climate on campus.

Supported Ohio U students under DACA

Nellis defended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in Washington, D.C. and addressed efforts put forth by the university to support Ohio U DREAMers in an emailed statement. Nellis referred to the university’s harassment and discrimination policy, as well as the Athens and Ohio U DACA community, in opposition to the program being shut down. Nellis believes DACA provides opportunities for students “to pursue an education and explore meaningful ways to contribute to our communities and economy,” as he stated in his email.

Chosen to sit on State of Ohio economic development initiative

Ohio Gov. John Kasich appointed Nellis to the nationally recognized Third Frontier Advisory Board, an initiative redefining Ohio’s economy through start-up companies. The board provides expertise from professionals in diverse fields, mentorship and funding to businesses to create stable companies and jobs. Nellis “…(looks) forward to contributing to the advancement of innovation, entrepreneurship and education… as well as seeking a greater understanding of how Ohio University can best support this significant statewide initiative.” 

“This fall, I plan to visit all the Colleges of Ohio University to continue my engagement with faculty, staff and students,” Nellis said. “My goal for the Fall Semester is to continue learning and listening as I transition into the role of OHIO’s 21st President.”

The president is scheduled to further discuss his priorities during his investiture on Oct. 18.

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