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McDavis outlines admissions accomplishments and upcoming changes in Senate meeting

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Ohio University President Roderick McDavis outlined five points of development to senate in Wednesday’s general body meeting, including another record-setting admission year, plans for a fall break to be built into future semesters, and announcement of a new scholarship endowment program.

McDavis announced that the 2013-2014 academic year saw over 20,000 undergraduate applications for the second time in university history. Last year was the first year in university history that this record was broken. Admissions of those 20,000-plus students is up by 400 as well.

“That speaks well about you, about our university, and about the buzz that’s going on about Ohio University—not only in Ohio but all across the country,” McDavis said. “It speaks volumes for the university, and it’s something that everyone in this room can be proud of.”

The president discussed the introduction of a fall semester “Reading Day” in which all classes would be cancelled but the university would remain open. The president asked senate to share their thoughts and about when and what the event should be.

Also discussed was the upcoming $75 million scholarship endowment campaign, in which $25 million of university funds would be matched to $50 million from alumni donors over the next three to five years for need- and merit-based scholarships.

This would be added to the $450 million “The Promise Lives” campaign which, a year before its June 2015 completion date, is $3.5 million away from its goal. “The Promise Lives” aims to raise $175 million of that $450 for access and opportunity needs, including scholarship endowments. That program began in 2007.

“The purpose of this program is help to lower student debt,” McDavis said. “That money will be there for perpetuity to provide scholarships for students that come to Ohio University.”

McDavis noted the efforts of senate in the student trustee selection process, saying that he was happy that the university has received more applications this year than last year and that he looks forward to the governor’s decision.

While fielding questions from senators and students, McDavis was challenged by a student about Ohio University’s plans to fully transition from coal-based to natural gas fuel. Some students have criticized the university for committing to a fossil fuel-based system.

While not directly commenting on the proposed energy system changes, McDavis said that the university is making decisions in its best financial interest and that they have followed through on the goals set out by the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

Tomorrow in Honors Collegium in Baker University Center, President McDavis and Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi will be holding Bobcat Coffee Hour at 2 p.m. The administrators will be holding open conversations with students on issues affecting them.

Tasha Attaway from the University Calendar Development team also visited the general body meeting to present plans to update the university’s central calendar.

“There are so many different organizations that are represented on campus with people with passion,” Attaway said. “This calendar is a perfect way to show students ‘Hey, we have people

who want to do this with you.’”

Attaway said that the calendar update process will take about one year and aims to make as many students happy as possible by providing them a clean and easy to use interface for finding out about campus and local events.  She urged students to contact senate or herself to add their input on the calendar update.

President Anna Morton announced that applications for next year’s executive ticket are now open with a deadline of March 17. Campaigning is permitted beginning on March 24.

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