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Opinion: McDavis will not be missed

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Ohio University President Roderick McDavis is set to resign on June 30, 2017, and I among many others will not lose sleep over his departure. Many individuals would say a university president’s job is to raise money for his or her institution. Personally, I feel the main concern for the president is and always will be to advocate for students. In my opinion, this was a task McDavis never accomplished.

Students have been less than satisfied with McDavis and OU administration decisions over the years. In 2015, students, faculty and staff protested the potential purchase of 31 Coventry Lane. The transaction drew outrage from many students who felt the removal of bats from McDavis’ former home was not worthy of a $1.2 million solution. The story went viral on social media, and my term “McMansion,” which described the new $1.2 million property in my former column, was cited in an article by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

In the month that followed, Student Senate elections were held. On the ballot, students voted on whether they had confidence in McDavis and upper administration, with 41.6  percent of students voting no on the issue, while 18.1 percent preferred not to answer.

Let’s turn to the housing issue of McDavis. It was confirmed recently by The Athens News that the Ohio Inspector Generals’ office is investigating OU for the entire McMansion scandal. The investigation has prompted file requests regarding the president himself.

McDavis and the Board of Trustees have raised tuition on students consistently over the years while McDavis has received countless raises. Some of the raises were even put off because of the accusations of illegal raises in 2013 due to the Open Meetings Act. The act prevents big decisions from being made during meetings that are not open to the general public.

The next president of Ohio University needs to be like the current president of the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Santa Ono. Ono turns down countless raises each year. His most recent offer was in June of 2015, where Ono turned down a bonus of $200,000. The remainder of the money was divided up into UC scholarships and charitable causes. Ask yourself, what would McDavis do?

Many of my friends who attend the University of Cincinnati will be in the library studying for exams during exam week. You know who is in the library talking and motivating them each semester? Dr. Ono. When is the last time you spotted McDavis on campus?

Following the University of Dayton’s upset March Madness victory last year, its president crowd surfed among students.

I would pay to see McDavis crowd surf, but that would be too much fun because “we are all here for a reason, not a season.”

It is very sad for an individual who is an alumnus of Ohio University to be so money-focused, especially when so many students share a love for this university. Goodbye soon, Dr. Roderick J. McDavis.

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