McDavis presents state funding plan to senators

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President Roderick McDavis addresses Student Senate in Walter Hall. McDavis spoke about a plan proposed to bring in funding based on graduation rates as opposed to enrollment numbers. (Dustin Lennert | Picture Editor)

Ryan Lombardi, interim vice president for Student Affairs, was greeted by about 30 seconds of applause upon entering Student Senate Wednesday night, as senators expressed their congratulations on successfully defending his dissertation for a Doctorate of Education degree from North Carolina State University.

However, Lombardi wasn’t the only administrator from Cutler Hall in attendance; Ohio University President Roderick McDavis walked into Student Senate with a smile to give an update from his recent trip to Columbus.

McDavis spoke to senate about the recently proposed changes to the formula that provides State Share of Instruction funding to public universities in Ohio, which would place more emphasis on graduation rates rather than on enrollment.

 “Instead of looking at how many students come through the door, let’s look at how many students we graduate, how many students finish their programs,” McDavis said. “(It) creates for universities the incentive to try to find ways to help you graduate.”

These changes were officially proposed to Ohio Gov. John Kasich last Friday by 12 university and college presidents.

McDavis also spoke to how he believes the model better reflects the founding vision of OU.

He added that the proposed changes to the formula are in line with the original vision for OU, dating back to the 1700s.

McDavis said he was personally transformed by his undergraduate experience at OU and strives to transform students as its president.

“Nobody picks up a brick and keeps it as a keepsake if this is not a special place,” McDavis said.

McDavis addressed a question from at large Senator Drew Hudson concerning how OU’s graduation would fit into the proposed funding formula, saying he was “cautiously optimistic” that the changes will benefit OU.

Student Senate President Zach George expressed his thanks to McDavis for coming to a Student Senate meeting Fall Semester, adding that he hopes McDavis will come next semester as well — a suggestion McDavis mentioned himself.

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