President McDavis Lauds Ohio University’s Disability Services

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Ohio University president Roderick J. McDavis lauded the advancement of the school’s disability services in his quarterly report to the university’s board of trustees Friday.

McDavis noted that in five years since changing the name from Institutional Equity to Diversity and Inclusion, the program is now serving 1,100 Athens campus students and over 350 regional campus students.

The program is now called Student Accessibility Services, and it has expanded to regional campuses and added staff positions since 2008.

In his presentation, McDavis explained that all faculty members now receive a disabilities handbook, and accessibility and accommodation expectations for students are consistent throughout all OU campuses.

Also, McDavis noted that in September, he was appointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich to head the newly formed Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission 2.0.  The Commission is comprised of seven presidents from the state’s 37 public colleges and universities, according to McDavis.

It is charged with recommending a list of priority capital projects for consideration in the new capital budget being prepared by the Governor’s office. McDavis expects that list of priorities to be presented to the Governor by the end of December 2013.

McDavis also reported that The Promise Lives Capital Campaign is currently just $19 million shy of its $450 million goal.  Currently, $430.51 million has been raise with alumni donating $226.64 million of that amount.

McDavis expressed pride in Ohio University being selected for the third straight year as a Military Friendly School by Victory Media.

It was also noted that McDavis has been appointed as the Mid-American Conference delegate to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Board of Directors.

He informed the board that Hilda Richards, the first African American dean and the first woman dean at Ohio University, was presented with the Diversity and Inclusion Award this fall.  Also, Frank Underwood, one of the first African American athletes on scholarship at Ohio University, was recognized by the Ebony Bobcat Network with the Trailblazer Award.

After McDavis finished his formal remarks, the board heard a presentation from Imants Jaunarajs, the assistant Dean of Students, about the progress with the “Career and Leadership Development Center” for students, which aims to make students better equipped for the work force after graduation.

Jaunarajs talked about the importance of getting students into the program sooner, noting that the program shouldn’t be a senior year “add-on.”

“This program takes time and hard work,” Jaunarajs said to the board.

Jaunarajs said the goal of the program is for students to graduate having taken the career and leadership course. From there, the students will participate in four major involvement experiences, and they will have completed a case study and their own personal portfolio.