OU is Named One of the Nation’s Fastest Growing Institutions

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Ohio University, the first higher education institution in both the Northwest Territory and the state of Ohio, was recently named the 18thfastest growing college in the United States by the Chronicle of Higher Education.* Their rankings were based on a comparison of student enrollment growth between 2003 and 2013.

During this period, OHIO’s total enrollment** grew from 20,452 students in the fall of 2003 to 28,786 in the fall of 2013, an increase of nearly 41 percent.

“I think the ranking signifies several things,” said Craig Cornell, senior vice provost for strategic enrollment management. “It demonstrates the value of an OHIO education and the decisions students and families are making to come here. It shows our commitment to various educational opportunities, from our regional higher education campuses, to our medical campuses, to our eLearning and graduate programs, on top of our traditional undergrad programs.”

Cornell said that such a variety of learning outlets allows OHIO to meet students where they are and provide the opportunity for, and promise of, a transformative education.

Ohio University was the only institution in the surrounding region that was named in this year’s Chronicle report, and Cornell mentioned that although OHIO’s 10-year enrollment trend has been “counter-cyclical” to what many institutions are facing, he is not surprised that the University has experienced growth.

“The innovations that are occurring, both in and out of the classroom, are significant drivers to this recognition,” Cornell said. “The development of online learning opportunities, the expansion of our Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, the OHIO Guarantee, and the opportunity for academic program enhancements that the Quarters-to-Semesters transition afforded us are all ways that the institution has been able to expand itself while maintaining its core mission.”

Cornell added that OHIO’s collaborative approach to its strategic development process, which included input from the Board of Trustees, President Roderick J. McDavis, Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit, numerous deans, faculty, administration, staff and more, has played an integral role in enrollment growth.

“Various strategic plans have been developed in coordination and in support of other adopted plans, which has led to a more cohesive and successful result,” Cornell said. “For instance, our Enrollment Plan influenced our Master Housing Plan, which has influenced our Comprehensive Master Plan.”

Such collaborative coordination has continued to produce positive growth, as the University experienced record enrollment numbers in 2015.

“Ohio University’s success is due to our reputation for excellence in educational programs, our talented and dedicated faculty, our strong academic support services, and the goodwill of our alumni,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit. “Whether you are a first-generation college student or part of a multigenerational legacy, you are part of the Bobcat family. Our faculty and staff are here to help students succeed.”


*The “Chronicle of Higher Education” is based in Washington, D.C.; the publication is considered a leading source of news and information for college and university faculty members and administrators. The “Chronicle” also publishes the annual “Almanac of Higher Education,” which reports and compares data on U.S. colleges and universities.

**The “Chronicle of Higher Education” utilized U.S. Department of Education data on the fall head count of full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students to prepare its “Fastest-Growing Colleges, 2003-13” list.