18:00 PM

Chancellor Fingerhut calls Ohio State a key to Ohio's economic advancement

COLUMBUS – Eric D. Fingerhut, Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, said today that The Ohio State University holds several keys to Ohio's economic revival and advancement.

"Watching the rise of The Ohio State University is just exhilarating," Fingerhut said. "Our leaders are looking to higher education to be the catalyst of our future economic prosperity, and Ohio State can be that vehicle of prosperity, safety and well-being."

Chancellor Fingerhut made those comments during his keynote address at the 6th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture at the Nationwide-Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Ohio State's Columbus campus. The lecture series honors former Ohio State Board of Trustees Chairman James F. Patterson and the cause to which he is most committed: a vibrant university fulfilling its land-grant mission in an ever-changing world.

"We continue to invest when other states are pulling back," Fingerhut said. "We continue to recruit students when other states are limiting enrollment. We continue to find ways to save dollars when other states are simply slashing higher education budgets … and we are not stopping there. Thanks to President Gordon Gee and his colleagues, we have leaders who are finding creative ways to move our universities into Centers of Excellence and research centers to make Ohio competitive in the country and in the world."

Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee said he appreciates the Chancellor's perspective on how the University can lead efforts to rebuild Ohio's economy and revitalize Ohio's communities.

"Land-grant universities were established with a unique mission to strengthen and improve communities by extending educational opportunities," Gee said. "That special calling has never been more urgent than it is today."

The Ohio State University generates an annual statewide economic impact of more than $4 billion and partners with more than 240 Ohio-based businesses. The university, which ranks as one of the nation's top-20 public universities, has more than 60,000 enrolled students at its Columbus and regional or affiliated campuses.

Following the lecture, several projects were selected for grants. Applicants representing 45 partnerships in 15 colleges requested more than $1.8 million in funding. Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph A. Alutto helped hand out the following awards:

Service-Learning Initiative Course Development Grants:
· Group Studies: Corrections (An Inside-Out Prison Exchange Course)
· Honors Design as Service
· Shelter Medicine Rotation at the Scooby Animal Shelter in Medina del Campo, Spain

OSU CARES/OSU Extension Seed Grants:
· Computer Art Service-Learning Course with Indianola Middle School Girls
· Co-Parenting: Strengthening and Enhancing Communities, Neighborhoods and Families
· Dining with Diabetes – Outreach into OSU Medical Center Communities: A Strengthening Families and Communities Effort

OSU CARES/OSU Extension Personnel Support Grants:
· Building Flexible Models to Integrate College Access with County-Based Extension Education
· Formalizing Partnerships between OSU Extension and OSU STEM Research: Pursuing Opportunities in a Time of Transition

University Outreach and Engagement Excellence in Engagement Grants:
· A Partnership of Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Metro High School to Develop In-Class Curriculum and Hands-On Urban Farming Experience to Foster Entrepreneurship for High School and College Students
· Learning in Fitness & Education: An Innovative Service, Teaching and Research Project

Ohio State Finalists for the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award:
· Rebuilding the Mississippi Gulf Coast
· A Coastal Collaboration: Restoring a Great Lake Ecosystem and Revitalizing an Economy

"These scholars are exemplars and represent the commitment and enormous range of contributions that Ohio State continually makes to our local, national and international community through the outreach component of our mission," Alutto said.

Joyce Beatty, Senior Vice President for Outreach and Engagement, said this event encapsulates Ohio State's goal of improving lives through teaching, research and service.

"Ohio State represents a national model that combines classroom teaching and cutting-edge research with a passion for public service that envelopes the entire University community," Beatty said. "I appreciate President Gee's foresight to make outreach and engagement one of his top priorities for Ohio State's future, and I appreciate Chancellor Fingerhut's recognition of the role Ohio State can and will play as an economic, educational and social engine for Ohio's future. I am proud of the impact Ohio State has and will continue to have in encouraging and molding the leaders and innovators of tomorrow."