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Topic:  Cuts announcement

Topic:  Cuts announcement
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Message
Alan Swank
General User

Member Since: 12/11/2004
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 5,953

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/15/2020 6:12:28 PM 
Here it is:

May 15, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

This moment in our University’s history weighs heavily on my mind and in my heart. I deeply recognize and empathize with the feelings of concern and angst that have been reverberating through our community and University as we continue to understand how our financial picture would frame the very difficult decisions we have made and that lay ahead.

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments, and how this global crisis has made it necessary to respond with even more urgency in order to address our new realities. The initial measures we took to reduce our expenses have had an impact on our financial position but still fall far short as we respond to this unparalleled disruption to higher education and to fluctuations in our global economy. Based on what we now know, even in this volatile landscape, we must make more fundamental decisions, that are far more reaching than we ever considered prior to the pandemic.

Today’s Difficult Actions

We must now take actions that will deeply impact our institution – in particular people who have been our respected and valued colleagues. While it is not ideal to share this update late on a Friday, I am doing so out the immense respect I hold for our University colleagues, including instructional faculty members who were given their final-year notice and administrators who were notified earlier today that their positions were being eliminated. They are only beginning to process these decisions, and I regret the real and deep impact today’s difficult actions will have on them and their families.

These decisions were made based on a number of factors and should in no way minimize or erode the positive contributions that our colleagues who received notifications today have made to our university. Rather, a lack of available work, reduced demand for certain programs and services, and necessary restructuring to improve operational efficiencies led to the choices that were made.

Today, we issued non-renewal notices to 53 instructional faculty members. In accordance with our Faculty Handbook, those faculty members received a one-year notice of non-renewal and will have an ongoing appointment for the upcoming academic year. I can also share that 74 faculty members enrolled in the Voluntary Separation or Retirement Program (VSRP) we offered to tenured faculty earlier this year.

Additionally, we notified 149 administrators that their positions were being abolished. As part of University-wide realignment projects in communications and marketing and University Advancement, as well as departmental reorganizations, the University expects to rehire 55 administrators into new positions. As we move employees into newly defined roles, we expect a net reduction of administrative positions of 94.

We will do all we can to support our employees who are impacted by these difficult decisions. This support extends to the 140 employees in our American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) bargaining unit who were notified on May 1 that their position would be eliminated on June 1.

We have partnered with an external organization to provide transition support to any faculty or staff member affected by these or future notifications. Our partner has experience working with professionals in both academic and administrative fields and will help impacted employees with support such as strengthening their resume or CV, developing career marketing plans, and connecting with recruiters.

Furlough Planning

Over the past several weeks, the notion of furloughs has been discussed increasingly within higher education, but also on our campuses to determine if such an action would be an appropriate temporary cost savings measure for our University. As part of those discussions, I received consistent feedback from our University stakeholders that if we were to implement a furlough, we should develop a tiered structure, minimizing the impact on employees in our lower pay bands. I agree with this desire for a structure that would be both sensitive and flexible. However, our furlough policy did not allow such considerations, so I authorized our executive policy committee, led by Provost Elizabeth Sayrs, to develop an interim furlough policy to allow for this tiering.

Following that action, an implementation plan was then developed, and this structure was informed by input from Budget Planning Council, the committee working on the Strategic Initiative to Build a Dynamic Budget Model and Rebalance Our Budget, our Academic Leadership, and the Chief Finance and Administrative Officers.

We will institute our furlough next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2020, and this action will save the university approximately $13 million in FY21. This measure will be applied to all administrative, faculty and classified non bargaining employees as follows:

Employee Furlough Chart

Employees who are at the minimum of the pay scale for their job classification or at the minimum Fair Labor Standards Act salary threshold will be exempt from the wage reduction. The furlough will include 7 mandatory days that will extend the University’s closure periods for Thanksgiving and winter break. Employees may take the remainder of their furlough days at their discretion with approval from their supervisor.

In addition to the salary reduction of 15 percent that Provost Sayrs and I will take, I have asked members of President’s Council and Deans Council to take salary reductions of 10 percent or more for FY21. I can share that many Vice Presidents and Deans as well as our Athletic Director have already committed to these reductions, and our head football coach and head men’s basketball coach will take voluntary salary reductions of 10 percent.

Today’s actions were far-reaching, but I want to be upfront they will not be our final steps as we move toward the beginning of FY21. Some colleges and divisions are continuing to work through reorganization plans that required additional time and study to ensure the right decisions are made for the future of the University.

Our Pathway Forward

I recognize the weight of the decisions I share this evening on the entirety of our community. Today was a difficult day for our colleagues who received notifications. Admittedly, it is an emotional day for us all. This simply is a very painful time during an unprecedented moment in our history as a community, a state, and a nation.

However, as we continue to face difficult decisions, we have every reason to be hopeful for the future of Ohio University. Our University has weathered crises and storms in our 216-year history and become stronger, evermore ready to realize our mission, while increasing the value of an Ohio University experience for students. And we will do so now as we harness that unwavering strength and spirit to respond to the challenges before us.

My heart is with you all and I share my appreciation for you as we carry forward during this unprecedented chapter in our University’s history.

Kind regards,

M. Duane Nellis

M. Duane Nellis
President
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Alan Swank
General User

Member Since: 12/11/2004
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 5,953

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/15/2020 6:28:21 PM 
And this chart on furlough days/pay too that I couldn't get to duplicate.

0 - 37,999 0 days 0 equivalent wage reduction
38 - 64,999 10 days 3.8%
65 - 99,999 12 days 4.6%
100 - 149,999 14 days 5.4%
150 - 199,999 16 days 6.1%
200+ 18 days 6.9%
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brucecuth
General User

Member Since: 12/21/2004
Post Count: 1,595

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/15/2020 6:38:19 PM 
thanks for posting.
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Alan Swank
General User

Member Since: 12/11/2004
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 5,953

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/15/2020 7:35:27 PM 
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,
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Buckeye to Bobcat
General User

Member Since: 9/10/2013
Post Count: 1,463

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/15/2020 8:12:56 PM 
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this
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Spearchucker
General User

Member Since: 11/25/2013
Post Count: 29

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/16/2020 10:11:23 AM 
According to today's Messenger, 149 administrators were notified that their positions are being abolished. It also stated that around 1/5 of the athletic department budget has been cut.
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Alan Swank
General User

Member Since: 12/11/2004
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 5,953

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/16/2020 10:42:43 AM 
Buckeye to Bobcat wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this


Starting with the board of trustees who approved the escalation is costs each year.

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Mike Johnson
General User



Member Since: 11/11/2004
Location: North Canton, OH
Post Count: 1,480

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/16/2020 11:22:27 AM 
Alan Swank wrote:
Buckeye to Bobcat wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this


Starting with the board of trustees who approved the escalation is costs each year.



I wonder how many trustees are current or former business execs? They SHOULD know the benefits accrued from reining in costs.


http://www.facebook.com/mikejohnson.author

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OUPride
General User

Member Since: 9/21/2010
Post Count: 421

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/16/2020 11:35:30 AM 
Mike Johnson wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
Buckeye to Bobcat wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this


Starting with the board of trustees who approved the escalation is costs each year.



I wonder how many trustees are current or former business execs? They SHOULD know the benefits accrued from reining in costs.



Actually, there actions were quite similar to modern American corporate life where boards have become cozy rubber stamps for management.

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Alan Swank
General User

Member Since: 12/11/2004
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 5,953

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/16/2020 3:10:22 PM 
OUPride wrote:
Mike Johnson wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
Buckeye to Bobcat wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this


Starting with the board of trustees who approved the escalation is costs each year.



I wonder how many trustees are current or former business execs? They SHOULD know the benefits accrued from reining in costs.



Actually, there actions were quite similar to modern American corporate life where boards have become cozy rubber stamps for management.



Huge difference. College boards of trustees are responsible for spending yours and my tax dollars wisely.

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BillyTheCat
General User

Member Since: 10/6/2012
Post Count: 6,226

Status: Online

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/17/2020 8:23:05 AM 
Alan Swank wrote:
OUPride wrote:
Mike Johnson wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
Buckeye to Bobcat wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this


Starting with the board of trustees who approved the escalation is costs each year.



I wonder how many trustees are current or former business execs? They SHOULD know the benefits accrued from reining in costs.



Actually, there actions were quite similar to modern American corporate life where boards have become cozy rubber stamps for management.



Huge difference. College boards of trustees are responsible for spending yours and my tax dollars wisely.



Which they rarely do
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L.C.
General User

Member Since: 8/31/2005
Location: United States
Post Count: 9,193

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/17/2020 9:10:53 AM 
Alan Swank wrote:
OUPride wrote:
Mike Johnson wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
Buckeye to Bobcat wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this


Starting with the board of trustees who approved the escalation is costs each year.



I wonder how many trustees are current or former business execs? They SHOULD know the benefits accrued from reining in costs.



Actually, there actions were quite similar to modern American corporate life where boards have become cozy rubber stamps for management.



Huge difference. College boards of trustees are responsible for spending yours and my tax dollars wisely.


Huge difference. Corporate boards are held accountable for the financial results that result from their decisions.


“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” ― Epictetus

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Deciduous Forest Cat
General User

Member Since: 12/20/2004
Location: Ohio
Post Count: 3,684

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/17/2020 9:49:58 AM 
L.C. wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
OUPride wrote:
Mike Johnson wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
Buckeye to Bobcat wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this


Starting with the board of trustees who approved the escalation is costs each year.



I wonder how many trustees are current or former business execs? They SHOULD know the benefits accrued from reining in costs.



Actually, there actions were quite similar to modern American corporate life where boards have become cozy rubber stamps for management.



Huge difference. College boards of trustees are responsible for spending yours and my tax dollars wisely.


Huge difference. Corporate boards are held accountable for the financial results that result from their decisions.


Yeah right. Corporate boards aren't held accountable for anything. They screw up and get paid millions to go away.
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Mike Johnson
General User



Member Since: 11/11/2004
Location: North Canton, OH
Post Count: 1,480

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/17/2020 10:12:35 AM 
L.C. wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
OUPride wrote:
Mike Johnson wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
Buckeye to Bobcat wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this


Starting with the board of trustees who approved the escalation is costs each year.



I wonder how many trustees are current or former business execs? They SHOULD know the benefits accrued from reining in costs.



Actually, there actions were quite similar to modern American corporate life where boards have become cozy rubber stamps for management.



Huge difference. College boards of trustees are responsible for spending yours and my tax dollars wisely.


Huge difference. Corporate boards are held accountable for the financial results that result from their decisions.


Yes, and those corporate boards, not eager to be swept up in shareholder litigation, have become increasingly impatient with under-performing CEOs.


http://www.facebook.com/mikejohnson.author

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Mike Johnson
General User



Member Since: 11/11/2004
Location: North Canton, OH
Post Count: 1,480

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/17/2020 10:15:59 AM 
OUPride wrote:
Mike Johnson wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
Buckeye to Bobcat wrote:
Alan Swank wrote:
brucecuth wrote:
thanks for posting.


Not something any of us, particularly those of living in Athens, wanted to see. What bothers me is the administration sticking to the single rationale for the priror problems with absolutely no acknowledgement of administrative bloat or continued free spending:

Two weeks ago, I shared what we already knew about the budget challenges we faced prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments,


We talked about that on another thread, and totally agree. The previous sins are coming home to roost and there should be people roasted over this


Starting with the board of trustees who approved the escalation is costs each year.



I wonder how many trustees are current or former business execs? They SHOULD know the benefits accrued from reining in costs.



Actually, there actions were quite similar to modern American corporate life where boards have become cozy rubber stamps for management.



My corporate career was spent with 3 global Fortune 500 companies. Those boards weren't mistaken as rubber stamps. Few if any board members are eager to spend time reviewing unfavorable filings to the SEC, giving depositions, participating in special shareholder meetings, etc.

On one memorable occasion a board ordered a CEO who was also functioning as president and chairman to hire a president. That CEO didn't buck the board.

On another occasion, a narrow pct of shareholders voted for a split of the company. The vote was non-binding. The CEO did not want to split. Still the board decided to split, not wanting to have to deal with inevitable shareholder litigation.

Last Edited: 5/17/2020 10:19:37 AM by Mike Johnson


http://www.facebook.com/mikejohnson.author

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JSF
General User



Member Since: 1/29/2005
Location: Houston, TX
Post Count: 5,500

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/19/2020 2:04:17 PM 
What cuts are Nellis personally taking?


"Loyalty to a hometown or city is fleeting and interchangeable, but college is a stamp of identity."- Kyle Whelliston, One Beautiful Season.

My blog about depression and mental illness: https://bit.ly/3buGXH8

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Alan Swank
General User

Member Since: 12/11/2004
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 5,953

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/19/2020 3:37:59 PM 
JSF wrote:
What cuts are Nellis personally taking?


15% pay cut.

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Bobcat Love
General User

Member Since: 12/20/2004
Post Count: 809

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/20/2020 3:22:39 PM 
This goes back to that horrifying and disgraceful search for McDavis's replacement. What an absolute disaster that search was, and now the process comes home to roost. As I said, if we cannot shoot higher than Texas Tech, Idaho, New Mexico, or North Dakota for our University Leaders - this is what we deserve. What a pathetic situation. Completely un-surprising and predictable -> as I have said for the past 3 years.
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SBH
General User

Member Since: 12/20/2004
Post Count: 2,383

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/22/2020 10:51:10 AM 
Perhaps it's more an indictment of the performance of McDavis and the BOT that we did not have stronger candidates. We can't force top-flight people to apply. Ohio doesn't exactly have a reputation for strong investment in higher ed.

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Alan Swank
General User

Member Since: 12/11/2004
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 5,953

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/23/2020 10:14:58 AM 
SBH wrote:
Perhaps it's more an indictment of the performance of McDavis and the BOT that we did not have stronger candidates. We can't force top-flight people to apply. Ohio doesn't exactly have a reputation for strong investment in higher ed.



The problem is we don't know who was in the pool just the four that emerged from the search firms efforts. When I was on the search committee for AD when Schaus was hired, we had some real head scratchers for candiates and a few very good ones. In my opinion, not all of the good ones made it to the final cut.

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OUPride
General User

Member Since: 9/21/2010
Post Count: 421

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/23/2020 11:03:20 AM 
SBH wrote:
Perhaps it's more an indictment of the performance of McDavis and the BOT that we did not have stronger candidates. We can't force top-flight people to apply. Ohio doesn't exactly have a reputation for strong investment in higher ed.



Unsurprisingly, I tend to agree with this. Potential candidates for a university presidency are not stupid, and like any other top tier professional, they evaluate the position as much as the prospective employer is going to evaluate them. It wouldn't surprise me at all if many candidates looked at the issues that McDavis was kicking down the road for them to deal with and took a pass.

I also think that Ohio tends to let Presidents hang on for too long. Ping is a good example of that, and he became extremely complacent. Not moving to selective admissions when OSU did was a huge strategic blunder, arguably the worst in the university's history, and we've been playing catch up ever since.
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Mike Johnson
General User



Member Since: 11/11/2004
Location: North Canton, OH
Post Count: 1,480

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: Cuts announcement
   Posted: 5/23/2020 11:48:47 AM 
OUPride wrote:
SBH wrote:
Perhaps it's more an indictment of the performance of McDavis and the BOT that we did not have stronger candidates. We can't force top-flight people to apply. Ohio doesn't exactly have a reputation for strong investment in higher ed.



Unsurprisingly, I tend to agree with this. Potential candidates for a university presidency are not stupid, and like any other top tier professional, they evaluate the position as much as the prospective employer is going to evaluate them. It wouldn't surprise me at all if many candidates looked at the issues that McDavis was kicking down the road for them to deal with and took a pass.

I also think that Ohio tends to let Presidents hang on for too long. Ping is a good example of that, and he became extremely complacent. Not moving to selective admissions when OSU did was a huge strategic blunder, arguably the worst in the university's history, and we've been playing catch up ever since.


I don't disagree strongly with what you've said. I would add though that Ping did lead Ohio's emergence from the 1970s doldrums.


http://www.facebook.com/mikejohnson.author

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