The State of Ohio State, with OSU President E. Gordon Gee

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Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee joined All Side with Ann Fisher May 17, 2011 to talk about the state of the university.

Ohio State Football

Ann Kicked off the conversation with the latest on the ongoing NCAA investigation of famed OSU football coach Jim Tressel, noting that Gee had said before that Tressel’s job was safe. Gee declined, however, to talk about the investigation or anything to do with OSU football.

Regarding the importance of sports to a school such as OSU, he said that “college athletics represent both the highs and lows of an academic institution.”

Charter University

Last month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich floated the idea of the charter university and mentioned Ohio State in the same breath. Gee said he doesn’t like the phrase “charter university,” that the point is to give the institution the freedom to pursue enterprises.

Gee said that some regulations have to go, but that he would not advocate less oversight by the state. He hopes that with fewer regulations, they could save money and channel more of it to the classroom.

“We are over-regulated, and under-funded,” he said.

Three-Year Degree?

The Ohio General Assembly and Gov. Kasich have proposed talk of three-year degrees at Ohio’s public colleges and universities, including Ohio State.

Gee said he wants to keep an open mind but said there are only certain academic disciplines that would lend themselves to such a concept. He disagreed with the idea that the sciences, for example, could do without the humanities required by a traditional college education.

Tuition

Tuition hikes are unwelcome but sometimes necessary, Gee said. Because the state contributes just 10 percent to the university’s overall $5 billion budget, the only way to make it
up is through tuition and cost savings.

He defended the current tuition level at OSU – the fifth lowest Ohio, he said — as one of the “best educational bargain in the country.”

“Yes, tuition has doubled, but earning power has more than tripled,” Gee said, adding that, “(Ohio State) has one of the highest bond ratings because we are one of the most efficient universities.”

Guest:

  • E. Gordon Gee (President of The Ohio State University)

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  • Jane

    I am always impressed when I hear Dr. Gee speak. I was absolutely giddy when he used the word “triumvirate” so easily and perfectly. I am proud to send my daughter to The Ohio State University in the fall!

    Jane in Lewis Center