Regional campuses key to Ohio University

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

After 10 years as president of Ohio University, Robert Glidden said last week he will retire at the end of June.

While naming his replacement will likely have more of an impact on the main campus in Athens, the regional campuses of the university could feel the trickle-down effect.

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Ohio University Southern in Ironton is one of five such campuses of the university. Glidden has been a champion of the regional campuses, and the growth of Ohio University Southern in recent years is a testament to the philosophy that if you build it, they will come.

Dr. Kim Keffer, director of enrollment services said last week the goal was to enroll 700 new students for the quarter. As of last Thursday more than 775 new students signed up for classes in Ironton, up 6 to 8 percent from the same time last year. Overall enrollment totals more than 1,800 - compared to 1,665 at this time last year, she said.

Of Ohio University's 27,570 students, 7,909 - or roughly 28 percent attend regional campuses.

For many students, the excitement and pace of a larger campus, combined with the variety of things to do, is part of the overall college experience. Most of these students learn to cope with the distractions of a large campus environment. They develop strategies that help them meet course work requirements and become successful students.

For other students, the chance to live in their homes while obtaining higher education is an important consideration. These students have jobs, family responsibilities and financial constraints that make it essential that they choose to begin

- and perhaps finish - their college education at a regional campus. Some students benefit from starting at a regional campus in order to develop academic and independence skills before transferring to a larger university campus.

Most regional campuses, including Ohio University Southern, have evolved into full-functioning, degree-granting institutions and, therefore, students never have to transfer to a larger campus.

As Ohio University searches to find a replacement for Glidden, we hope it lands someone who shares his view on the importance of its regional campuses.