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UC and Ohio's Public Universities Launch Campaign on Value of Higher Ed


UC and other state institutions are participating in 'Forward Ohio,' an effort to highlight higher ed’s important role in both the economy and our society.

Date: 5/14/2018 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

UC ingot   Ohio’s 14 public universities are launching a statewide communication campaign designed to raise awareness of the value of public higher education and spur efforts to close the state’s increasingly higher education attainment gap. To accomplish this goal, the effort, called Forward Ohio, seeks to mobilize public support for enhanced investment in public higher education and to ensure that it is a public policy imperative for state government.

“Ohio’s well-documented ‘talent gap’ is more than just the latest workforce challenge. It’s a looming crisis,” says Bruce Johnson, president of the Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC), a voluntary educational association of Ohio’s public universities. Today, the association represents Ohio’s 14 public universities.

Johnson added, “Our ability to attract and retain jobs is the key to Ohio’s economic future and hinges to a large degree on the educational attainment levels of our citizens. In addition, higher education is the key to creating economic opportunity for Ohioans seeking to start a career or transition to a new career.”
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Studies indicate that about 66 percent of jobs in Ohio in 2025 will require post-secondary certificates or above. Currently, just 44 percent of working-age Ohioans have these credentials. Given the fact that Ohio public universities produce the majority of skilled workers in the state, maintaining a strong system of public higher education is essential to closing this gap and meeting the economic and workforce needs of Ohio employers.

Campaign activities will emphasize five critical ways in which Ohio’s public universities provide value to the state. These include
  • Helping Ohioans prosper
  • Developing Ohio’s workforce
  • Spurring the state’s economy
  • Tackling society’s toughest issues
  • Keeping college affordable
Forward Ohio’s information portal illustrates how all of Ohio’s public universities, including UC, are addressing the attainment gap and providing significant value to the state. It also provides evidence on the critical need for more skilled workers and how enhanced state investment and policy reforms can further assist public universities in closing the attainment gap. Furthermore, it provides opportunities for citizens to advocate for enhanced governmental support of higher education.

“A college education matters now more than ever,” said University of Cincinnati President Neville Pinto. “A well-educated citizenry is absolutely  key to helping Ohioans prosper and moving our state to its next level of competitiveness. As a public university, the University of Cincinnati is excited to be a partner in creating a better future for our state and proud of the fact that we are doing our part to maintain affordability. For the 2018-19 academic year and for the fourth straight year, UC has frozen tuition.”

“According to a recent poll, 85 percent of Ohioans agree that a four-year degree from a public university in Ohio prepares students for a good job in today’s economy,” adds Jay Gershen, president of the Northeast Ohio Medical University and Chair of the IUC. “I urge this large majority of citizens to stand with me and my fellow public university presidents to advocate for a strong and productive system of public higher education in Ohio, for the benefit of our students, our economy and our state as a whole.”