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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ohio Regents & Central State U: More Students Needed

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- The Ohio Board of Regents, an 11-member body that is the coordinating agency for higher eduction in the state, plans a special meeting today about Central State University, which needs more students to remain economically viable. Central State in Wilberforce is 150 years old. It is one of the nation's predominantly black colleges with a fairly glorious history -- but it has struggled of late.

Don't confuse the Ohio school with
THIS California entity that uses the same name and school colors. It seems to be some kind of "distance learning" operation that is conferring advanced degrees in Asia and around the world. There is more HERE. Inquiring minds might wonder: Should Ohio officials launch some kind of legal action to guard the state school's historic name and reputation? Also, the California school's Web site shows some students receiving doctoral degrees. This is from a report by the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, a government agency that monitors the use of academic credentials in that state :

"Central State University
California, Canada
Not a state school. Canadian and other foreign 'affiliates' do not have appropriate legal status as degree-granters."

In Ohio, the regents huddle at 4 p.m. The agenda says:

"The purpose of the meeting is to consider strategies to significantly increase enrollments at Central State University to a level that will allow the university to operate efficiently and effectively within the Ohio system for funding higher education institutions. The strategy focuses on major efforts to attract and retain students through developing partnerships with colleges and universities and strategic investments in academic programs, faculty and support personnel."

One move that could be on the table -- hooking the school to two-year community colleges in Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus. Also under consideration -- automatically opening the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University grad schools to Central State degree holders. Central State struggled during the 1990s, and was wrecked and rebuilt in 1974 after a massive tornado (the same one that destroyed nearby Xenia). The school has a strong constituency in the black community, and there is a determination to persevere and keep it going. A major strike against the campus: It is in a rural SW Ohio setting. The students it hopes to attract are urban.

Here is the regents advisory about today's special meeting. And here is a
link to the Ohio school's Web site. It is far more comprehensive than what the California entity's has posted online about its operations. And HERE is a recent article about the school.

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