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Friday, January 19, 2007

Ohio's Central State U: 'Net Copycat Victim?

WILBERFORCE, Ohio (TDB) -- Remember the line that went something like this from the old TV game show To Tell the Truth: Will the real Dr. Spock please stand up? Now glance at the Web sites HERE and HERE. Any chance of confusion? Will the real Central State stand up?

And what about the WARNING on the first Website?

Ohio officials ought to take action that would eliminate further potential for a mixup. Perhaps this is a case for Attorney General Marc Dann to crack.

Besides sharing the same name, the colleges in Ohio and California seem to share the same school colors. Coincidence? Ohio's Central State (the second Web click above) is a public university that has been around for 150 years. The California version is a privately owned institution that looks to be a proprietary school meant to make a profit.

Central State (Ohio version) President John Garland was at the Ohio Board of Regents this week making a pitch for an extra $33 million in state funding for campus building improvements and repairs, student financial aid and academic program enhancements. The historically black college has about 2,000 students. Garland's goal is to retain students and grow. Regents and lawmakers would have to act on the program.

Last January, the regents approved giving the school an extra $4 million. Here's what the minutes say: "Central State University has identified a need for $4 million for its Center of Education & Natural Sciences project. This project, when completed, will provide a facility to house and support the CSU College of Education, Natural Sciences and Institute for Urban Education programs. Currently the College of Education shares space within the library that is inadequate to fulfill the mission of the College of Education program. Natural Sciences are currently housed in Banneker Hall, a facility that is grossly inadequate to support modern science education. Phase I, currently under way, will provide space for the College of Education. This request will provide support to full fund Phase II, which will provide the science facilities for this building."

The regents' action from a year ago is HERE. The surprise is this: All of Ohio's campuses were deteriorating and $5 billion in repairs were needed. "There is a backlog of expensive and critically needed renovation, rehabilitation and replace projects on Ohio's campuses," the report said.

Sooner or later, the campuses will be fixed. But why not do something right away? Why doesn't somebody in power in Columbus find out what is going on with what seems to be a Web look-a-like? Is it poaching? Is it coincidence?

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