University Community

A new season for our University

The following message was shared with the Ohio University community on Monday, March 14, 2022.

Hello colleagues and friends,

As we approach the end of this academic year, I wanted to share with each of you the sense of optimism I have about our collective future.

It was two years ago this week that we, as a nation, faced the onset of the pandemic, which amplified so many of our institutional challenges. It’s been a long two years, for all of us. But now, finally, the time has come to look forward. Today, we find ourselves in a dramatically different position as a University.

By all early measures, such as admits and deposits, we are on track to welcome our largest incoming first-year class since 2018.  We continue to see growth in targeted online programs where we have invested in new marketing strategies. And, we recently launched our OHIO Regional Promise Award to support families in each of our regional markets. 

Just a few weeks ago, we earned R1 status as one of the nation’s most productive and accomplished research institutions.  As you know, this places us among the top 141 research universities in the nation. Beginning last fall, we engaged in conversations about how we can increase our sponsored research and creative activity in our areas of excellence and provide needed support for faculty.  

We also were recognized for the second year in a row as the “Best Value” among public universities in the state, and several of our graduate programs saw double-digit jumps in their national rankings.

In recent years, we have continued to invest in major state-of-the-art teaching and learning capital projects, including Heritage Hall, home to our medical students on the Athens campus, and our new chemistry building. The Russ Research Opportunity Center on West Union Street will provide additional office and research facilities, and we are moving forward on a plan to build a new research facility for the Heritage College. In addition, we are updating our residence hall master plan and investing in improvements to our on-campus student residences to better meet student requirements. These projects are being financed with internal funds and do not require external debt. 

Thanks to the kindness of our alumni and friends, the Ohio University Foundation is on track to raise more than $40 million for the third consecutive year, and our endowment has now reached more than $770 million.

To continue to improve the student experience and learning, we have launched our new general education curriculum and put in place an innovative model for student success through the Center for Advising, Career and Experiential Learning. Under the leadership of Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs, we will soon launch high-demand academic programs fueled by our Program Innovation Accelerator. 

As I have shared previously, because of one-time federal funds and salary vacancy savings, we will end this fiscal year with a surplus, and we are projecting a balanced budget in FY23. We are hiring in strategic areas, and we have resumed incumbent reviews to provide promotional advancement where appropriate. We are reinstating annual salary raises effective July 1, 2022. (We will be sharing more information about the raise process with faculty and staff later this month.)

The examples in this short letter represent only a portion of our amazing institutional progress, and I encourage you to discover much more at

I sincerely believe that we have turned a corner. I appreciate everyone’s hard work which made it possible for us to get through this turbulent time in the University’s and country’s history.

I’m excited, truly, about the University’s future. Thank you for your commitment to Ohio University.


Dr. Hugh Sherman

March 14, 2022
Staff reports