Also included in the signing are Ohio University Chillicothe, Rio Grande Community College and Southern State Community College. These five institutions will sign the agreement with Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut to create HECSO, for the purpose of increasing the number of southern Ohio residents attending postsecondary institutions and pursuing bachelor's degrees.
HECSO will support the University System of Ohio's goals of expanding college enrollment, improving graduation rates and expanding the impact of higher education on the economic development of 15 counties. Counties covered by HECSO will include Adams, Athens, Brown, Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
On Tuesday, Chancellor Fingerhut visited SSU to present to the community the University System of Ohio's 10-year strategic plan for achieving its goals. Local community leaders such as Rep. Todd Book, D-McDermott, Southern Ohio Medical Center President/CEO Randy Arnett and SSU President Dr. Rita Rice Morris all participated in a panel discussion with the chancellor. A copy of that 10-year plan can be found online at the University System of Ohio Web site, at http://universitysystem.ohio.gov.