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A Conversation about Ohio University and the Presidency, 1975?–?1994

Charles J. Ping

Publication Year: 2013

When Charles Ping first arrived at Ohio University in 1975, the university was experiencing a decline in student enrollment and confronting serious financial challenges. But rather than focusing on its problems, President Ping instead concentrated on Ohio University’s potential.

“What attracted me was, essentially, the richness of the campus in people and programs,” said Ping. During the nineteen years that Ping served as president, he guided Ohio University in scholarship, research, and service, and substantially increased the size of the campus through the acquisition of The Ridges. After Ping announced his resignation in Spring 1993, the April 26 headline in the Columbus Dispatch read “Ping Leaving Ohio University with Big Shoes to Fill.”

In Ping’s 1994 undergraduate commencement ceremony speech, he said, “A university is a link from the past, through the present, to the future.” Ping continues to link the university’s past to the present in this new book published for the Ohio University Libraries by Ohio University Press. A Conversation about Ohio University and the Presidency, 1975–1994, is an edited version of the transcript of videotaped interviews recorded in May and June 2011.

“It is a conversation between two old friends,” said Ping of the series of interviews conducted by Sam Crowl, Shakespearean scholar and now trustee professor emeritus.

Published by: Ohio University Press

Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

The text that follows is largely an edited version of the transcript of videotapes recorded in May and June 2011. It is a conversation between two old friends. Three voices are heard, principally mine and that of Sam Crowl, Shakespeare scholar, professor of English literature, former chair of the Faculty Senate and dean of University College, and now Trustee Professor emeritus. Then...

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Ohio University Honorary Degree Citation Presented to Claire O. Ping

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pp. xv-xviii

Your dedication as Ohio University’s First Lady is seen and felt in the life of the University and the community.

Your grace and style have endeared you to thousands of students, faculty, and guests of the University, whether in your home, across campus, or around the world.

Our community and the quality of life we enjoy is greater today because of the time
...

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Introduction

James Bruning

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pp. 1-6

I arrived at Ohio University in the fall of 1962 as a new PhD faculty member. That year turned out to be the beginning of one of the best financial times here at OHIO. A youthful and energetic Vernon Alden had been inaugurated as president, and during the years of his presidency, enrollments rose dramatically, from 9,500 to nearly 20,000. Money flowed...

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Introduction

Betty Hollow

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pp. 7-17

In late 1974, members of Ohio University’s presidential search committee faced the task of finding a new leader for their beloved but beleaguered school. They had no illusions that the job would be easy, for this “glamour” school of the 1960s was now widely known as a “troubled campus.” In the preceding five years, enrollment had fallen—unexpectedly, dramatically, and...

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Introduction

Sam Crowl

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pp. 18-24

Betty Hollow has set vividly the social and historical context for Ohio University when Charles Ping became president, and Jim Bruning has outlined concisely the major themes of Ping’s presidency and the processes he created for their accomplishment. This allows me the opportunity to present a more personal take on the man and the times and to revisit...

Conversations

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Conversation with Sam Crowl: May 17, 2011

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pp. 27-65

SC: Charlie, in 1975, Ohio University was in trouble. The University had lost almost one-third of its student population. There had been subsequent cuts across the University budget, faculty had been fired, staff had been let go, and times were still turbulent on this campus. The ’60s hadn’t yet stopped. What made you interested in coming to Ohio University...

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Conversation with Sam Crowl: May 19, 2011

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pp. 66-102

SC: Charlie, when we stopped in the last session, we were right in the middle of your telling the wonderful story of Will Konneker’s many contributions to the University, and we were right in the middle of the development of the Innovation Center and—

CP: Yes, yes.

SC: the key role he played there. Could you pick it up, or flesh it out...

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Conversation with Sam Crowl: May 24, 2011

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pp. 103-143

SC: Charlie, one of the concerns when you arrived on campus, and these are always concerns in tight budget times, was the faculty felt that its voice was not being heard. And the way in which the administration was structured meant that the academic vice president was just one of many whose voice competed with many others for funding.
One of the things that...

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Conversation with Sam Crowl: May 31, 2011

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pp. 144-177

SC: Charlie, Ohio University, though it’s a national university and has a place on the national stage, has had a particular responsibility to the area in Southeastern Ohio, which gives us our place and our life. Could you talk a bit about the relationship of your administration to the regional campus system that rings Athens? Then go on to talk about the ways in...

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Conversation with Sam Crowl: June 2, 2011

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pp. 178-226

SC: Charlie, in our various conversations, we have, of course, talked about people, and we’ve circled back around some names. I’d like you to take an opportunity now to go through in a more systematic way to talk about key figures in your administration. We’ll start once again with the provost and some of the vice presidents, and then we’ll move on to the deans. Talk...

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Conversation with Doug McCabe: June 7, 2011

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pp. 227-260

DM: I am Doug McCabe, curator of manuscripts and the producer of this video. I am filling in for Sam Crowl today. I thought we’d start this interview today by discussing your personal philosophy and how that was put to use in your career and your personal life.

CP: Well, I have taught philosophy on several campuses as well as here. So after I left office, I...

Index

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pp. 261-269


E-ISBN-13: 9780965074391
E-ISBN-10: 0965074390
Print-ISBN-13: 9780965074384
Print-ISBN-10: 0965074382

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2013

Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth