Joint campus agreement begins new era of cooperation

In a new spirit of cooperation, the leadership of The Ohio State University at Marion and Marion Technical College signed a new joint operating agreement as both institutions’ boards met together Tuesday, Oct. 20.

The joint agreement, which outlines cost-sharing and future projects on the Marion campus, is the first such agreement since 1987. It was signed by Dr. John Erwin, Interim President of Marion Technical College; Dr. Greg Rose, Dean and Director of The Ohio State University at Marion; Rex Parrott, President of the Marion Technical College Board of Trustees; and Lynn Garvin, President of the Ohio State Marion Board of Trustees.

“This new joint campus agreement is a great cornerstone upon which to build the partnership of both colleges into the future,” said Dr. Erwin. “This is just one more indicator of our collaboration to benefit our students and our community.”

“Our partnership saves taxpayers money and provides enhanced services to Marion campus students. It is wonderful to have the partnership continue to grow,” said Dr. Rose. “I want to credit Dr. Erwin for bringing a new spirit of cooperation to the campus,” added Rose. “We couldn’t have gotten to this point without his openness and willingness to meet with us and get into the details of operating this campus.”

“This is a great day for the Marion community,” said Dr. Jennifer Cowley, Ohio State’s vice provost over the university’s regional campuses. “This spirit of cooperation is exactly what Governor Kasich is looking for among the state’s public colleges and universities.”

In his remarks, Dr. Erwin noted the rich history of the Marion campus and the potential for future growth as Ohio State Marion and Marion Technical College assume a greater role in the community’s economic development.

The agreement will be in effect through June 30, 2016, giving the new Marion Technical College president an opportunity to make any adjustments he or she feels are necessary. The search for a new president is currently underway following the retirement of Dr. Richard Bryson after 42 years at the helm.

During a Marion Rotary presentation earlier in the day, the leadership of both schools outlined many ways in which they are sharing operational resources, and increasingly, academic programs to provide more pathways from Marion Technical College degrees to four year Ohio State degrees.

The joint operating agreement also outlines financial and staffing collaborations in maintenance, utilities, student life, library services, security and safety.

“The spirit of collaboration embodied in this document will serve each institution, but more importantly, the entire community, for many years to come,” noted Dr. Erwin.

The agreement and meeting of the Boards of Trustees further solidifies the vision of the Marion campus, which includes the new University Drive extension, the new west entrance, and a planned new Science and Engineering Building.