News from Ohio State University

Ohio State president champions university mission at Ohio Statehouse

Ohio State President Walter “Ted” Carter Jr. testified before the Ohio Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee today. The hearing was part of the state’s capital budget process, and Carter was one of more than a dozen higher education leaders in Ohio to appear before the committee.

He shared his background with the committee and what interested him to become the university’s 17th president.

“A significant part of what attracted me to Ohio State is embodied in the university motto: Education for Citizenship. That is our university’s fundamental identity as a public land-grant institution dedicated to service for the greater good,” he said. “The education we provide, the discoveries made by our faculty, and our partnership with businesses and organizations are always in the service to something bigger than us.

“Specifically, it is our foundational mission to extend higher education broadly to all Ohioans and to bring greater investments in intellectual capital and economic development to Ohio.”

Carter spoke to the senate committee about the impact of the university. Ohio State generated $663.1 million in tax revenues for state and local governments, according to a 2022 analysis. The university’s annual economic impact to the state of Ohio was estimated at $19.6 billion.

“The university and state are inextricably linked. Investing in one is an investment in the other,” he said.

Carter said the university continues to educate Ohioans and prepare them for a productive future in the state. He pointed out that more than 70% of the university’s undergraduates plan to enter the workforce and stay in the state. At the same time, 66% of Ohio State graduate and PhD students also stay in Ohio.

“When you consider that roughly 30% of our students are from out of state, these percentages are exceptional,” he said. “Keeping our graduates in Ohio is more important than ever. Nationally, fewer students are graduating from high school, and competition for these students is fierce.”

The president highlighted partnerships with Honda, Amgen and Intel – companies working with Ohio State students while in college and offering a pathway to employment when those students graduate.

Last year, Ohio State and Honda announced a partnership with the state of Ohio, JobsOhio and Schaeffler Americas to establish a 25,000-square-foot battery cell research center. The lab will accelerate the domestic development of battery cell materials and manufacturing technologies.

Ohio State is working with Intel and state partners to develop curriculum, launch new degree and certificate job training programs, and advance research programs to support the microprocessor industry’s workforce and research needs. Intel is investing more than $20 billion in the construction of two new leading-edge chip factories in the state to meet demand for advanced semiconductors.

“Many of these partnerships are rooted in Ohio State’s research engine. We rank No. 6 in the country in industry-sponsored research, totaling $155.2 million in fiscal year 2023, and that’s up 9% from fiscal year 2022,” he said.

Carter said that research is also improving lives in Ohio. He spoke to the excellence of the university’s health science colleges and outreach across the state.

In 2023, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center cared for more than 427,000 distinct patients from across all of the 88 counties in Ohio. He said the new Wexner Medical Center Inpatient Hospital Tower, nearing completion, will be the standard-bearer for clinical training and care, with 824 state-of-the-art patient rooms and nearly double the bed capacity between Ohio State’s existing Rhodes and Doan Halls.

“Everywhere I go throughout the state, I hear inspiring stories and expressions of gratitude from people for the care and compassion they and their families receive through the university’s medical enterprise,” he said.

Carter also acknowledged the headwinds in higher education. He noted that the nation is in a divisive period and that institutions from government to medicine to the military have seen a decline in trust.

“One of the reasons I wanted to come to Ohio State was to be in a position to lead the conversation that helps to change these perceptions. I will submit to you, in the present, that only a few public land-grant universities of our stature can turn this conversation around,” he said.

He expressed confidence in the university’s ability to adapt to meet the challenges facing the state and the nation. However, Ohio State’s mission would remain the same.

“Just as we were when we opened our doors, Ohio State is a university for all Ohioans and all people who want to come together to make a difference and lead.”