Governor talks higher education in state address

February 2, 2009 | News, UToday, zBudget-related
By Tobin J. Klinger

“This is a very good time, if we but know what to do with it,” Gov. Ted Strickland quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson during the state of the state address on Jan. 28. “We do know what to do with it. First on the list is education.”

The statement reflected much of the more than hour-long speech, which focused on education for nearly 40 minutes.

Calling upon all citizens to tighten their belts, Strickland said he was “asking all Ohioans to accept the sacrifices these times demand,” noting that there would be reductions in programs and services statewide. He revealed that next year’s budget would have $3.2 billion in spending reduction.

“We will live within our means and invest in what matters,” Strickland said.

The governor did not specifically discuss state funding for higher education, other than to announce his call for the current tuition freeze to continue in fiscal year 2010, with a cap of 3.5 percent in fiscal year 2011 at Ohio’s public universities. The announcement was symbolic of his commitment, he said, to “maintain affordable access to higher education.”

President Lloyd Jacobs spoke to a group who viewed the speech in Doermann Theater following the address, noting his belief that Strickland’s remarks “speak to his deep commitment to higher education, which is shared by the president of the Ohio senate.”

“The governor believes, as I do, that if there is any way out of our current economic mess, it is not merely bailouts that may be a short-term fix,” Jacobs said. “In the long term, the only way out of this mess is education.”

Here an audio recording of Jacobs’ comments govaddress-reaction.

Click to access the login or register cheese