Brown Convenes 11th Annual Ohio Presidents Conference

Senator Convenes College Presidents in Washington to Connect Ohio Schools with Each Other, Policymakers, Federal Resources

WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) welcomed 35 Ohio college presidents to Washington as he hosted his 11th annual College Presidents Conference today. Brown hosts the annual conference to help connect Ohio college presidents with one another, as well as lawmakers, federal agencies, and other education experts. A full list of college leaders in attendance can be found HERE.

“Our higher education system is one of our state’s greatest assets, and today we’re talking and sharing ideas about how we leverage that asset to grow new industries, create jobs, and bring new opportunities to Ohioans,” said Brown.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Innovation, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship at Institutions of Higher Education.” At the conference, leaders will hear from:

  • Ohio Innovation Fund, a Columbus-based venture capital fund that helps Ohio schools market research;
  • National Science Foundation’s Industrial Innovation Partnerships, a federal program to foster collaboration between higher education and business leaders; and
  • Business incubators, which will discuss economic opportunities for colleges and social entrepreneurship.

“We are excited to collaborate with Senator Brown and his team on the topic of innovation in Ohio. At the Ohio Innovation Fund, through strong partnerships with The Ohio State University, Ohio University, and Kent State University, we have seen great progress in our efforts towards transforming innovative research into highly successful Ohio-based companies growing in excess of 100% annually in industries such as Med Tech, cyber security, data science, and advanced manufacturing, providing excellent career opportunities for Ohioans. Most of the Fortune 500 and the leading universities are now customers of our companies. This conference unites the university presidents of Ohio in collaborating toward driving Ohio's innovation economy, which we are funding and working within to deliver Silicon Valley-like innovation and career opportunities in the heartland of Ohio,” said Bill Baumel, Managing Director of Ohio Innovation Fund, which helped sponsor the College Presidents Conference.

“Ohio’s 320 Opportunity Zones have the potential to attract an unprecedented scale of private capital to transform the struggling communities where nearly one million Ohioans live. Senator Brown is leading the way by convening the leaders of Ohio’s colleges and universities to strategize on how these anchor institutions can leverage Opportunity Zones to stimulate entrepreneurship, innovative technologies, and inclusive development,” said Steve Glickman, co-founder and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group.

College presidents also discussed college access, affordability, and accountability as lawmakers look to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, and heard from a variety of education advocates, policy advisors, and higher education experts.

Brown was joined on a news conference call today by Dr. Roger Sublett, President of Union Institute and University in Cincinnati. Dr. Sublett has attended all 11 conferences hosted by Brown.

“Addressing issues of access, accountability and affordability, this annual meeting creates the rare opportunity for Ohio’s educational leaders to sit together with our Congressional representatives exploring ways that all can work for the common good of Ohio. The creative idea of Senator Brown, this has been a priority for me over the last eleven years and is tangible evidence of Senator Brown’s commitment to supporting quality education for all residents of Ohio,” said Dr. Sublett.

Brown also invited members of the Ohio congressional delegation to participate in a luncheon on Wednesday. During this year’s lunch, college presidents will hear from Brown, as well as Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and U.S. Reps. Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3), Bob Latta (OH-R-5), and Warren Davidson (OH-R-8).

During the Presidents Conference, Brown announced Cleveland State University will host Brown’s 2018 Propel Ohio: Collegiate Leadership Summit on Friday, October 12, 2018.  The one-day leadership program will feature Brown, guest speakers and workshop facilitators who will actively engage students on issues affecting Ohio. The summit will also include an Internship Fair. Each of Ohio’s two-year, four-year public and private colleges and universities and regional campuses are invited to appoint up to four undergraduate students and one administrator to attend the program. Applicants can find more information here.