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Ohio University – Chillicothe

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Ohio University – Chillicothe (OU-C) is a non-residential regional campus of the University System of Ohio located in Chillicothe. Founded in 1946, OU-C is the first of Ohio University's regional campuses and the first regional campus in the state. It is located 45 miles (72 km) south of the state capital of Columbus. It has an enrollment of more than 2,500 students.

Ohio University Chillcothe Campus
DeanMartin Tuck
Location, ,
AthleticsOhio University Hilltoppers
ColorsHunter Green, Black and White               

The campus location and the long-time membership of the Ross County region allows OU-C to draw a unique mix of both traditional college students, young adults ages 18–22 who begin college directly out of high school, and "new traditionals," adults who are pursuing a degree later in life, often after many years in of work experience. In addition, the campus offers a wide variety of course times and schedules, to allow students to take classes when at their own convenience. The campus practices open admissions.[1]

The oldest of the five regional campuses of Ohio University and the first regional campus in the state, OU-C opened as a regional campus in September 1946 to help eliminate post–World War II overcrowding on the university's main campus. The school began with 281 students, 70 percent of which were armed services veterans. Beginning with night courses at Chillicothe High School, OU-C started daytime classes in September 1960 at Chillicothe's First Presbyterian Church. The school moved to its current location on University Hill on the western side of the city in September 1966 with the completion of Bennett Hall.

OU-C offers thirteen associate degrees and eight four-year bachelor's degrees. In addition, a variety of continuing education and tech prep courses are offered by OU-C. There are over thirty full-time faculty members and more than seventy adjunct faculty.

The main campus of Ohio University is located in Athens, Ohio. More than 8,000 students attend Ohio University's five regional campuses. The other campuses include OU-Eastern (St. Clairsville), OU-Zanesville, OU-Lancaster, and OU-Southern (Ironton).



Bennett Hall

The Chillicothe Campus opened September 16, 1946, with 281 students, 70 percent of whom were veterans, in 41 classes at Chillicothe High School. The faculty of the school consisted of professors from the Athens campus and instructors from the local community.

In September 1960, OU-C recorded another first as students walked into the First Presbyterian Church in daylight for the branch's first daytime classes. OU-C was the first regional campus in Ohio to offer a complete daytime program. Eighty-three students enrolled in the daytime experiment, while 400 attended night classes at the high school.

After acquiring land and funds, plans were developed for the first central building for the Chillicothe Campus. The three-story brick building that was constructed, a process that took two years, was named after Chillicothe's prominent Bennett family, two sisters and two brothers who earned literary acclaim for novels and poems and were active in civic life. Classes began in Bennett Hall on September 19, 1966 – 20 years and three days after OU-C began night classes in Chillicothe High School.

The transformation may have been shaky, but OU-C had scored another first, becoming the first branch campus to occupy its own campus. By the end of 1967, the City of Chillicothe had invested $387,000 in the new campus, much of it in the construction of the four-lane University Drive and the rest in water and sewer lines to serve the area.

A survey of OU-C students in winter 1967 resulted in 570 responses, which revealed that 340 of the students were employed while attending school. Women outnumbered men, about 300 of the responders were Chillicothe residents, 295 were part-time students and 267 were carrying a full load.

The first of OU-C's technical programs, Law Enforcement Technology, offered classes by the fall of 1972. Many changes affected this first program: Government funding helped it to flourish and then to dwindle. A safety and security program was added to reach yet another need in the community. These programs soon were offered through the Independent Study Program, reaching students throughout Ohio, the U.S. and even other nations.

In 1975, the Chillicothe Campus’ enrollment surged to its highest level with a 38 percent increase over 1974. Technical programs in law enforcement, human services, secretarial training and real estate all helped to attract new students, but continuing education also had become more attractive because of a sluggish economy and poor job market. There were 820 full-time students and several hundred more in part-time and non-credit courses.

By fall 1976, enrollment had increased to 906, including 99 graduate students. This steady enrollment increase continued, until there were 1,200 students by the mid1980s.

During the mid-1980s, a strategic plan for OU-C evolved, with the major thrust being to reestablish and to expand the concept of the campus as the center for the community and the region for education and training, culture and arts, information and research. The campus reached out during those years to aid the displaced workers of the Rubbermaid Company, Wear-Ever Aluminum Company and Goodyear Atomic Corporation. The outplacement programs, funded by the employers, were critical to the welfare of the affected individuals.

In March 1991, OU-C opened a microwave communications classroom, which allowed students to take classes on the Athens main campus without having to drive. The 900,000 university-wide system came to the Chillicothe Campus with the installation of a short tower and a microwave dish behind Bennett Hall.

Student demographics continued to evolve. A 31-year-old woman from Chillicothe was the typical student at the branch in 1991. The campus was 60 percent female, with 68 percent from Ross County and 44 percent older than 25.

Students from the closure of the Wear-Ever plant also boosted enrollment, as did 425 from the College Program for the Incarcerated, and 29 graduate students. Inmates at the Chillicothe Correctional Institute and Ross Correctional Institution used grants to pay for their classes at the prisons.

The late 1990s saw campus expansion on Pohlman Road with the Technical Studies Building, which opened in spring of 1997. The new classrooms and laboratories served students and companies in the areas of hazardous materials handling, environmental technology, engineering technology and law enforcement. The main campus offered night classes in a new master's degree program in public policy administration.

The Internet age brought more changes, with course materials online and available any time, anywhere for students. In September 1997, complementing the earlier microwave classroom, a second interactive video classroom using T-1 high-speed telephone lines was installed. This studio could easily connect to sites outside the university.

Retired horse trainer Charles A. Black gifted his 268-acre (1.08 km2) farm and riding facilities to OU-C in May 2002. Black said he had discussed making such a gift with his wife, Daisy, before her death and that she liked the idea, especially if programs at the farm could help disabled children. About eight miles (13 km) outside Chillicothe, the property was envisioned as an OU-C facility for therapeutic riding, recreation, and outdoor education, as well as for enabling a partnership with the equestrian education program of Ohio's southern campus in Ironton.

By fall 2002, the Chillicothe campus set another enrollment record, with 1,999 students taking classes – an all-time high for OU-C and the largest enrollment of Ohio's five regional campuses. Traditional programs in nursing and education, with technical programs in areas such as law enforcement and firefighting, led the enrollment boom.

The campus initiated wireless Internet access in spring 2003 – becoming the first Ohio University campus to become completely wireless for computer Internet connections. At the same time, OU-C purchased a mobile, wireless laptop lab, which consisted of laptop computers with wireless cards, housed conveniently in one, mobile cart. OU-C staff dubbed the mobile computer lab "MELL," for Mobile Educational Laptop Lab. By simply wheeling MELL into any classroom, students could use 24 laptops.

In December 2004, the campus created "Smart Classrooms," which integrate networking, digital and audio-visual technologies and feature ceiling-mounted projectors in a consistent setup in each classroom.

A plan, completed in early 2005 by DesignGroup, of Akron, pictured a connecting walkway between Bennett Hall and Stevenson Center flowing into a comfortable space where students could gather and work collaboratively. Although funding for construction remained to be secured, the plan clearly represented the future. A Learning Commons is a powerful paradigm shift away from the separate "silos" of different disciplines and into a seamless environment of technology, information and learning.

Reflecting and slightly magnifying national trends, almost two-thirds of students on campus were women, and the average age of the students have dropped slightly, from around 30 year of age to 27 or 28. About 60 percent of students were from Ross County.

Athletics History

OU-C's basketball tradition also began during its first winter with a team, the Bobkits, practicing in the Chillicothe armory. The 1946-1947 season match the Bobkits against a lineup that included teams from the Portsmouth branch campus, Cedarville University, and the junior varsities of Ohio University and Ohio Wesleyan University. After the regular season, in the first major college basketball game staged in Chillicothe, the Bobkits met the Cardinals of the University of Louisville and won an upset victory.

Bobby Christian, as athletic director, hired Howard O. "Corky" Miller in 1969 from Chillicothe High School to coach basketball at OU-C. It was the dawn of a new basketball era for the campus and the start of a winning dynasty that has continued for more than 30 years. Debate about what to call the team followed, eventually resulting in the OU-C Hilltoppers, due to their location atop Carlisle Hill. However, even more memorable than the name is the acronym, "OUCH".

Coach Miller led the basketball team to a near-perfect season in 1974, which culminated in the first state title for OU-C. The Hilltoppers defeated Ohio State-Newark and then Miami University-Hamilton to win the Ohio Regional Campus State Tournament.

The basketball team became state champions in 1976 for the third straight year. The Hilltoppers streak continued in 1977 with another state championship. The team made the finals in 1978 before falling to OU-Zanesville. The team rebounded the following year and began a string of wins that resulted in six consecutive state titles.

OU-C's success at winning basketball championships was augmented by the women's team, which finished second in the state in 1981-1982, as did the tennis team. The women's volleyball team, in its second full season, finished third in the state tournament. Men's baseball was added in 1985.

Coach Miller's amazing tenure as basketball coach ended in 1984 with his retirement, the Hilltoppers having won nine regional campus conference state championships under his leadership. Miller compiled a 296-73 record in fifteen seasons.

The Hilltoppers basketball team rolled to its 11th state championship in 1990.

In the fall of 2012 the OU-C's Women's Volleyball Team became part of the school's history by winning the ORCC WEST Division League Championship, the school's first, which was shared with Miami-Middletown. The Hilltoppers then went on to win the ORCC State Volleyball Championship the first ever in OU-C's history.


Dean: Martin Tuck, Ph.D., began his tenure at dean of Ohio University-Chillicothe in May 2011. He is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and was graduate chair of the molecular and cell biology program for eight years. He also represented the College of Arts and Sciences in Faculty Senate. For three of the years he spent as a senator, Tuck served as secretary on the Executive Committee of Faculty Senate. Tuck earned a bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a doctorate from the University of Tennessee.


Since the first few classes in 1946, Ohio University – Chillicothe has remained committed to providing the academic programing useful to students in the Ross County region and beyond. OU-C currently offers a wide-variety of areas of study, including 13 associate degree programs and eight bachelor's degree programs.

Associate Degree programs

  • Associate in Art (A.A.)
  • Associate in Science (A.S.)
  • Business Management Technology
  • Child Development
  • Computer Science Technology
  • Environmental Engineering Technology
  • Hazardous Material Technology
  • Human Services Technology
  • Individualized Studies
  • Law Enforcement Technology
  • Nursing
  • Office Technology

Bachelor's Degree programs

  • Criminal Justice
  • Communication Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Middle Childhood Education
  • Nursing
  • Specialized Studies
  • Technical and Applied Studies

In addition, OU-C offers numerous other programs in Tech Prep to prepare more young adults for the evolving technology workforce. Tech Prep's curriculum takes students through a seamless 4-year program of strong academic and technology skill preparation. The first 2 years of the program take place in grades 11-12 in high school. Students complete College Tech Prep with a 2-year college degree in a targeted technology area. These programs include: Business Management Technology, Computer Science Technology, Environmental Engineering Technology, Hazardous Materials Technology, Law Enforcement Technology, Office Technology

The Office of Continuing Education, Training & Development offers noncredit programs and services from personal enrichment to professional development. They address a diverse range of educational needs for various constituents including: professional groups requiring continuing education units of credit or university credit, individual desiring occasional or special interest study and companies and professional organizations needing customized or contracted training programs.

Noncredit courses and workshops are also offered on the Chillicothe campus, to provide specialized studies to campus and community members. Some of these programs include: Computer Software, Computer Hardware (A+ Certification Program), Professional Development, SHRM Essentials of Human Resource Management Certificate Program, Online Courses

Additionally, Ohio University – Chillicothe supports business, industry, alumni, and the public with training, workshops and seminars on topics such as Computer Software and Hardware, Informational Technology, Business Management, Public Responders, Worker Health & Safety. Some of these programs include: Environmental Training and Research Center (ETRC), Southern Ohio Fire Training Academy (SOFTA), Southern Ohio Police Training Institute (SOPTI)


Sprawled across 100 plush green acres, Ohio University – Chillicothe is supported by three main buildings that serve the campus community in a wide range of functions.

  • Bennett Hall serves as the hub of all campus activity. From classrooms to faculty and administrative offices to the auditorium, students spend a great deal of time in this building in the center of campus. The building also houses a teaching laboratory and mock nursing lab for practical application for students while in the classroom. In the summer of 2009, construction began near the entrance of Bennett Hall. The project provides a major transformation to the face of Ohio University – Chillicothe and includes a parkway, plaza and other renovations to support the campus’ learning environment.
  • Stevenson Center is home to the campus library, Quinn Library. It houses computers equipped with the latest programs needed for student success and holds nearly 60,000 books. It is also home to the Learning Commons and the Hilltopper Café, large open areas for students to relax, eat and enjoy some downtime on campus.
  • Shoemaker Center is the health and wellness facility on campus. It houses a full-sized collegiate basketball court, a running track and multiple weight rooms. It also houses some additional faculty offices and meeting spaces.

Other Facilities

  • Ross County/Ohio University – Chillicothe Child Development and Family Service Center
  • Technical Studies Building

Student lifeEdit

Clubs and Organizations

  • Bowling Club
  • Human Services Association
  • Japanese Media Culture Club
  • Law Enforcement Technology Club
  • National Communication Association Student Club
  • Psychology Club
  • Student Senate
  • Writing Club
  • Gender Equality Solidarity Society
  • Gay/Straight Alliance (Stray Cats)


  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Softball


  • Flag Football
  • Dodgeball


  1. ^ "Admissions". Ohio University. Retrieved 5 February 2018.

External linksEdit