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Gee exit, football suspensions grace summer headlines

Ohio State Interim President Joseph Alutto speaks about his term at a July 17 press conference. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor

Ohio State Interim President Joseph Alutto speaks about his term at a July 17 press conference. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor

Summer Semester at Ohio State was full of changes with positions, programs and places. As Fall Semester draws near and the final weeks of warm weather dwindle, The Lantern recaps some of the summer’s happenings.

Alutto steps into new role as president
Joseph Alutto started his role as interim president for OSU after former President E. Gordon Gee retired July 1.

While the university searches for a new president, Alutto plans to continue building on the goals OSU has already established, including an emphasis on maintaining low tuition, recruiting new faculty and program development.

The search for a new president is expected to take about 300 days and began on July 19, according to OSU’s Presidential Search Committee.

Gee signed an exit contract worth $5.8 million and will continue as a tenured professor in the OSU Moritz College of Law, as well as taking on the position of president emeritus.

STEP program begins 
The pilot program of the Second-year Transformational Experience Program starts this fall to encourage students to live on campus beyond the mandatory first year.

The program offers students a $2,000 university stipend for living on campus a second year, which students can use for study abroad programs, to facilitate unpaid internships or research.

Students are also paired with one or a group of faculty members acting as mentors who will advise the students on the use of their stipend and will participate in the residence halls.

Faculty will be compensated with a $5,000 discretionary fund to be used as they see fit. Money for this will come from university cash reserves, David Stetson, faculty director of STEP, said.

First-year students expressed interest in the program and 1,000 of the students who applied were randomly selected to participate in the program for Fall Semester. The pilot program is expected to expand and be available to every second-year student for Fall 2015, when second-year students will be required to live on campus,

Summer refunds
The university promised that tuition and fees would not cost more in an academic year with semesters than they had under quarters, but when summer semester fees were higher than they should have been, the university issued refunds to correct the issue.

Approximately 19,000 to 20,000 students received a refund of up to $81 from the university in July. Specific refund amounts depended on how many hours the student took for the summer term.

Students were refunded on their recreational, Central Ohio Transit Authority, student union and student activity fees.

New dorms open for fall
The more than $171 million South Campus High Rise Renovation and Addition Project opened two new dorms this fall for students.

Smith and Steeb were connected and renovated to become one larger high-rise, called Smith-Steeb Hall. Siebert Hall was also updated in the construction project.

The newly renovated dorms include air conditioning, new lobbies, common spaces and more modern rooms.

The project also created about 180 additional beds for students on campus, creating more space to house second-year students on campus in the future.

Football suspensions
Four OSU football players will miss at least the first game against Buffalo on Aug. 31 after being suspended from the team.

Carlos Hyde, Bradley Roby, Rod Smith and Najee Murray were all suspended during the summer training season.

Senior running back Hyde was named as a “person of interest” in a Columbus Police Department investigation July 20 but charges were not filed. He was suspended for at least the first three games of the 2013 season for “conduct not representative of (the) football program or (the) university,” coach Urban Meyer said in a statement July 30.

Redshirt junior cornerback Roby and redshirt junior running back Smith were suspended for the season opener against Buffalo.

Roby’s discipline was issued after disorderly charges were filed against him for an incident at a Bloomington, Ind., bar July 21.

Smith’s suspension was due to “a violation of team rules,” Meyer said Aug. 17.

Murray was suspended from the team for a “training camp issue,” Meyer said Aug. 11.

OSU is ranked No. 2 in the preseason Associated Press poll behind University of Alabama.

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