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Education chancellor appointed

COLUMBUS—Gov. John Kasich named a former state representative and Ohio University alumnus to lead Ohio’s higher education system Wednesday, saying his “job creation mindset” will further the governor’s plans for the state’s economy.

John Carey, a Republican from Wellston, Ohio, was appointed Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, which oversees higher education. Carey will succeed Jim Petro, who retired Feb. 1, and focus on the governor’s goal of increasing job numbers in Ohio.

“I think it’s great,” Petro said. “He has all the background to address the key issues affecting higher education.”

Carey spent 17 years in the state legislature — including time as chairman of both the House and Senate finance committees — before stepping down in 2011 to lobby for Shawnee State University in southern Ohio.

As chancellor, Carey said he plans to work “very closely” with the governor by working with businesses to match their needs with the preparation students receive in college.

If the two can be aligned, it will provide more opportunities for students and make Ohio more prosperous, Carey said.

“It’s a culture change,” he said. “We want to provide opportunities for students to have a choice — to choose an education and career that will benefit themselves the most.”

Carey, 54, graduated from OU in 1981 with a degree in political science.

OU President Roderick McDavis said in a statement that he looks forward to working with Carey to strengthen Ohio’s public higher education systems in the coming years.

“Chancellor Carey has been a key mover in Ohio’s higher education and K-12 education reform movements,” McDavis said. “His extensive public service, his bold approach to tackling issues of importance in the Ohio legislature and his commitment to educational access for students in Appalachian Ohio has earned his alma mater’s highest esteem.”

The chancellor is the director of the Ohio Board of Regents and a member of the governor’s cabinet. With input from the nine-member board, the chancellor provides policy advice to the governor and the legislature and carries out higher education policy. Each state university is directly governed by its own board of trustees, though the chancellor and regents can make recommendations such as the recent Ohio-wide switch to semesters.

“John Carey is a thoughtful, devoted public servant who focused on job creation throughout his legislative career, and I am excited to see him inject this job creation mentality into the Ohio Board of Regents,” Kasich said in a news release.

Stephanie Davidson, vice chancellor of academic affairs at the Board of Regents, has served as interim chancellor since February.

Carey will take office Monday, pending Ohio Senate approval. His salary has not yet been set, said Rob Nichols, the governor’s spokesman. Petro earned $174,601.

Ryan Clark is a fellow in Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Statehouse News Bureau.

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