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Ohio University President Roderick McDavis announced during the Sept. 12 Faculty Senate meeting Roger Ailes' name will be taken down from WOUB’s newsroom. The Roger E. Ailes Newsroom sign was torn down after McDavis' announcement (FILE).

Roger Ailes' donation to be returned; plaque removed from WOUB newsroom

Roger Ailes' name will be removed from a WOUB newsroom, Ohio University President Roderick McDavis announced Monday during a Faculty Senate meeting.

McDavis gave no exact date for its removal, but the letters of Ailes' name were taken down before the meeting ended, and a wooden board was placed over the space soon after.

“The distraction from the teaching of the Scripps College of Communication has weighed heavily on my mind as I deliberated over the sustained effect on our university community should we continue to have our newsroom named for Mr. Ailes," McDavis said. "Given the allegations against Mr. Ailes, the circumstances surrounding his departure from Fox News, I’ve decided to return his gift and remove his name."

Ailes, an OU alumnus, donated $500,000 to the university in 2007. As part of a contract with the university, obtained via a public records request, he agreed to pay the full amount within five years in exchange for naming a newsroom after him.

More than 20 women accused Ailes, the former Fox News chairman and CEO, of sexual harassment.

Last week, Fox News’ parent company reached a $20 million settlement with Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor who sued Ailes over sexual harassment allegations in July. The company has also settled with at least two other women, according to The New York Times.

Tom Hodson, the director and general manager of WOUB, said in an email WOUB is "pleased" with McDavis' decision.

Last week, both Student Senate and Graduate Student Senate spoke about the issue, but only Graduate Student Senate passed a resolution requesting the removal of the name.

Angie Chapman, vice president for communication for Graduate Student Senate, said after seeing the same topic on Faculty Senate's agenda for its meeting, executive members of GSS sat in on the meeting.

"We weren't expecting an announcement tonight, but we're glad he said something all the same," Chapman said. "There's still more to be done, and there are lots of other issues relating to sexual misconduct that still need to be addressed, but this creates a good platform to move toward those changes."

Robert Stewart, director of E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, said in an email he was "glad (the journalism school) can finally move on."

"I applaud President McDavis' decision," Stewart said in an email. "The controversy has helped shine a spotlight on the ongoing problem of sexual harassment in the workplace, but it's a relief to have the name and plaque removed."

Scholarships with Ailes' name will continue.

Dina Berliner and Sarah Penix contributed to this report.



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