McKinley, Local University and College Presidents Establish Research Consortium

Press Release

Date: Jan. 23, 2017
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Science

Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) and leaders from eight universities and colleges in the Ohio Valley came together today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to officially form the Ohio Valley Research Consortium. The Consortium first came together from Congressman McKinley's efforts to diversify West Virginia's economy through investment in research. It will focus on drug addiction and opioid abuse, cyber-security, healthcare, and job creation for our veterans.

"Today's signing and the official establishment of the Ohio Valley Research Consortium is great news for our area. Encouraging research and attracting investment will not only strengthen the capabilities of each participating school, but by working together, we can find ways to tackle some of our most pressing issues from access to clean water and affordable healthcare, to strengthening our cybersecurity and preventing further substance abuse, " said Congressman McKinley.

"We have created a unique opportunity to increase federal research dollars to the Ohio Valley and I look forward to working with each member of the Consortium to accomplish our goals," McKinley said.

Leaders from the participating schools offered praise for the efforts of the full Consortium and for Congressman McKinley's work in establishing this partnership.

"The Ohio Valley is so fortunate to have eight institutions of higher education that provide high quality education. As we look to the future, one of the key components of growth and success in the Ohio Valley will be through regional collaboration. The Ohio Valley Research Consortium is one example of working together to foster economic growth and community development." - Steve Greiner, President, West Liberty University

"Bethany College is pleased to participate in the collaborative work initiated by Congressman McKinley regarding pressing needs facing our communities in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Collaborative efforts, such as this one, will only strengthen our joint commitment to healthy communities, quality research, creative solutions and ultimately a stronger presence for transformation across the region." - Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg, President, Bethany College

"The consortium provides a wonderful opportunity for area colleges to combine their strengths and resources with those of community partners to do research that could really benefit our region. The research experiences for faculty and students will also benefit the academic missions of our campuses. The first research topic, drug abuse awareness and prevention, hits the nail right on the head in terms of importance. I greatly appreciate Congressman McKinley's leadership and vision in bringing us together." - Paul Abraham, PhD Dean, Ohio University Eastern Campus

"The Higher Education Research Consortium will provide a platform for colleges and universities to focus on partnerships as the mechanism to identify, research, and propose grounded solutions to issues facing our region." -Vicki L. Riley, Ed.D., President, West Virginia Northern Community College

"Wheeling Jesuit University looks forward to partnering with our fellow institutions in the Ohio Valley on this new initiative. By combining resources and expertise in areas of research and faculty development, our faculty, students and campus community will benefit greatly. We thank Congressman McKinley for bringing our institutions together and recognizing the positive impact this partnership can have on the Ohio Valley." - Mark Phillips, WJU chief of staff.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Ohio Valley Higher Education Research Consortium. Partnering with our neighboring, local institutions will further enhance Belmont College's research initiatives and allow us to share our specialty as a technical college. The Consortium will bring together great minds for higher education and research, as well as create a significant learning environment for our students. I am grateful to Congressman McKinley for his vision, my fellow presidents for taking the opportunity, and all who helped make this possible." - Dr. Paul F. Gasparro, Belmont College President.

Background on the Ohio Valley Research Consortium

Congressman McKinley has brought together leaders from the eight participating schools to collaborate their efforts to attract more federal investment in research and to find ways to diversify the local economy. This group will focus on several key areas that include healthcare, energy, cyber-security, substance abuse, and others to create new opportunities and improve the lives of families in the region.

The group has been constantly working together over the past year and has met with officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute to explore the best ways to pursue federal investment in these institutions. The group will hold recurring meetings to continually advance its common interests.

Today's signing represents the official establishment of the Ohio Valley Research Consortium.

Consortium Partners

West Virginia-Based Institutions

· Bethany College

· West Liberty University

· West Virginia Northern Community College

· Wheeling Jesuit University

Ohio-Based Institutions

· Belmont College

· Eastern Gateway Community College

· Franciscan University of Steubenville

· Ohio University Eastern (St. Clairsville Campus)