When Charles Ping first arrived at Ohio University in 1975, the university was experiencing a decline in student enrollment and confronting serious financial challenges. But rather than focusing on its problems, Ping instead concentrated on Ohio University’s potential.
During the nineteen years that Ping served as president, he guided Ohio University in scholarship, research, and service while substantially increasing the size of the campus through the acquisition of The Ridges. “What attracted me was, essentially, the richness of the campus in people and programs,” said Ping.
A Conversation about Ohio University and the Presidency, 1975–1994 is an edited version of the transcript of videotaped interviews recorded in May and June 2011. “It is a conversation between two old friends,” said Ping of the series of interviews conducted by Sam Crowl, Shakespearean scholar and now trustee professor emeritus.
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During the 1950s, a group of ambitious young African Americans enrolled at Ohio University, a predominantly white school in Athens, Ohio. Years later, eighteen of them decided to share their stories, recalling the joys and challenges of living on a white campus before the civil rights era.
“This volume is a companion to Ohio University in Perspective, which brought together the annual convocation addresses of President Ping from the years 1975 through 1984. Like the earlier volume, Ohio University in Perspective II provides an important window onto the world of Ohio University during the president’s second decade of service.