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Feb 24, 2017 07:50 AM EST

Ohio University Names Former Texas Tech President As New Leader

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Former Texas Tech president M. Duane Nellis has been announced as the 21st president of Ohio University. Nellis is also known for being a proponent of developing university research.

The announcement was made on Wednesday morning by Ohio University's Board of Trustees, The Columbus Dispatch reported. A special meeting was held at the school's Dublin campus, which is the location of a new branch of its Heritage College of Ostheopathic Medicine as well as other health-sciences programs.

M. Duane Nellis will be taking over the role of former OU president Roderick J. McDavis. McDavis resigned earlier this month, on Feb. 17, to work with a national search firm that helps with higher education-related jobs.

According to ABC6, David Descutner is serving as interim president before Nellis officially takes on the role in a few months. Descutner is a former dean and executive vice provost.

Nellis was among the four finalists after a national search. The other three withdrew from consideration.

The former Texas Tech president will be starting his six-year term on Jul. 1. He will have an initial annual base salary of $475,000, as per Ohio University's announcement.

Nellis said that he is thrilled to become a part of the university, which he described as one of the nation's "best transformative learning communities." He added that the school is committed to focused teaching, student access and scholarly research.

He has background in earth sciences, focusing on mapping, satellite sensing, land and water resources as well as geospatial analysis. He was also able to teach, conduct research and work in administrative positions with Kansas State University. He was the University of Idaho's president from 2009 to 2013 before he worked for Texas Tech.

The incoming Ohio University president will be formally hired at next month's Board of Trustees' meeting. The Board is finalizing his contract as well as his wife's contract, who is set to be paid $35,000 a year for her role as first lady of the institution.

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