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Published: Wednesday, 3/8/2006

UT-MUO merger backed as research funding magnet

BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - Merging the University of Toledo and the Medical University of Ohio into what would be the third-largest university in the state budget would give it new clout in attracting research dollars to northwest Ohio, the man who would be the new UT president told a Senate committee yesterday.

"Initially, there will be an immediate improvement in the rankings of both institutions in terms of research grants gained and research productivity," said Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, current MUO president.

"The establishment of an approved cancer center in northwest Ohio requires a certain base level of research support," he said. "Currently, neither MUO nor UT possesses that level of support.

"Together, it is a feasible goal to reach for a National Cancer Institute cancer center designation."

The Senate Finance Committee plans to approve the bill next week. No one has opposed the merger before the General Assembly. The House unanimously approved the bill last month, and it appears to be on track for equally swift Senate passage.

The merger of the two institutions into one with a $650 million annual budget and 21,000 students is tentatively set to take effect July 1, but it would not be entirely complete until the combined board of trustees is whittled down from 17 members to nine in 2014.



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