The Northeast Ohio Universities Collaboration and Innovation Study Commission—as created by the Ohio General Assembly as part of House Bill 699 in December 2006—was charged with exploring ways to leverage the individual strengths of the public universities through collaborative strategies and efforts to promote greater access and affordability for students and an overall improved quality of higher education in Northeast Ohio.
As outlined in the legislation, the Study Commission charge was to "develop a plan and [may] make legislative or other logistical recommendations for the following, with respect to the University of Akron, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, and Youngstown State University:
- Strategic and purposeful collaboration among the institutions;
- Partnering among the institutions of both undergraduate and graduate academic programs;
- Sharing of at least some governance mechanisms, particularly as they relate to common basic functions, among the institutions;
- Development of a coordinated approach to the academic and administrative roles of public higher education in North East Ohio, while maintaining the separate identities of the institutions."
The Commission submitted is recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly in December 2007. Its key recommendations urge adoption of strategies to increase the number of college graduates in the region, and expansion of collaborations among the schools to strengthen the region’s research momentum and focus university programs on critical regional economic needs and opportunities.
NOCHE served as the fiscal agent and provided professional support for the Study Commission.