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Left to right:.Shawnee State University President Rita Rice Morris, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis,Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents,Southern State Community College President Sherry Stout ...Press release:.....4/29/08..MEDIA ADVISORY..Ohio University to host Thursday signing of memorandum of understanding for new Higher Education Consortium of Southern Ohio..ATHENS, Ohio (April 29, 2008) ? Ohio University will host the signing of a memorandum of understanding that will create the Higher Education Consortium of Southern Ohio at noon, Thursday, May 1, in the Baker University Center President's Dining Room (located on the fourth floor). Media members are encouraged to attend the signing...The memorandum will make official the agreement between Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, and the five signatory institutions, Ohio University-Chillicothe, Ohio University-Southern, Rio Grande Community College, Shawnee State University and Southern State Community College, to form the HECSO for the purpose of increasing the number of southern Ohio residents attending postsecondary institutions and pursuing bachelor's degrees...The consortium was formed as a result of Fingerhut asking the leaders of the higher education institutions in a 15-county region in southern Ohio to find ways to support the University System of Ohio's goal of expanding college enrollment, improving graduation rates and expanding the impact of higher education on economic development. The 15 counties include: Adams, Athens, Brown, Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton...Scheduled attendees include Fingerhut, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, Rio Grande President Herman Koby, Shawnee State University President Rita Rice Morris and Southern State Community College President Sherry Stout.