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Chancellor Seeks Mandate Relief for Ohio Colleges

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio's higher education chief has released details of a program for easing regulations on public universities if they agree to give up some state money.

Chancellor Jim Petro posted his proposal online Wednesday for creating semi-private enterprise or charter universities. He has scheduled a question-and-answer session with administrators and reporters Thursday.

Petro's plan would begin by loosening state mandates on all 14 public universities, then move into a second phase when they'd be offered the chance for enterprise status and more relief from state regulations. The proposal would allow university boards to set their own terms, discuss proprietary information behind closed doors and settle small lawsuits or spend allocated funds without outside approval.

University officials have been supportive of the idea.