Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, said he advised his House members to use caution when dealing with Wright State University.
“I said use caution on everything because clearly they can’t handle themselves right now," he told the Dayton Daily News on Thursday.
Rosenberger's advice indicates a rupture in the relationship between the Miami Valley's largest four-year public university and state lawmakers.
Wright State University President David Hopkins said in a written statement: "I am deeply saddened to see Speaker Rosenberger’s comment. These recent allegations have been a challenge for us all. Where needed, we have taken steps to modify and/or design new processes to ensure best practice compliance in the operations of our university. I am extremely proud of how our faculty, staff, students and alumni have responded. And we are grateful for the ongoing support of our larger community. Speaker Rosenberger is a graduate of Wright State University and a greatly admired member of our family. I know he is disappointed. But the overwhelming evidence shows that our people are having a profound, positive impact on our students, the region and the state of Ohio. It is time for everyone to put these allegations in perspective and allow the ongoing reviews to be completed."
Rosenberger ordered a review of emails between Hopkins and outside economic development consultant Ron Wine. Rosenberger referred the matter to the Ohio Legislative Inspector General after it came to light that Wine advised Hopkins to ask Rosenberger for state funds and tell him that the Wright State community would host a political fundraiser for him.
Check out the Dayton Daily News previous coverage of Wright State University: