Governor John R. Kasich and Chancellor Jim Petro today announced the appointment of State Senator Gary Cates as Senior Vice Chancellor for the division of Innovation and Enterprise Development at the Ohio Board of Regents. In his position the senator will lead enterprise and innovation priorities for the University System of Ohio including the establishment of charter or enterprise universities. Cates will join the Board of Regents on May 23, 2011.
“Senator Cates has long been a champion of higher education and the need to align education for the specific needs of our state and future,” said Chancellor Petro. “The governor and I have known Senator Cates for many years and know that he brings strong leadership in education and innovation, along with a reputation for aggressively moving forward important initiatives on behalf of all Ohioans.”
Cates, who is currently in his second Senate term, represents the people of Ohio’s 4th Senate District, which includes all of Butler County. He is a member of the Senate Education Committee and the Health, Human Services and Aging Committee, as well as the Highways and Transportation Committee – which is responsible for the multi-billion state transportation budget. Cates has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Miami University for the past year.
Cates previously served as chairman of the Education Committee and the State and Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee, and is also a former ex officio member of the Ohio School Facilities Commission, Ohio Board of Regents, and the Ohio State Board of Education. Prior to joining the Senate, Cates served four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives and was Speaker Pro Tempore – the chamber’s number-two leadership post – for two of those terms. Senator Cates is a graduate of one of the first nationally visible charter universities, Virginia Tech, and earned his master’s degree of business administration from the University of Dayton. He and his wife Jill have two sons, Andrew who is enrolled at Cincinnati State, and Brenton who will attend the University of Cincinnati next year.