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Portman Center to open at the University of Cincinnati

rob portman
John Minchillo

The University of Cincinnati and former U.S. senator Rob Portman announced the creation of the Portman Center for Policy Solutions.

On Tuesday, the university's Board of Trustees voted to approve the project that will be located within the School of Policy and International Affairs.

The center will host an annual bipartisan political symposium and other academic programs intended to promote collaboration and comprise among UC students.

UC says the Portman Center will focus on developing future leaders from across the political spectrum and will put an emphasis on civility and bipartisan engagement.

In a statement released by the university, Portman said the project will help young people find common ground in a divisive political landscape.

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"Too many are understandably turned off by excessive partisanship, gridlock and harsh language in today's political dialogue," he wrote. "The Center will highlight specific examples of successful legislative efforts to introduce students to public officials from both parties who have successfully worked across the aisle to achieve results for their constituents. Such collaboration is the only way to find solutions to our nation's toughest problems."

Portman, a Republican, served as Ohio's U.S. senator from 2010 to 2022, when he decided not to seek re-election, blaming worsening "partisan gridlock" in Congress.

The Portman Center will provide internships and co-op opportunities, as well as scholarship support for UC students.

RELATED: Portman talks legacy, shares thoughts on future of Republican Party

Portman plans to work with the University of Cincinnati Foundation to raise funds for the center's endowment and has a goal of raising $5 million for student scholarships.

He will also donate U.S. House and Senate papers to be used by fellows to learn about how politicians solve differences and find common ground on major issues.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.