Shawnee State University (SSU) is a public university in southern Ohio. It is Ohio's newest state-supported university and lies on the north bank of the Ohio River in the city of Portsmouth in Scioto County.
Shawnee State University was established in 1986. The late Vernal Riffe Jr., the former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, sponsored House Bill 739 authorizing the university, which became law on July 2, 1986. Vernal G. Riffe also endowed funding for a state of the art "Center for the Arts," which was named The Vern Riffe Center for the Arts in his honor.
SSU has a low student/faculty ratio of 18:1, and provides more than $1.5 million in scholarships. In the 2008–09 academic year, enrollment reached 4,300 students.
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