COLUMBUS: Gov. John Kasich has named the higher education leaders who will lead collaboration on which construction projects Ohio’s public colleges and universities will include in next year’s capital budget.

Kasich kicked off the latest round of collaborative budget discussions at a meeting with about 20 college and university presidents Friday. The Republican governor has taken the unusual step of asking higher education institutions to cooperate rather than compete for state cash.

He named Ohio University president Roderick McDavis as chair and Southern State Community College president Kevin Boys as vice chair of the several-month effort.

Ohio’s roughly $400 million capital budget funds high-priority state government, higher education, school and community construction projects.

Budget Director Tim Keen says he anticipates slightly increased capital spending this budget cycle.