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Board of Trustees holds summer meeting

Student housing, research discussed in Thursday, Friday sessions


At Friday's open session in Walter Hall, the Ohio University Board of Trustees reviewed findings from Thursday's committee meetings, approved the operational budget for FY20100 and applauded and discussed developments in the university.  Chief among these was the adoption of an Ohio University Vision Statement.

After Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis shared the new vision for the university with the board, Chair M. Marnette Perry addressed the assembled audience and her colleagues.

"I am so happy that the only word [in the Vision Statement] that we’re removing is 'draft,'" Perry said. "Today officially marks the day when we keep breathing life into our vision and letting our vision breathe life into us."

The board meeting featured a presentation, "University Spotlight: Center of Excellence, Energy and the Environment," by David Bayless, Loher Professor of Mechanical Engineering. It highlighted the interdisciplinary work researchers across the university, but especially in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, are doing toward energy and environmental innovation.

The Ohio University Board of Trustees heard updates on strategic and market analysis for planning to renovate campus residence halls and the progress of major information technology projects at committee meetings.

Trustees had asked for more information on residence hall renovations after university officials presented four options for financing renovations to 19 South Green residence halls at the April board meeting. Trustees wanted a more comprehensive look at the university's housing and capital master plans and more information about why renovations are necessary.

Two representatives from the facility and program management firm Brailsford and Dunlavey, with whom the university has contracted for planning services, presented a report at the Resources Committee meeting to provide some of that information.

To better understand the current status of residence halls the trustees toured a wide array of on-campus living options for students on Thursday.

The board expressed satisfaction with the progress of the Office of Information Technology's (OIT) Rufus Initiative, which, according to Chief Information Officer Brice Bible, is under budget and ahead of schedule.  In addition, OIT has been successful in their ongoing server consolidation efforts according to the report from the Academics Committee.

On Thursday, Bible outlined the savings and efficiencies that OIT has achieved in the past year through IT Realignment. Server consolidation has saved $1.6 million in equipment and staff costs and 379,351 kilowatt hours per year (KWH) in data center electricity usage. 

In other business, the board approved the fiscal year 2011 operating budget. This budget includes the Athens campus general fund, the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, University Outreach and regional campuses, and university auxiliary programs.

Board members had previously approved a 3.5 percent tuition and general fee increase for Athens undergraduates, a 2 percent increase in the Athens student dining fee and a 2.5 percent increase in the Athens housing fee at the April board meeting.

The board welcomed two new members, Kevin Lake and Danielle Parker. Lake is an alumnus of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and was formerly on the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees.

Parker is the new student trustee and is a sophomore majoring in public relations.

The board also said goodbye to National Trustee Charles Stuckey, who has served since 2005 and whose term has come to an end this year.

"He has done so much for this board and has been a really important voice," said Perry.

Stuckey will be replaced by Henry Heilbrunn, who was appointed to a three-year term. Heilbrunn is a 1973 OHIO alumnus and a member of the Scripps College Advisory Board. He has taught business courses for the College of Business in India and China.

Current national trustee, Frank Krasovec, was appointed to a new two-year term. The next iteration of national trustees will both have three-year terms, but will be staggered.

Also departing was Dennis Minichello, alumni representative.

"This has really been a gift," he said. "It has really been a wonderful experience. Not just because it has been a position of honor, but it has been an honor to serve with people who are so committed to this university."

The next meeting of the Ohio University Board of Trustees is scheduled for Sept. 2-3.