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Monday, Nov 24, 2014

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Trustees discuss academic quality, capital planning goals

Link to president's message available


The Ohio University Board of Trustees assessed an array of institutional goals and priorities today at the University's Pickerington Center.

Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit at the Academics committee meeting reviewed the academic quality indicators – such as retention, graduation rates and average ACT scores – that make up the University's dashboard. Benoit engaged the trustees in a discussion about the efficacy of the dashboard and emphasized that its usefulness lies in providing context and illustrating the complexities of these measures rather than as a means of simply tracking statistics.

The provost had created the dashboard last year in response to the trustees' desire to get a regular snapshot of the academic picture at OHIO. The tool also allows them a chance to delve deeper into the
meaning behind these numbers at meetings throughout the year.

Director of Sustainability Annie Laurie Cadmus and Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Ben Stuart presented the Resources committee with a draft of the University's Climate Action Plan. This plan, developed in conjunction with the Sustainability and Capital Improvement Plans, outlines strategies that will make the University campus carbon neutral by 2075 in accordance with the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment signed by President Roderick J. McDavis in 2007.

The CAP offers concrete benchmarks for reducing carbon emissions, and eventually achieving carbon neutrality, through four phases. The first phase, which will begin in early 2013 and run through 2018, addresses immediate reductions in carbon emissions through major initiatives like the Energy Savings Performance Contract Project and the replacement of the Lausche Heating Plant.
 
The Board also approved a five-year contract for McDavis, the terms of which will be retroactively effective as of July 1, 2012. The resolution approved by the Board indicates that the president will receive a 6.3 percent increase in base compensation and a 15 percent bonus. In the new contract, there is a provision for annual performance bonus eligibility based on the Board's assessment of accomplishments in the previous year.

Chair Gene Harris commended McDavis on his achievements from the time of his last review in January 2009.

According to Harris, "President McDavis has exhibited a remarkable capacity for hard work and an energetic commitment to advancing the University."

According to Harris, under his leadership, Ohio University increased undergraduate applications, improved the quality of the undergraduate student body, made a commitment to e-learning, and restructured academic programs and departments, with the goal of improving the standings of OHIO's academic and research programs.

The University has weathered severe budgetary cutbacks and now is on a firm financial footing. The implementation of responsibility centered management is establishing an efficient and sustainable business model.

Also under the leadership of McDavis, the University has begun investment in deferred maintenance and repairs across the University, and upgrades to its residence halls. The Promise Lives campaign is poised to achieve its $450M goal by 2015, and the University continues to receive positive recognition for the quality of its programs within the region, state and around the world.

The Board also took into consideration the compensation levels of his peers in the state. McDavis' total compensation under his previous contract had ranked ninth of 10 among presidents of public universities in Ohio according to the data gathered by the Chronicle of Higher Education for 2010-11.

"We believe that the proposed contract is an appropriate recognition of President McDavis' hard work and dedication and is in line with the compensation paid to presidents at comparable Ohio institutions," said Harris.

In other news, the Board passed:

  • A resolution approving a roof replacement for Kantner Hall and the Clippinger Chilled Water Distribution Project.

  • A resolution authorizing the University to enter into a lease with the Muskingum Community Center for 1.69 acres of land on the Zanesville campus and to execute documents and commit the approved University resources necessary to complete and manage the project.

  • A resolution to allow the Zanesville and Eastern campuses to jointly acquire a property in Cambridge, Ohio, for the purposes of offering courses in the areas of applied management, social work and general education to students in Guernsey County.

  • A resolution to establish the Center for Intervention Research in Schools. Faculty from the Department of Psychology will support the center, which will focus on research and training in school mental health in the United States.

  • A resolution approving an Entrepreneurship Certificate offered by the Management Department in the College of Business.

  • A resolution to adopt non-substantive editorial changes to the Board's bylaws.

To listen to President McDavis' report to the Board of Trustees, click here.