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Board of Trustees discusses new scholarships, strategic plan and campus master plan

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 13, 2005) -- Ohio University's Board of Trustees met on Thursday, Oct. 13, in Athens, where the board approved several university business initiatives and was updated on the latest happenings.

During his report to the board, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis discussed the new Appalachian Scholars Program, first-year enrollment, students' civic responsibility and a mid-year 1 percent pay raise for employees.

The president said his goal is to enroll 10 new Appalachian Scholars in fall 2006. The need-based program was created to reward students from the 29 Appalachian Ohio counties who demonstrate enthusiasm, motivation to succeed and academic achievement. He also was proud of the fact that the scholarship will place students at all six Ohio University campuses. McDavis announced that he and his wife, Deborah, have made a $10,000 gift to the program.

McDavis announced that all administrative and classified employees will receive across-the-board 1 percent raises. He said some faculty members would receive an increase that will be allocated by the colleges according to last year's annual peer evaluation process, focusing the limited funding on the top-performing faculty.

He also updated the board on the university's plan to conduct national searches for the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice President for University Advancement positions, new marketing and public relations initiatives, and the most recent development and alumni office activities.

Provost Krendl provided an update on the strategic planning process. Her report noted that a series of open forum sessions for faculty and staff met over the summer to address questions and discuss the plan. The provost said she is completing meetings with all academic departments and schools, as well as regional campuses, and has met with Classified and Administrative senates, in order to bring the discussion and feedback processes to completion by Oct.15. The discussions have focused on the ways in which each academic program and planning unit will contribute to the goals of Vision Ohio. The forums have also been used to respond to questions related to the planning document and identify strategies for realizing goals, as well as barriers that need to be addressed. Based on the feedback, changes are being incorporated into the Vision Ohio plan. Krendl said the next steps involve the work of 10 implementation teams, involving more than 150 faculty, staff and students, to put the plan in place by the end of this academic year.

The board also approved the university's plans to finish several projects. They include a new residence hall, Alden Library Master Plan, Integrated Learning and Research Facility, a sewer system addition at the Ohio University Airport, and roadway and parking improvements at the Chillicothe Campus.

"Ohio University is committed to creating a distinct and unique educational experience for our students. The development of projects such as the new residence hall, Integrated Learning and Research Facility, and the Alden Library initiative, directly impact our students' learning and living environments," said McDavis. "We continue to make improvements that are necessary to offer the best possible educational opportunity for current and future Ohio University students."

The proposed $24 million residence hall to be constructed on the South Green will consist of 350 beds and will open in fall 2007. The $150,000 master plan for the library will allow for reorganization, and upgrades to technology, mechanical systems and the interior.

The approximately $30 million Integrated Learning and Research Facility will serve the colleges of Engineering and Technology, Osteopathic Medicine, Health and Human Services, Fine Arts and Arts and Sciences and open in fall 2009. It will be funded by a $10 million grant from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and private gifts raised by the Russ College of Engineering and Technology and University Advancement.

The $300,000 sewer system project will connect the airport to the Village of Albany's sewer system by September 2006. The $480,000 Chillicothe project will improve the roadway and reconfigure the parking lot adjacent to the Shoemaker Center.

The board authorized the university to seek construction contracts for several projects. These include the Life Science Research Facility addition in Athens, science laboratory rehabilitation and office addition at the Eastern Campus, a roof replacement at Elson Hall on the Zanesville Campus and a new child development and family services center at the Chillicothe Campus.

The board also approved a capital improvements plan for fiscal years 2007-12 that will soon be submitted to the Ohio Board of Regents.

The board also approved:

  • The name change of the Global Learning Community to the Global Leadership Center. The new name will better describe the purpose of the program and cause less confusion.
  • The name change of the Telecommunications Center to the WOUB Center for Public Media to better reflect the nature of its services and delivery systems.
  • Conferral of automatic emeritus/emerita status to several longtime employees upon their retirement.
  • A new category of membership in The Ohio University Foundation Board entitled Presidential Trustees.
  • Authorization to the president to approve all policies and procedures that are adopted to improve the operation and efficiency of the university.
  • The delegation of authority, particularly signature authority, to the president or his designated officers, with the provision the president may alter the delegation of authority in consultation with the executive committee of the Board of Trustees.

The board heard reviews of the following:

  • The Center for Higher Education
  • Center for Automatic Identification Education and Research
  • Central Region Humanities Center, which will be discontinued
  • The revised reporting protocol concerning student sexual assault incidents

The board heard seven-year reviews of the following academic programs:

  • Accountancy, Marketing, Management Systems, Human and Consumer Sciences, and Recreation and Sports Sciences

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Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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