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President and executive staff address the Faculty Senate

Capital Improvement Plan, Bobcat BUY discussed

On Monday, President Roderick J. McDavis, joined by Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Vice President for Finance and Administration Stephen Golding, addressed the Faculty Senate during the organization's first meeting of the new year.

Capital Improvement Plan

McDavis spoke first and addressed three topics: the capital improvement plan; the proposed Enterprise University Plan winding through the state legislature and an update on Ohio University's international relations.

He first announced that the Board of Trustees had approved the first six-year installment of the capital improvement plan. This is the first part of a 20-year plan that was presented to the trustees that identified $2.57 billion in needed improvements over that time.

The Board approval allows borrowing to be one of multiple revenue sources used to fund the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The University anticipates borrowing a total of $1.4 billion over the 20 year period. The remainder of the $2.57 billion to fund the 20-Year Capital Improvement Plan will come from General Funds (tuition, fees and state support), gifts, and grants to fund CIP projects.

"We must take on this debt as a part of the funding strategy to improve and enhance the living learning experience of our students and to improve the facilities where our faculty teach," said McDavis.

Golding provided additional detail sharing that according to Sightlines, a private company retained by the University to monitor maintenance needs, the University's deferred maintenance needs currently cost approximately $78 per square foot. If the deferred maintenance is not addressed, within six years, the University deferred maintenance costs could surpass $100 per square foot, and it would be impossible to address the need, Golding said.

"We tried to put together a good assessment and put it forth to trustees," said Golding. "I thought they’d have significant angst at the size of the debt, but they have walked the campus and they see the need."

Enterprise University
McDavis also offered updates on the Governor’s proposed Enterprise University plan. He emphasized that the proposal continues to develop in the legislative process but that the current direction from the governor and chancellor appears to be focused on mandate relief.

Some examples of the potential mandate relief can be found on page 27 of the Enterprise University Plan (PDF). The specifics will continue to evolve as the proposal makes its way through the legislative process.

International relations
Before introducing Benoit, McDavis shared news of OHIO's successful meetings in Malaysia and Hong Kong.

McDavis was accompanied on this trip by Vice President for University Advancement Bryan Benchoff, Executive Director of the Center for International Studies Daniel Weiner, and Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations Graham Stewart. He explained that the University has approximately 2,400 alumni in Malaysia and maintains strong ties to the nation's government. OHIO also has more than 600 alumni currently living in Hong Kong.

Members of the Faculty Senate were pleased to hear about OHIO's international success, and Russ College of Engineering and Technology Senator Hajrudin Pasic inquired if the University was planning to expand its efforts into Saudi Arabia.

"We are working to constantly expand our international relationships," said McDavis. "We have a growing number of alumni in the Middle East."

Provost update
Benoit spoke with the Faculty Senate on the progress of the Parental Leave Task Force. She expects the group's recommendations in February.

Additionally, she discussed the 1804 Task Force on General Education. The task force presented elements of their preliminary report at the recent Board of Trustees meeting. She said that the task force will hold forums in the near future to share their report and to solicit feedback.

Bobcat BUY
Golding introduced Director of Procurement Services Laura Nowicki to share information on Bobcat BUY.

Nowicki gave a shortened version of the presentation found here (PowerPoint). She explained that this program is more efficient than paper purchasing orders, expands purchasing methods available to faculty and staff; and increases transparency by allowing purchasers to track their orders through the approval process.

Nowicki assured members of the Faculty Senate that the goal of Bobcat BUY is to be an efficient, cost-saving partnership.

She also said that there are no current plans to discontinue the PCard program.

The next meeting of the Faculty Senate will be Feb. 20.