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Board of Trustees to discuss regional higher education recommendations during January meeting

Board will also consider capital projects, tuition recommendations

The Ohio University Board of Trustees will discuss OHIO’s regional higher education strategy and consider capital projects and tuition and fee changes, among other items, during its meetings on Jan. 17 and 18 at Walter Hall in Athens.

Following the meetings, Board members will attend a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the newly-renovated Ellis Hall on College Green.

Key agenda items, efforts and initiatives that OHIO’s Board and senior leadership are scheduled to discuss include:

Regional Higher Education discussion
When: Main Board meeting, 9:45 a.m. Jan. 18, Walter Hall 104

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis will lead a discussion on the long-term strategy for Regional Higher Education. The Trustees received the report of the Regional Higher Education Study Committee, which was delivered to President M. Duane Nellis on Nov. 1. Southern Campus Dean Nicole Pennington and Senior Vice Provost for Instructional Innovation Brad Cohen will present the report process and summary of findings.

President Nellis formed the committee in May to review and evaluate OHIO’s regional campus higher education model, and charged the committee with ensuring a sustainable future for educational access and education across the region. The committee benchmarked the regional higher education system, researched and identified other national models, analyzed internal trend cycles, and developed principles and recommendations for achieving an engaged, inclusive academic and resource model for the whole of our University.

The report describes a reimagining of OHIO’s campuses as vital locations in a dynamic engagement ecosystem and recommends reimagining the institution as one Ohio University. After the Board of Trustees’ input, the next step is to determine a pathway toward implementing these recommendations to unite, both structurally and culturally, all of OHIO’s campuses as one University.

Ohio University leadership visit to Malaysia and Japan
When: Main Board meeting, 9:45 a.m. Jan. 18, Walter Hall 104

Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies Lorna Jean Edmonds, Vice President for University Advancement Nico Karagosian, Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education Dean Renée Middleton, College of Business Dean Hugh Sherman and College of Arts and Sciences Interim Dean Joe Shields will lead a discussion on the November-December 2018 visit to Malaysia and Japan.

One highlight of the trip was Ohio University’s hosting of the 10th Tun Abdul Razak Lecture before a crowd of more than 1,000 in Malaysia. The visit, which was led by President Nellis, also included numerous alumni gatherings and meetings with partners in business, education and government that will provide benefits to academic programs all across the OHIO campus.

Capital projects
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, 1:45 p.m. Jan. 17, Walter Hall 104

The Board of Trustees will consider a resolution to approve new capital projects, including $56 million for the construction phase of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Phase 1 Academic Replacement Space. The scope of the project, which also includes $9 million in previously-approved funding, consists of construction of a new three-story building on the Union Street Green, across from the West Union Street Office Center. If approved, that project is anticipated for completion in Fiscal Year 2021.

The Board will also consider a budget amendment for the new Chilled Water Plant project. The amendment would add $725,000 to the already-approved $30.85 million project to allow for changes to the design of the chilled water plant based on input and recommendations from the University’s Architectural Design Advisory Committee. Other project budget amendments will be considered for the Konneker Alumni Center and renovations on The Ridges.

Tuition, fee and rate increases
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, 1:45 p.m. Jan. 17, Walter Hall 104

The Board will consider a resolution to approve tuition, fee and rate increases for incoming Athens and regional campus students of 3.5 percent. Ohio Revised Code states that tuition, fee and rate increases may increases at a rate no greater than the sum of the 60-month rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, estimated at 1.5 percent, plus the percentage amount increase authorized by the General Assembly. The administration’s recommendation assumes a 2 percent limitation on such increases will be authorized by the General Assembly before July 1, 2019.

The Board will also consider increases of 3.5 percent for Athens housing rates and 2 percent for Athens Campus Culinary Service rates. Additionally, the Board will consider increases to a pair of service fees from which students can choose to opt out. In both cases, the fees collected would be passed on to third party vendors.

These include the Student Legal Service Fee, which would go from $12 to $15 per student, and elective course charges that would be assessed to student accounts for essential course content and materials. The elective course fees could be modified each term to ensure that the charges assessed to students are equivalent to the cost paid to the third parties. The establishment of these charges must be consistent with fees authorized by the Ohio General Assembly.

Enrollment update
When: Academics and Student Success Committee, 10:15 a.m. Jan. 17, Walter Hall 104

Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali and Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management Craig Cornell will provide an update on Spring 2019 enrollment data and Fall 2019 recruitment and applications to date.

Highlights of the presentation will include spring semester preliminary enrollment results, as well as Fall 2019 application data, including perspectives on and comparisons to prior years’ application activity, as well as planning assumptions for the fall enrollment yield. A preliminary report of the Strategic Enrollment Executive Committee will also be presented.

Ohio Valley Center for Collaborative Arts (CoArts)
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, 1:45 p.m. Jan. 17, Walter Hall 104

The Board will be asked to approve the new Ohio Valley Center for Collaborative Arts (CoArts) within the Ohio University College of Fine Arts. The center is founded on the principle that place-based, collaborative arts and design are essential to regional development efforts, and can assist in addressing vital issues and building culturally inclusive and resilient communities.

CoArts will use resources in the College of Fine Arts to assist regional communities with their cultural and creative priorities while creating applied learning opportunities for faculty and students. It will be vital for extending and connecting the resources of the College within the University’s growing engagement ecosystem, as well as within the region’s arts and culture-based non-profits and government agencies. It will be the only arts-based research center at Ohio University and in the region.

Department of Social Work
When: Academics and Student Success Committee, 10:15 a.m. Jan. 17, Walter Hall 104

The Board will consider creation of a new department within the College of Health Sciences and Professions. The Department of Social Work previously existed within the College of Arts and Sciences, and was merged into the College of Health Sciences and Professions’ Department of Social and Public Health.

Due to the dramatic growth in enrollment in social work and programmatic development in the online Master of Social Work program, further enrollment growth is projected. The Department of Social and Public Health unanimously supported the creation of the new department, which was approved by the University Curriculum Council.

Change to Student Senate constitutional amendment process
When: Governance and Compensation Committee, 8:30 a.m. Jan. 18, Walter Hall 104

The Board will consider a resolution to enable Student Senate to make changes to its constitution without a final approval by the Board of Trustees. The resolution would also enable Student Senate to request an annual presentation to the Board of Trustees. Both requests were unanimously passed by Student Senate.

If approved, Student Senate would still be overseen and advised by the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Dean of Students, as well as a graduate advisor. Student Senate would operate as a student organization and follow all University policies and procedures, including the Student Code of Conduct. If the Board of Trustees approves the resolution, it would then go to a vote of the student body for final approval.

Support for first-generation students
When: Academics and Student Success Committee, 10:15 a.m. Jan. 17, Walter Hall 104

Executive Vice President and Provost Djalali and University College Dean and Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success Elizabeth Sayrs will provide an overview of mentoring programs designed to support first-generation students. A significant percentage of first-year students on the Athens Campus have reported being first-generation students, defined as neither parent having completed a bachelor’s degree.

While OHIO outperforms the national average for persistent and completion-rate gaps between first-generation students and the overall population, OHIO is committed to closing the gap completely as part of the overall goal of improving student success, persistence and graduation across the University.

The presentation is expected to include information about the College Achievement Program and OHIO First Scholars, as well as information from faculty and staff members and students with which they work.

The full agenda for the October Board of Trustees meeting can be found on the Trustees’ website. The main board meeting will be streamed live at this link.