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Board of Trustees updated on Strategic Framework plan at October meetings

Published: October 11, 2019 Author: Staff reports

The Ohio University Board of Trustees received an update on the Ohio University Strategic Framework, as well as budget and enrollment projections, during its Oct. 10-11 meetings in Walter Hall on the Athens Campus.

The Board also approved new capital projects and heard an update on student conduct during the meetings.

Strategic Framework and General Education update

Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Brad Cohen, University College Dean and Senior Vice President for Undergraduate Education and Student Success Elizabeth Sayrs, and College of Business Marketing Department Chair Katherine Hartman provided an update on the Strategic Framework process, focusing on the general education curriculum, one of 11 initiatives included in the Framework.

The presentation included information on the recent history of general education reform, the need for reform, and the current process, principles and timeline for completing the revision of general education at Ohio University.

A core working team composed of faculty, along with a representative from the Provost’s office and Student Affairs, will lead the reform, with input from a 32-member advisory group from across campuses, including students. The core team will also work with Faculty Senate, the University Curriculum Council and other constituents through shared governance and open discussion and feedback opportunities. The goal is to implement a revised general education program in Fall 2021.

Strategic Enrollment Management update

The Board heard a presentation on the Fall 2019 census as compared to previous years, as well as enrollment milestones and records set this year across campuses and educational offerings at OHIO.

The presentation included a discussion of the Strategic Executive Enrollment Committee’s projections for FY21-25.

Financial update: FY19 year-end results, FY20 Forecast, Multi-year Budget Planning

Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah Shaffer provided an update on the year-end results for FY19, including the impact of FY19 actual costs on the University’s multi-year operating reserve projection.

The presentation included FY20 income statement forecasts and provided an update on the FY21-26 University Budget planning assumptions, process and timeline.

Capital projects

The Board approved a pair of new capital projects designed to improve ventilation and air quality in residence halls. The projects, estimated at $1.5 million for James Hall and $1.4 million for Washington Hall, will be funded by Housing and Residence Life. The Washington Hall project includes bringing chilled water to the building from the campus chilled water distribution loop, as well as controls for air conditioning.

Construction on both is expected to be completed during summer 2020.

The Board also approved a change in the budget for the Ridges Building 13, 14 and 18 renovation project. The Board shifted $1.08 million from the parking lot, site improvements and Ridges Building 20 demolition project and the Ridges utilities decentralization project to the Buildings 13, 14 and 18 project. No additional funding was requested.

Other business

In other business during the meetings, the Board:

  • Appointed Dr. Anna Harvey to serve as a National Trustee for a term beginning Oct. 11, 2019, and expiring May 14, 2022. Harvey, a 1988 Honors Tutorial College alumna, is the director of the Public Safety Lab and affiliated professor of law at New York University. She replaces former national trustee John Gainor.
  • Approved the mission statement of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation requires a written statement of mission and goals for the program that is updated at least once every five years, with approval from the institution’s governing board.
  • Leadership in the Division of Student Affairs presented a four-year comparison of conduct cases and conduct offenses. The report shows that the overall case load dropped for the fourth straight year, with alcohol and marijuana violations down 43 percent over a four-year period.
  • The Board heard a presentation on the annual Clery Act compliance report, which was released to the public Sept. 26. The report includes Annual Security Report and Annual Clery Fire Report data from calendar year 2018.
  • Approved the annual financial statements and footnotes as presented by management of the University, Ohio University Foundation, and subsidiaries, including Plante Moran’s audit opinions and reports for the year ending June 30, 2019.
  • Approved reviews of various centers and institutes around campus. Those that will continue include the Charles Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities; Center for the Intervention Research in Schools; Ohio Research Institute for Transportation and the Environment; Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment; Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute; Appalachian Rural Health Institute; and the Contemporary History Institute. Those being moved to academic review include the Schey Sales Center; Institute for Democracy in Education; George Hill Center for Counseling and Research; and the Center for Public and Social Innovation. Those being discontinued are the Center for Intelligent Chemical Instrumentation and the Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research.
  • Approved the establishment of the Center for Consumer Research and Analytics in the College of Business.
  • Approved establishing the Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion in the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Studies in the College of Health Sciences and Professions.
  • Accepted program reviews for the following programs: Political Science (College of Arts and Sciences); Counseling and Higher Education (Patton College of Education); Teacher Education (Patton College); Center for International Studies; Medical Assisting Technology (Regional Higher Education); Office Administration Technology (Regional Higher Education). The first five were considered viable. The Office Administration Technology program, housed at the Southern and Chillicothe campuses, was listed as in jeopardy.
  • Did not object to a change in Graduate Student Senate’s constitution.
  • Approved fees for several graduate programs effective with Spring Semester 2020.
  • Passed a resolution providing for the authorization, issuance and sale of up to $250 million in aggregate principal amount of general receipt bonds.
  • Heard a review of the new investment policy statement, which was approved by the Ohio University Foundation’s Investment Committee in September.
  • Received an update on the performance and progress of the Ohio University Student Investment program, in which two student organizations manage about $8.3 million of University long-term working capital funding. The Student Equity Management Group and the Fixed Income Management Group have maintained strong financial performance relative to their benchmarks.
  • Heard a presentation on the University’s processes for estimating design costs for construction projects.
  • Received an overview of recommendations for changes in alternative and supplemental retirement plans provided by the University, due to changes in state law and an evolving landscape for higher education retirement plans, with the goal of improving investment options and fees for faculty and staff and simplifying the retirement plan selection process.
  • Presented a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Joseph McLaughlin, former chair of Faculty Senate.

The full agenda for the October Board of Trustees meeting can be found on the Trustees’ website.