Ohio University

Board of Trustees to consider new, in-demand programs during May meeting

Published: April 29, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The Ohio University Board of Trustees will consider a proposal for no increase to tuition, room and board rates for undergraduate students for FY2021 during its meeting on May 11.

The Board will also consider the creation of several new programs, as well as the realignment of University Terrace. The meeting will be conducted online in accordance with Ohio House Bill 197, which allows for public meetings to be conducted in an online environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic through Dec. 1, 2020. The meetings will be held from 9:30 a.m. until noon May 11, 2020, and will be streamed online for media and public access.

Proposed tuition/fee rates for FY21
Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee

In recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families, the Board will be asked to consider a resolution for no increase to undergraduate tuition, room and board rates for Academic year 2020-21.

The Board also will be asked to adopt a new policy to provide in-state tuition rates to graduate students who earned their bachelor’s degrees from an Ohio institution of higher education. This policy was requested by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Higher Education to enhance the likelihood that students will continue their education in Ohio. If the Board approves, the policy will then be sent to the Ohio Department of Higher Education for approval. The financial impact of the new policy is expected to be small and could be offset by increased graduate student enrollment as a result of the policy.

This would not apply to the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has a distinct affordability-based tuition model and well-established efforts to encourage graduates to stay in Ohio. The Board will also consider a 2% increase in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s tuition and medical resource fee, as well as program fee increases for two Russ College of Engineering and Technology master’s degree programs.

Disaster operations
Governance and Compensation Committee

The Board will consider a resolution that authorizes the president, now and in the future, to oversee and direct all steps necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the campus community when faced with a national, state or local state of emergency declaration, in consultation to the extent practicable with leadership of the Board of Trustees and the University. It also reaffirms the authority of the president to make staffing, operational and financial decisions necessary to maintain the essential functions and viability of the institution critical to carrying out the University’s mission in the immediate and long-term future.

The resolution also ratifies and affirms all staffing, operational and financial decisions made by the president related to the COVID-19 pandemic since the state of emergency declaration issued by Gov. DeWine on March 9, 2020.

New program creation
Academics and Student Success Committee

The Board will be asked to consider the addition of a number of new programs across the University. They are:

  • Bachelor of Applied Human and Consumer Sciences Degree in Hospitality Management in the Restaurant, Hotel and Tourism program in the Patton College of Education.
  • Master of Education in Theater Education in the Department of Teacher Education in the Patton College of Education.
  • Master of Science in Project Management in the Department of Engineering Technology and Management in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
  • Master of Science in Translational Biomedical Sciences in the Graduate College.
  • Master of Sustainability, Security and Resilience in the Environmental Studies program in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

The new program proposals reflect Ohio University’s commitment to investing in new, in-demand programs identified as areas of growth for the University. All programs have been approved by the University Curriculum Council.

Undergraduate Scholarship Match Program extension
Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee

The Board will consider extending the Undergraduate Scholarship Match Program, originally scheduled to end June 30, 2019, and previously extended to June 30, 2020, until June 30, 2024. The campaign was temporarily delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program was originally created with $25 million dedicated to strengthening the endowed scholarship program, including $16.5 million for general undergraduate scholarships and $8.5 million for targeted scholarship programs. The Board authorized use of the funds as a matching program, with 50 cents to match every dollar committed to eligible scholarship endowments.

University Terrace realignment
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee

The Board will consider a capital project to realign University Terrace. The realignment, part of the overall Clippinger strategy plan, would alter the path of the roadway so that it is not immediately adjacent to the Chemistry Building to decrease the risk associated with vehicle-pedestrian interactions in the area of Clippinger Hall and the Chemistry Building.

This project would include demolition and removal of the existing roadway between Race Street and South Green Drive and building a new one aligned further from the building and with an adjusted elevation to improve accessibility and integration with adjacent buildings and sidewalks. It would include two new public transit stops, as well as site restoration.

If approved, the project would cost $1.87 million, with construction to occur during the second half of 2020. The realignment would be between the Clippinger Research Annex and the north side of Clippinger Laboratories.

University Brand project update
Academics and Student Success Committee

Vice President for University Communications and Marketing Robin Oliver will present an update on the University’s brand strategy, including an overview of the brand discovery phase, a brand positioning statement and summary, and a timeline for brand platform development.

The development of a clear brand message strategy is one of President M. Duane Nellis’ strategic initiatives. This branding vision will lift the OHIO brand and improve our reputation regionally and nationally and bolster enrollment and recruitment efforts.

Collective Bargaining Agreement extension
When: Governance and Compensation Committee

The Board will consider a tentative agreement between Ohio University and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Ohio Council 8, Local 1699, for the period of March 1, 2020, to March 1, 2023. The union represents approximately 560 skilled trade, maintenance and food service employees.

The two parties previously approved a collective bargaining agreement for March 1, 2017, to March 1, 2020, and an extension was mutually agreed upon by both to continue good-faith negotiations on a new agreement. The agreement outlines the wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment for these employees.

The tentative agreement is subject to ratification by the AFSCME members and the approval of the Ohio University Board of Trustees.

The full agenda for the May 11 Board of Trustees meeting can be found on the Trustees’ website. The board meeting will be streamed live at this link.