Ohio University

Board of Trustees to consider scholarship match program during June meetings

Published: June 5, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The Ohio University Board of Trustees will consider a continuing budget resolution for the beginning of Fiscal Year 2021 and receive key administrative updates during its meetings on June 18 and 19.

The Board also will consider expansion of the Associate of Technical Study program within regional higher education and needed building repairs during the meetings.  The meetings 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 10:15 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. on June 18, 2020, and from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on June 19, 2020, and will be streamed online for media and public access.

FY21 Continuing Budget resolution
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, June 18

The Board of Trustees will be asked to approve a continuing budget resolution for the beginning of FY2021, with a final budget recommendation to come before the Board in August.

This temporary budget allows University operations to continue uninterrupted beginning July 1. While the Board would normally consider the final budget at the June meeting, the multi-year impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet quantifiable, and projections for enrollments and state support remain dynamic and tenuous.

The University remains committed to limiting the uses of operating reserves and will prioritize the University’s student-centered mission in developing budget balancing strategies.

Current-Use Scholarship Program creation
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, June 18

The Board will consider a resolution to create the Current-Use Scholarship Program to leverage institutional financial aid dollars to encourage current-use undergraduate scholarship gifts.

Current-use gifts are available to be used immediately to meet the University’s near-term financial needs and support recruitment and retention efforts. University administrators will recommend the new program, which will match $1 of budgeted University scholarship funds with every $1 contributed by donors on or before June 30, 2021, when the donations are made to accounts that meet eligibility criteria previously approved for The OHIO Match — Undergraduate Scholarship Match Program.

Individual, named current-use accounts would be established with a donor gift of at least $10,000. Donors with lower giving capacities may participate by contributing to pooled university-wide, college-wide or regional campus scholarship accounts created for the program.

These funds would be used before University general funds are used for the same purpose to provide additional flexibility and promote good donor stewardship.

Administrative update
Academics and Student Success Committee, June 18

Ohio University administrators will provide updates on a variety of important topics.

  • Vice President for University Communications and Marketing Robin Oliver will share an update on the progress of the strategic initiative to elevate the University’s marketing and branding, including visual concepts and information about new leadership and services within University Communications and Marketing and across regional campuses.
  • Director of Athletics Julie Cromer will provide an update on Intercollegiate Athletics, including graduation and academic success, well-being initiatives, compliance and regulatory systems enhancements, and impacts of the ongoing evolution of the collegiate athletics landscape.
  • Administrators will provide an update on the realignment of Regional Higher Education programs to academic colleges based on the Athens Campus, which take effect in Fall 2020. Alignments to academic colleges are based on discipline or area of expertise.

Expansion of Associate of Technical Study program
Academics and Student Success Committee, June 18

The Board will consider expanding the Associate of Technical Study program on regional campuses to better meet educational and workforce needs for economic development and job enrichment. The program offers a degree option for students who complete a Career-Technical Credit Transfer program.

The expansion will create Associate of Technical Study programs in Building and Industrial Technology, Business Technology, Health and Allied Health Technology, Information Technology, and Service Technology.

Capital projects
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, June 18

The Board will consider two capital projects to make critical building repairs.

  • Ping Center Roof Replacement: If approved, this project, estimated at $3.3 million, would replace the roof and associated roof drains that have deteriorated, creating a maintenance burden and requiring replacement. Ohio University’s Internal Building Assessment Team identified the project as the greatest Athens Campus building envelope need.
  • Alden Chilled Water tie-in: If approved, this $1.25 million project will provide tie-in stubs to new campus chilled water distribution lines. This project is necessitated by failing cooling equipment of the primary and secondary chillers in Alden Library, which also feed Scripps Hall and Walter International Education Center.

Capital Improvement Plan update
Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, June 18

Administrators will present an update on revisions to the University’s Capital Improvement Plan necessitated by financial impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus will be on FY21-22 projects, but the University’s review of capital projects includes any projects with expected expenditures in FY21-22, including those in design and under construction.

The presentation will cover the review process to determine which projects are critical and must continue, which can be delayed or canceled, and which require further review. University leadership re-examined deferred maintenance and programmatic priorities in conjunction with operating budget constraints and anticipates reducing scheduled FY21-22 project starts from $102 million to $13 million, an 87% reduction.

Classified Civil Service modernization
When: Governance and Compensation Committee, June 19

The Board will consider a resolution to modernize classified civil service rules for Ohio University’s classified non-bargaining unit employees to more effectively respond to changing workforce needs. This would address outdated regulations regarding non-bargaining staff in order to achieve operational efficiencies.

Areas with proposed rule changes include performance, discipline and termination processes, employee appointments and leaves, and the layoff and reduction-in-force process.

Title IX regulation update
When: Governance and Compensation Committee, June 19

Administrators will provide an overview of changes made in the U.S. Department of Education’s new Title IX regulations, which were issued in March 2020. This includes details on the definition of sexual harassment, jurisdiction, definitions of and obligations related to complaints and more.

The presentation will include the new regulations and changes from previous policies. The U.S. Department of Education has mandated that all institutions be in compliance with new regulations by August 2021.

The full agenda for the June 18-19 Board of Trustees meetings can be found on the Trustees’ website. The Thursday board meeting will be streamed live at this link. The Friday board meeting will be streamed live at this link.