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Board of Trustees receives update on college collaborations

Published: January 14, 2022 Author: Staff reports

The leaders of three Ohio University colleges shared details of their cooperative efforts that serve as a national model for collaboration among medical, health sciences and public service colleges during the January Board of Trustees meetings this week.

The Board also received updates on the development of new programs and approved capital projects during the meetings. In addition, President Hugh Sherman presented an update on his five presidential priorities.

College collaborations

The deans of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, the College of Health Sciences and Professions and the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Service shared details of the collaboration among the three that allows for a range of programs, relationships with external partners and innovative initiatives that address the social determinants of health.

The scope of the colleges’ partners, campuses and networks spans the state and empowers a collective vision of a healthier Ohio. Recent efforts that were highlighted include the city-county vaccine clinics in Heritage Hall, partnerships including the Ohio Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health and the ARC INSPIRE Award, and expansion of existing programs such as the Community Health Workforce.

Academic Planning and Strategy update

Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs provided an update on the University’s academic planning and strategy, with an emphasis on new program development. This included details about goals and process improvements for new program launches, submissions to the University’s Program Innovation Accelerator, and a few recent examples that fill gaps in the University’s program portfolio to meet market demand.

The Program Innovation Accelerator was launched in 2021 to help remove barriers and provide support to faculty members and departments for developing and implementing new or expanded academic programs.

Enrollment update

Vice President for Enrollment Management Candace Boeninger provided an overview of preliminary Spring 2022 enrollment data. She reviewed 2021 statewide enrollment trends and provided an early update on the fall 2022 application cycle, as well as progress toward OHIO’s key enrollment priorities.

Capital expenses

The Board approved several new capital expenses, as well as an addition to the budget for construction of the Russ Research Opportunity Center.

Approved projects include:

  • Russ Research Opportunity Center: The Board approve an additional $1 million for the project, for a total budget of $32 million, to renovate the former West Union Street Office Center. This is to cover previously unforeseen conditions, such as necessary structural reinforcement and additional masonry work.
  • Research and Technology Center demolition: This $3.25 million project will fund demolition of the building and associated utilities, preserving the site for future use as part of Ohio University's portfolio reshaping initiative.
  • Athens Campus roof repairs: This $1 million project allows repairs to campus roofs that have become maintenance burdens. The facilities prioritized for project consideration include the Life Sciences Building, Konneker Research Center, Academic and Research Center, University Service Center Building 2, 31 S. Court St., RTV Communications, the Convocation Center and Gordy Hall.
  • Peden Tower roof replacement: This $600,000 project will address an actively leaking roof on Peden Tower.
  • HVAC controls, FY22: This $550,000 project will eliminate the highest-priority maintenance needs related to heating ventilation and air conditioning controls throughout the Athens Campus.

Information Technology road map

Chief Information Officer Chris Ament provided an update on the University’s technology investment road map through FY27, including discussion of the University’s IT strategy and major information and technology investments planned during that period.

The presentation included information about how the Office of Information Technology is reshaping operations, a road map and decision-making framework for major investments, and budget and funding considerations.

Financial update

Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration Joe Trubacz provided an update on the FY22 budget and forecast, as well as on COVID revenues and expenses.

Significant changes include updates to the University’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and compensation budgets. The review included an update of COVID-related expenses.

Emerging Leadership Academy

Four Ohio University faculty leaders who are participating in the Mid-American Conference Academic Leadership Development Program presented a new faculty development initiative they are designing and planning to launch. The Ohio University Emerging Leadership Academy will allow approximately 20 early- and mid-career faculty to explore and develop their abilities to become effective academic leaders each year.

Mick Andzulis, associate professor and chair of the marketing department in the College of Business; Char Miller, associate professor and interim director for the school of nursing in the College of Health Sciences and Professions; Dwan Robinson, associate professor of educational studies in the Patton College of Education; and Alycia Stigall, professor and chair of geological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences were chosen as 2021-22 MAC Academic Leadership Development Program fellows. Their goal is to launch the academy in Fall 2022.

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved emeriti status for a number of employees upon their retirement.
  • Suspended the Master of Financial Economics program in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Economics. There will be no loss of faculty or impact on current students.
  • Accepted the program review of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
  • Received an update on and toured the new Chemistry Building.
  • Reviewed the annual report on affiliated entities of the University. These are legal entities that are separate from the University, formed or operated to support a public purpose consistent with the mission of the University, and created, controlled or strongly influenced by the University, or which receives significant support from the University.
  • Approved the addition of funds to the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty and Graduate Student Research Support Fund quasi-endowment, which provides funding for research projects by faculty and graduate students across the college.
  • Allocated Century Bond funding that was not used in FY21 to the University’s space portfolio reduction projects to fund deferred maintenance, demolition, site and space improvements, and related costs to address ongoing maintenance issues.
  • Approved the University’s annual efficiency report, which was submitted to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Ohio’s public universities are required to submit a report each year as part of the state’s efforts to maintain efficiency in the state’s higher education system.

The full Board of Trustees agenda is available at https://www.ohio.edu/trustees.