Ohio University Board of Trustees approve design phase of renewal strategy for the College of Fine Arts facilities, next steps for Ridges Development Plan during June meetings
The Ohio University Board of Trustees reviewed the College of Fine Arts’ strategy for its facilities and new green – a vision that is intended to enhance the student experience and prioritize student-centric spaces that foster increased opportunities for creative and interdisciplinary collaboration – during meetings June 15-16 on the Athens campus.
Vice President for Enrollment Management Candace J. Boeninger also shared an update regarding OHIO’s latest incoming student enrollment projections for fall 2023, which are currently trending slightly ahead of the record-breaking enrollments in 2022. She also provided an overview of the federal government’s planned updates to the FAFSA application and outlined the opportunity for OHIO to provide further support and guidance for students during the financial aid process.
Additionally, the Board received an update from Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs and Vice Provost for Faculty Development Katie Hartman on the University’s ongoing faculty retention efforts and heard from Dr. Dwan Robinson, associate professor in educational administration, about their work to enhance overall faculty mentoring, development and retention strategies.
Highlighted items on the Board agenda include:
College of Fine Arts Facilities renewal strategy
The Board reviewed the strategy for the future of the College of Fine Arts facilities and approved a resolution for the $14 million design phase of the project.
The presentation showcased the ambitious facilities renewal strategy and how, through a combination of renovation, relocation and new construction, it will both transform arts education at OHIO and enable the arts to make a greater impact across campus, the community and the surrounding region.
The college’s forward-looking strategy also aims to prioritize creating student-centric areas that will encourage the cross-college collaboration that is necessary to help students gain the varied, vital skills needed for a successful career in the arts.
The total projected project cost is $94.2 million, with $50 million allocated from the Violet Patton estate and $36 million allocated from Century Bond and State Capital. This strategy will also allow the University to divest of Kantner Hall and Central Classroom Building, resulting in savings of utility and maintenance costs and offsetting significant deferred maintenance needs.
EVPP Sayrs and Dean of the Graduate College and Interim Vice President for Research David Koonce highlighted OHIO’s Carnegie Research One (R1) classification and how OHIO compares to other research universities.
Dr. Koonce explained that OHIO obtained its prestigious R1 status through a combination of organic growth, investing in doctoral students, and research and working alongside faculty who are committed to engaging at the highest levels of research and creative activity.
The Board received an update on the work of the Provost’s Carnegie Task Force and its recommendations for providing increased support for OHIO’s R1 status through improved research reporting, including the increased role that community-engaged research can play in the University’s research efforts.
Division of Student Affairs update
The Board received an update from Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Lyn Redington regarding the Division of Student Affair’s recent accomplishments, staffing updates and how the Division’s portfolio of student-focused resources and support offerings are positively impacting OHIO.
Dr. Redington noted that the Division’s combination of well-being, engagement and leadership resources are providing OHIO students with a welcoming and healthy environment that enables them to get involved, discover their potential and grow as student leaders and professionals who are positioned to positively impact their communities.
Six-year Capital Improvement Plan and Capital projects
The Board of Trustees approved a resolution for the six-year capital improvement plan (FY25-FY30), as well as the FY24 annual capital improvement plan.
Each project over $500,000 will be presented to the Board for approval prior to execution.
At this Board meeting, the College of Fine Arts’ renewal strategy and the following projects were approved including:
- Bush Airport Apron Rehabilitation: The Board approved a resolution to reconstruct and strengthen the pavement for heavier aircraft, correct surface drainage issues to extend the life of the pavement, and remark runaways to restore visibility. This $3.17 million project is funded by external grant funding, institutional reserves and departmental funding.
- Washington Hall Student Rooms Flooring and Cabinetry Update: The Board approved a resolution to replace the cabinetry and flooring in the student rooms in Washington Hall. This $2.1 million project is funded by housing department reserves.
- Gamertsfelder Student Room Flooring Update: The Board approved a resolution to replace the flooring in the student rooms in Gamertsfelder Hall. This $1.2 million project is funded by housing department reserves.
- Walter Hall 235 Classroom Renovation: The Board approved a resolution to renovate the Walter Hall 235 classroom to transform this traditional lecture hall into an active learning classroom by removing the existing tiers, upgrading room finishes and installing flexible furniture that will aid in collaborative learning experiences. This $550,000 project is funded by central University funding designated for classroom improvements.
- Main Switchyard and Lausche Plant Control Battery Bank: The Board approved a resolution to remove the current battery banks used for control power of two major substations on campus and replace them with a centralized system located adjacent to the West Green Chilled Water Plant. This $512K project is funded by residual century bond Energy Infrastructure Projects funding.
Campus Space Optimization Initiative
Associate Vice President for University Planning Shawna Wolfe presented an update on the Campus Space Optimization Initiative.
She explained how the initiative is aimed at developing an enterprise space model that looks at all OHIO campuses and how it can be leveraged to meet the University’s needs in a flexible, transparent and financially responsible manner.
Wolfe also noted that they are in their final documentation phase and will be bringing forward the plan later this fall.
Designation of specific buildings and areas of The Ridges as surplus property
The Board approved a resolution to designate certain historic buildings and limited areas of land at The Ridges campus as surplus to prepare the area for transfer to the Ridges Community Development LLC.
Additionally, the resolution outlines that the sale will require that all property be part of the Ridges New Community Authority and must include deed restrictions as determined by Ohio University.
The resolution also contained a conservation easement on the majority of the Ridges land to restrict and limit new development and to protect the current uses of the land. Of the 700 acres at The Ridges, approximately 77% of the acreage will be placed under the conservation easement; less than 25 acres will be transferred for development.
The Board also approved a resolution for the creation of a condominium association to preserve the character of the historic campus and to ensure Ohio University’s ongoing entitlements and privileges in this area.
The Board’s latest approvals follow multiple community conversations regarding the future of The Ridges and collaborative input that outlined the ways that OHIO and the surrounding community can work together to best preserve its historical buildings and the land – the main goal of The Ridges Framework Plan – which was approved in 2015.
Resolution to designate surplus property on OHIO’s Eastern campus
The Board approved a resolution to designate the Health and Physical Education Center (HAPEC) and the Science and Engineering Building, and related parking areas and access road on the Ohio University Eastern campus as surplus property. This approval will allow the University to explore the sale of property.
In other business, the Board approved:
- Several new health and workforce development-focused certificate offerings that will help prepare students to serve in a variety of growing professional fields, including Appalachian Health, Automation Technology, Child Language and Literacy, Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Mechatronics Technician, Principal Leadership and Licensure, Real-Estate Pre-Licensure, Quality Improvement in Healthcare, and Technical and Applied Studies.
- A resolution to elect David Moore as secretary of the Ohio University Board of Trustees beginning July 1, 2023, and ending June 30, 2024.
- A resolution to elect Mark Heil as treasurer of the Ohio University Board of Trustees beginning July 1, 2023, and ending June 30, 2024.
- A resolution to elect Dick Dickerson as a national trustee of the Ohio University Board of Trustees beginning June 17, 2023, and ending June 30, 2025
- A resolution to elect Cary Cooper as a national trustee of the Ohio University Board of Trustees beginning Aug, 19, 2023, and ending June 30, 2026.
- A resolution to revise the Student Code of Conduct to include the following changes:
- Inclusion of a procedural definition of Community Standards Conference within Part C: Definition of Terms of the Code.
- Inclusion of student organizations in the interim measures section, Part I: Interim Measures, Interim Suspension, and State of Emergency. This formalizes the process for student organizations to have interim measures put in place while the investigation process is ongoing.
- A change in the appeal process for interim suspension from three days to five days in Part I: Interim Measures, Interim Suspension, and State of Emergency, Section 2: Interim Suspension or Interim Suspension of Housing to have consistency in the Code.
- A resolution to establish a Bachelor of Data Analytics degree in University College.
- A resolution to relocate the Center for International Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences and the Scripps College of Communication.
- A resolution to rename the Master of Accountancy program in the College of Business to the Master of Accountancy and Analytics.
- A resolution to rename the Environmental Water Resources program in the College of Arts and Sciences to Environmental Geoscience.
- A resolution to rename the Bachelor of Science in Education in Moderate to Intensive Educational Needs program in the Patton College of Education to the Bachelor of Science in Education in Intervention Specialist Dual License.
- A resolution to suspend the Bachelor of Science in Education in Mild to Moderate Educational Needs program in the Patton College of Education.
- A resolution to suspend the Environmental Engineering Technology program in the College of Health Sciences and Professions.
- A resolution to suspend the Cardiovascular Perfusion program in the College of Health Sciences and Professions.
- A resolution to suspend the Accounting Technology program in the College of Business.
- A resolution to suspend the French Education and French programs in the Patton College of Education.
- A resolution to accept program reviews the following programs:
- English in the College of Arts and Sciences
- Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences
- Dance in the College of Fine Arts
- Social and Public Health in the College of Health Sciences and Professions
- A resolution to increase instructional and medical resources fees in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine by two percent and non-resident fees by 10 percent.
- A resolution for the FY24 budget.
- A resolution for an easement to the Ohio Power Company for an electrical distribution line to Kiser’s BBQ which is located on land owned by Ohio University on Home Street in Athens, Ohio.
- A resolution for an easement to the city of Athens to construct a replacement larger capacity lift station at the Northeast corner of the Richland Avenue roundabout and construct a larger capacity sewer line along Richland Avenue and South Green Drive.
- A resolution to reduce out-of-state surcharges and adopt an out-of-state surcharge as low as $1 for undergraduate and graduate students who are in the United States on legal immigration status of asylee, refugee or temporary protected status.
- A resolution for the FY24 annual audit plan.
- A resolution to amend President Sherman’s contract, allowing him to receive bonus compensation in an amount equal to the bonus provided to all other eligible administrative employees, as well as deferred compensation benefit during an agreed-upon sabbatical period.
The Board also presented certificates of appreciation to Janelle Coleman, Jeff Laturell, Cary Cooper, and Eileen Sheil for their dedicated service to the Ohio University Board of Trustees. Founding Dean of the Voinovich School Mark Weinberg was also presented with a proclamation honoring his legacy and service to Ohio University and the lasting impact his efforts have made across the region, state and beyond.
The Board concluded their meeting by presenting President Hugh Sherman with a certificate of appreciation for his distinguished service as President of Ohio University.
The complete Board of Trustees agenda from its June 15 and 16 meetings is available online at www.ohio.edu/trustees.