News and Announcements

OHIO Board of Trustees approve Lancaster nursing expansion, support implementation of University's Dynamic Strategy goals

The Ohio University Board of Trustees approved a nursing expansion on the Lancaster campus. The Board also approved a resolution to proceed with the implementation of OHIO’s Dynamic Strategy effort and approved the University’s reimagined mission, vision and values statements during meetings Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14 on OHIO’s Dublin campus.

On Friday, the Board recognized Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs, who has been instrumental in leading Ohio University through significant accomplishments that will continue to make a lasting impact across the institution. Dr. Don Leo will officially begin his role as OHIO’s new Executive Vice President and Provost on July 1.

The Board also commended the Ohio University Police Department for 200 years of service to the University community. The proclamation of appreciation thanked the department and celebrated its dedicated staff, storied history and longstanding commitment to professionalism, integrity and humanity.

Additional highlights from the June 2024 Board of Trustees meetings included:

Envisioning the future of orthopedic rehabilitation

Ohio University Professor of Physical Therapy Dr. Dustin Grooms and his team presented their ongoing research exploration into how injuries affect the way the body communicates with the brain and explained the innovative therapies that are being developed in his lab.

The presentation also highlighted the groundbreaking research and innovations taking place within the University’s Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI) Injury and Pain Research Center, whose faculty are ranked among the top scientists in the world. Grooms detailed how the research center, which has been externally funded with over $25 million in grant funding over the past decade, is developing innovative approaches to rehabilitation through augmented reality.

Expanding and improving OHIO’s health sciences

The Board approved a resolution to expand the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AAS-N) pre-licensure program to the Lancaster campus, pending completion of the required external approval processes.

Currently, the AAS-N program is offered on OHIO’s Chillicothe, Southern and Zanesville campuses. However, students who live in the Lancaster community and are interested in pursuing the AAS-N program must currently commute to another regional campus or another institution; through this new expansion, students across the Lancaster community would have the opportunity to pursue their degree closer to home.

In addition to approving the Nursing expansion, the Board also approved a resolution to restructure the current departmental composition of the College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP) to better meet the needs of individual departments and streamline efforts across the health professions. The restructuring, which does not entail a reduction in employees or programs, will also provide increased autonomy and provide more visibility into program planning, accreditation processes and more.

Dynamic Strategy and reimagined mission, vision and values

The Board approved OHIO’s reimagined mission, vision and values statement, as well as the goals and strategies set forth by President Lori Stewart Gonzalez and the respective pillar working groups.

OHIO’s Dynamic Strategy effort is focused on the creation of strategic goals and priorities to help guide the University into the future, engage thousands of students, faculty, staff and alumni and help guide the University’s work for the next three years. Additionally, President Gonzalez charged a small group of University leaders and experts to review and refresh OHIO’s mission, vision and values statements, which have not been fully updated since 2007.

During the President’s report, President Gonzalez thanked the Dynamic Strategy co-chairs and working groups for their work and leadership in guiding OHIO over the next few years. The President described OHIO’s Dynamic Strategy as a great roadmap to provide value to students, alumni, the state of Ohio and its partners amidst an evolving higher education landscape.

Supporting and retaining OHIO faculty

The Board received an update from Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs on faculty retention and outlined many of the initiatives that have been implemented to foster faculty engagement, highlight accomplishments and offer varied opportunities for professional development and career growth.

Sayrs also highlighted the University’s efforts over the last several years to increase faculty support across teaching, research, and service, and to strategically focus faculty hiring on growing areas to better meet evolving student demand. In the face of changing workforce needs and shifting career demands, both nationwide and across the world, Provost Sayrs stressed the continued importance that assessment and strategic investments will continue to play in the coming decade and beyond as OHIO works to further elevate the student experience and support career growth in a variety of fields.

Enrollment Management updates

Vice President for Enrollment Management Candace J. Boeninger provided the Board with an enrollment update, noting that interest in OHIO is at an all-time high, with record Athens freshman applications over 27,000 – a seven percent increase from the previous year. The University also remained strong in the market compared to peer institutions in terms of enrollment success, particularly in the last two years as OHIO has experienced record-breaking incoming classes.

Boeninger also updated the Board on the federal government’s ongoing changes to FAFSA and its application system, noting that the Enrollment Management team has successfully shared aid offers to students despite an evolving distribution timeline. Additionally, Boeninger applauded OHIO’s financial aid team for responding to FAFSA changes and disruptions by proactively augmenting technical resources, adapting business processes and extending deadlines to provide flexibility for incoming and currently enrolled students and their families.

Capital Projects

The Board approved several new capital projects, including:

  • OHIO Zanesville Herrold Hall Nursing Labs Renovation - The Board approved a resolution to increase the budget of the nursing labs renovation by $75,000 to accomplish the intended scope that meets programmatic needs as ongoing increases in the construction market occur. The project will create purpose-built space for academic and hands-on lab instruction for more than 225 students by providing program enhancements related to facilities and addressing maintenance needs. The $1.5 million project is anticipated to be funded by internal bank financing and regional higher education departmental reserves.
  • Bush Airport New Hangar Construction – The Board approved a resolution to create a safe and secure storage facility for University-owned and private aircraft. This project will provide new hangar space for 16 aircraft, enabling future renovation of the existing hangar. The $1.9 million project is anticipated to be funded by federal and state grants and departmental reserves.
  • Convocation Center Lower Flat Roof Replacement – The Board approved a resolution to replace the membrane flat roof sections on the Convocation Center to prevent water intrusion. This $1 million project is anticipated to be funded by deferred maintenance century bond funding.
  • Morton Hall Elevator Repairs – The Board approved a resolution to modernize the existing elevator in Morton Hall, which is original to the building. This $640,000 project is anticipated to be funded by deferred maintenance century bond funding. Construction will begin over the summer to minimize impact to the academic schedule.
  • West Green Chilled Water Plant Equipment Updates – The Board approved a resolution to renew and replace critical equipment to ensure uninterrupted utility service from the West Green Water Plant. This $550,000 project is anticipated to be funded by century bond residual funding and departmental funding.

FY24 forecast and operating budget

The Board approved Ohio University’s FY25 budgets of the expected all funds operating revenues on Friday following a Thursday presentation from Interim Vice President for Finance & Administration and CFO John Day.

During his presentation, Day provided an update on the FY24 forecast while also sharing insight into how OHIO has successfully balanced revenues and expenses in the proposed FY25 budget by bridging with reserves while focusing on developing and implementing strategies to achieve a sustainable multi-year budget.

In other business, the Board also approved:
  • A resolution to increase Athens undergraduate tuition guarantee rates, the non-resident fee, regional undergraduate tuition guarantee rates and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine instructional and medical resources fee by 3 percent, as well as an increase in guaranteed room and board rates by 4.6 percent. The Board also approved a resolution to increase the non-resident fees for the Heritage College by 10 percent to position the college more competitively.
  • A resolution to increase room and board rates for non-guarantee students by 12.6 percent for the next three to five years. Room and board rates have not been increased in ten years and are now 15-29% below the rates for guarantee students.
  • A resolution to create a new program fee for the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Nurse Anesthesia Program in the College of Health Sciences and Professions at $670 per credit to cover the cost of this new program.
  • A resolution to create a pass-through course fee of $265 for the Engineering Technology 2230 course on the Lancaster campus to cover access to an online simulation and certification test.
  • A resolution to recognize the President’s strong accomplishments during her first year in office and reward her success with a salary increase of 2% of the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 base compensation, consistent with this year’s raise pool and a bonus in the 
    amount of 15% of the President’s base compensation for Fiscal Year 2024, pursuant to the terms of her Employment Agreement.
  • A resolution to grant Faculty Fellowship leave to 44 faculty members for them to pursue research and scholarly activity.
  • A resolution to approve emeriti status for 12 individuals upon their retirement from Ohio University.
  • A resolution to appoint new members to the Coordinating Council at each of the regional campuses of Ohio University.
  • A resolution to approve degree name changes to programs within the Patton College of Education, the Scripps College of Communication, the College of Business, the Honors Tutorial College, the College of Health Sciences and Professions, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, University College, and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service.
  • A resolution to accept program reviews for the following programs: Center for Law, Justice and Culture in the College of Arts and Sciences; Recreation, Sport Pedagogy, and Consumer Sciences in the Patton College of Education; Aviation in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology; Music and Theater in the College of Fine Arts; Law Enforcement Technology, Military Science, and Technical and Applied Studies in University College.
  • A resolution to change the name of the Child and Family Studies program to Human Development and Family Science in the College of Health Sciences and Professions.
  • A resolution to establish the Applied Finance Center in the College of Business.
  • A resolution to change the name of the Department of Geological Sciences to the Department of Earth and Environmental Geosciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • A resolution for the extension of the Undergraduate Student Matching Program to accommodate donor gifts and pledge payments made on or before June 30, 2026 and the creation of the Graduate Appointment Match Program, which will provide renewable graduate awards that support all types of graduate aid at the University’s discretion and will otherwise follow the program parameters approved for the Undergraduate Scholarship Match Program.
  • A resolution to approve the use of annual Century Bond allocations to fund its operating investment in deferred and preventive maintenance projects.
  • A resolution to approve the FY25 Annual Capital Improvement Plan
  • A resolution to grant the City of Athens a permanent road easement for purposes of road access to The Ridges Tier 2 property.
  • A resolution to authorize the proposed FY25 annual audit plan.
  • A resolution for Craig Butler to continue as Regional Trustee of the Board of Trustees for one year beginning July 1, 2024, and ending June 30, 2025.
  • A resolution to elect John Day as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees for the year beginning July 1, 2024, and ending June 30, 2025, or until a new Vice President of Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer begins employment with the University.
  • A resolution to elect Shelly M. Bean as Secretary to the Board of Trustees for the year beginning July 1, 2024, and ending June 30, 2025.

The complete Board of Trustees agenda from the June 13-14 meetings is available online at

June 14, 2024
Staff reports