OU Trustees meet

Park Place Corridor, FY19 budget, planning updates

ATHENS — Ohio University’s Board of Trustees approved the tuition, fee and rate schedule for OU’s regional campuses, as well as draft ideas and initial supporting projects of a Park Place planning strategy, during its March 23 meeting.

The board also reviewed a proposal for the use of funds generated by the Career and Experiential Learning Fee and an overall University financial update during meetings held March 22 and 23 in Athens.

Park Place Planning Strategy

University administrators presented a draft of the Park Place Planning Strategy to the Board. The plan was drafted by the Park Place Planning Work Group, which is made up of University and City of Athens representatives and charged with recommending the highest and best use of space needs that will promote and support student activities in the center of campus. The draft was created after the group gathered and analyzed feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders, and the group sought feedback from the Board as it prepares final recommendations.

The draft plan includes short, medium, and long-term achievability project ideas that include widening sidewalks, screening the Alden Library loading area, an engagement garden outside 29 Park Place, a new Alden Library porch with a stepped seating area, serpentine walkways down the hill behind 29 Park Place, and one road with two way access.

The working group will continue to review and gather feedback with the City of Athens and other stakeholders and finalize recommendations which will be submitted to Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis.

Additionally, a review of 29 Park Place and the Konneker Alumni Center was conducted in tandem with the overall Park Place strategy, with recommendations for renovations at both buildings. The Board of Trustees approved the design and construction phases of renovations to 29 Park Place, its Carriage House, and the Konneker Alumni Center. The former presidential house at 29 Park Place will be repurposed as a student-focused academic engagement center as part of the estimated $2.3 million project, while Konneker will gain an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant entrance, programmatic improvements and other repairs in the estimated $1.5 million project.

2018-19 Tuition, Fee and Rate increases

The Board of Trustees approved tuition, fee and rate increases in various academic units consistent with legislative mandates set forth by the Ohio Revised Code. The Board approved tuition and general fee rate increases for Ohio University’s initial OHIO Guarantee for Regional Higher Education student cohort, which begins in Academic Year 2018, to support quality academic programming and encourage baccalaureate degree completion at the regional campuses.

The proposed OHIO Guarantee for Regional Higher Education principles and associated tuition and general fees require the review and approval of the chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

The Board also approved a 3.25 percent tuition and fee increase for the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine beginning in Academic Year 2018, as well as various graduate program fees, as allowed by the Ohio Revised Code.

Career and Experiential Learning fee update

University administrators provided an update on the Career and Experiential Learning Fee, which has been discussed in open forums and in meetings with academic leadership, student leaders, regional higher education leadership, the President’s Council and the Budget Planning Council since its approval by the Board in January.

The Career and Experiential Learning Fee will support programs and resources to provide a seamless, coordinated approach to career services for students across the institution, assure all undergraduates receive individual, customized career services, and expand access to experiential learning activities.

“Athens Campus undergraduate and graduate students already have access to all services and resources from the Career and Leadership Development Center,” said Jason Pina, Vice President of Student Affairs and Interim Chief Diversity Officer. “The Career and Experiential Learning Fee will allow a significant enhancement of those services, development of new opportunities and increase in access for students who were not previously fully served across all campuses.”

The program allows for collaborative, shared costs and a shared supervision model of additional career development experts on the Athens Campus and full-time career specialists on OHIO’s regional campuses.

Capital project approvals

The board approved three new capital project budget expenditures that were reviewed and approved by the Capital Funding and Priorities Committee. They are:

Chillicothe Campus – Academic Success Center Stevenson Renovation, $2.88 million. This project will centralize student services and improve the student learning and support environment. It includes renovating the existing restrooms to meet ADA requirements, increasing technology access for students and addressing deferred maintenance.

Innovation Center roof replacement, $900,000. This project, funded with Century Bond deferred maintenance funds, replaces the Innovation Center roof.

Bob Wren infield artificial turf, $600,000. This project is fully funded by external restricted gifts and will install turf on the infield to provide a more consistent playing field than natural grass. It also includes relocating existing utilities and installing site drainage. The donations were raised by the Athletics Department and were driven by athletes and families of athletes focused on safety and health considerations.

University leadership also provided an update on the FY19 Capital Improvement Plan update process and ongoing facility and planning projects. Highlights included an update on the construction of the Perry and Sandy Sook Academic Success Center, the Ellis Hall renovation project and the permanent boiler project.

Housing Development Plan update

Administrators presented a Housing Development Plan update to the Board. The Department of Housing and Residence Life has spent several months updating the assumptions and feasibility of the plan, which was approved by the Board in 2011.

The presentation included a history of the work that has taken place to date; an overview of the current housing portfolio; key factors studied that influence future capital investment direction over the next six years; evolving student needs; and draft recommendations for the Housing Development Phase 2 project.

Beavercreek update

Russ College of Engineering Dean Dennis Irwin provided an overview of the University’s Russ Research Center property in Beavercreek, Ohio, and detailed several promising opportunities for expanding educational programming and industry partnerships. The presentation included a description and overview of the Russ Research Center property, a conceptual design for a conference and training center, key and emerging regional partnerships such as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and professional programmatic initiatives already under way.

Irwin said the opportunities for partnerships extend beyond Russ College to the broader University community.

“This is about going in to the Dayton and Cincinnati area and forging partnerships with the federal government and its entities there, and also those people who support the federal government, and also private industry of other sorts,” Irwin said.

Other Board Business

In other business, the Board:

Received an enrollment update from Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management Craig Cornell about the early projections for incoming freshman class of academic year 2018-19

Approved changing the name of the Patton College’s Customer Service Major program to Customer Service Leadership.

Approved rigorous academic program reviews for the Linguistics program in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Information and Telecommunications program in the Scripps College of Communication, the Human and Consumer Sciences program in the Patton College of Education, and the Art + Design and Film programs in the College of Fine Arts. The reviews are conducted by the Academic Program Review Committee of the University Curriculum Council to ensure programs are continuously adapting and improving.

Elected Dave Scholl to serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees and Janelle Coleman to serve as Vice Chair from May 13, 2018, until May 14, 2019.

Park Place Corridor, FY19 budget, planning updates