Board takes steps to give BGSU capital project spending authority

The BGSU Board of Trustees at its Oct. 13 meeting took action to enable BGSU to be certified to administer its own state-funded capital facilities construction projects, as allowed by the state under the Local Administration Competency Certification Program for higher education institutions. The trustees passed the required resolution stating the University meets all requirements and will abide by state regulations.

The trustees also approved:

  • The renewal of an easement for a Columbia Gas natural gas pipeline that runs through campus just west of Mercer Road, and
  • A $100 special fee per semester for the Global Village, a new residential learning community slated to begin next fall.
  • The appointment of Dr. Wayne Unsell, dean of the College of Technology, to the rank of full professor with tenure.

In her report to the board, Classified Staff Council Chair Lorrie Sawaie said that President Ribeau has allocated $3,000 for classified staff professional development.

USG President Bernard Little said USG is starting a “Pride in BG” campaign to promote the wearing of BGSU colors at games. The campaign will include flyers, banners and posters and will emphasize “pride, respect and loyalty,” he said.

Through USG’s efforts, 2,000 undergraduates have registered to vote in the upcoming election, he added, and the group is working to educate students on the stances of Ohio’s two gubernatorial candidates.

The Building Dreams fund-raising campaign is projected to have raised $103 million by the end of the month, with 361 scholarships created, Trustee Robert Sebo told the board.

The board also heard highlights from the Academic and Student Affairs and Financial Affairs committee meetings.

The academic and student affairs meeting included discussions of campus crime statistics, Student Affairs program review and the BGeXperience program.

Campus crime in 2005 was down from 2004. “The news is very good—in every area we are down,” Dr. Ed Whipple, vice president for student affairs, said. He also said that the discipline statistics as of Oct. 11 this year were 24 percent lower than at the same date in 2005. “People understand what it means to live in a community,” he surmised.

In 2005, there were fewer assaults, arrests and judicial referrals than in 2004. Burglaries seemed to go up, but Chief James Wiegand, director of campus safety, explained in his printed report that campus police have changed their classification of crimes to be more precise.

Drug law violations dropped from 32 in 2004 to 11 in 2005. “Substance abuse is going down nationwide,” noted Trustee Michael Marsh.

Whipple and Dr. Camille Consolvo, assistant vice president for student affairs and interim director of residence life, shared the results of the recent program review conducted by six of Student Affairs’ 19 departments. In addition to the required self-study, the University invites a team of external reviewers to campus. “I prefer to invite people from outside Ohio and those who have stellar programs in the respective areas,” Whipple said.

Reviewed were the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Disability Services, Greek Affairs, Recreational Sports, Student Health Service and Intercollegiate Athletics.

All received high marks, with the Health Service earning an A+ for being among the 10 percent of campuses nationwide that are certified. It was recommended that the current upgrade and expansion of the facility proceed as quickly as possible.

Other findings included the union being cited as an outstanding facility and a model for student staffing. Reviewers recommended that the serving area of the Falcon’s Nest be revisited to address crowding. And Recreational Sports is so heavily and well used that it needs another 25,000 square feet of space, the reviewers found. Club sports contribute to student retention, they pointed out.

In an update on the BGeXperience, George Agich, director of the program, said the “incredibly rapid build-up” of courses has meant some double scheduling of faculty who are teaching in the program and must take training before the start of school, sometimes when they are also scheduled to be in other workshops organized by the provost or graduate dean. In addition, having the entire freshman class arrive three days early has posed other challenges and adjustments to the campus opening schedule.

A University Opening Committee is now studying those issues to make things run more smoothly, he said.

“BGeX is the program that has put us on the map nationally,” observed Marsh.

The Financial Affairs Committee heard of a proposal from Calderon Properties Ltd., a family-owned, 93-acre site at Dunbridge Road and I-75, to build a residential community for lease back to BGSU that would include student housing and perhaps a retirement community that would also serve as a complement to academic programs. Also discussed was the possibility of including an institute for energy technology.

In his report to the board, President Sidney Ribeau, entering his 12th year with the University, said he had learned at a recent meeting of the Mid American Conference that a third bowl game has been added to the calendar. Slated for Jan. 6 in Toronto, the new International Bowl will pit a MAC team against one from the Big East.

The next board meeting will be held Dec. 1.

October 16, 2006