Trustees grant president raise, approve IUC civil service guidelines

At its Nov. 30 meeting at BGSU Firelands, the board of trustees expressed resounding support for President Sidney Ribeau following its annual review of his performance.

Board President Michael Marsh, in announcing the trustees’ decision to grant the president a 3 percent raise, cited their “extreme satisfaction with the state of BGSU and with BGSU Firelands, including the capital campaign and other successes.” The $9,139 increase brings Ribeau’s annual salary to $313,764.

The centennial campaign reached its goal of $120 million that day, Trustee Bob Sebo announced, adding that, with a year to go, the campaign would continue unabated because of several projects that still need to attain necessary funding.
IUC guidelines approved
Also at the meeting, the board took a step that will help to insure shared governance at the University when it approved Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC) guidelines regarding implementation of any work rule changes related to House Bill 187.

The bill, sometimes referred to as Civil Service Reform, gives boards of trustees at individual higher education institutions the ability to change and adapt policies governing their classified staff members as befits their needs. Adopted last December, it also required the IUC to develop guidelines so that universities follow certain standards in making any changes to their procedures.

A main thrust of the IUC guidelines is that any changes must be made in consultation with the constituents and in an incremental and controlled fashion. At this point, the only change being considered at BGSU is the creation of a catastrophic leave bank, now that HB 187 has opened the way for classified staff to participate in such a bank.

Following the passage of HB 187, Human Resources began talks with Classified Staff Council and held forums to discuss the implications of the bill. It has posted extensive information on its Web site (, including a Frequently Asked Questions page that includes the majority of questions that arose during the forums, along with basic information about the bill. To see the full list of questions and answers, visit

In other action, the trustees:
Authorized the president and provost to negotiate a contract between BGSU and the Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) for the University to become a sponsor of the public community school in downtown Toledo, effective next June. The move would increase “academic, research and cultural collaborations between the two institutions,” the resolution stated.

The collaboration would allow the TSA to serve as a host site for practical demonstration of BGSU teaching methods, educational technology and other aspects of teacher preparation. The school’s former sponsor was Toledo Public Schools.

In granting its approval, the board stipulated that the resolution be worded to rule out any financial commitment to the school on the part of the University, and that the president will not sit on its board but will appoint a designee.

Provost Shirley Baugher, speaking in favor of the move, said that BGSU has worked with the school since its inception and that the sponsorship would extend the University’s relationship in a variety of highly collaborative ways.

• Agreed to sell three acres of land in its Research Enterprise Park on Dunbridge Road to the Argo-Hytos company, a manufacturer of filter-based materials. The advisory board for the research park has unanimously supported the sale, according to Dr. James Michael Smith, vice president for economic development and regional growth, who recommended the sale.

The price of $75,000 per acre, or $225,127, is significantly higher than that of the last property sold in the research park, in 2003 to the Wood County Educational Service Center, Smith said.

The College of Technology already has a relationship with Argo-Hytos for internships and co-ops, Smith added, and potential exists for other areas—such as supply chain management and German—to develop mutually beneficial agreements.

• Approved Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen’s promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective with the start of spring semester. The out-of-cycle action came because Wells-Jensen, English, had stopped her tenure clock for a semester while on leave.

BGSU Firelands update
Dr. James Matthew Smith, interim dean of BGSU Firelands, gave a presentation about the college, highlighting some of the ways in which it meets the needs of the community and its students.

Firelands has been experiencing record growth in enrollment over the last eight years, seeing an increase from 1,354 in fall 1999 to 2,065 now. A marketing study has been completed and a new plan is being developed, with a continued emphasis on occupational clusters, he said.

Of the 14 occupations identified by the state as requiring an associate degree and having “high employment prospects,” Firelands offers eight. They include such programs as computer support specialist, respiratory therapist and mechanical engineering technician. The college is looking into expanding the respiratory specialist degree into a four-year degree, Smith said, in anticipation of changing statewide credentialing requirements.

Bachelor’s degree programs at Firelands are being expanded and include elementary school teachers and graphic designers. In addition, the newly created bachelor of science in business administration degree will offer junior year courses in 2008-09, with a new faculty line in management.

Plans are under way to expand “academy programs” at the campus, which would offer coursework beyond the second year but not enough to complete a bachelor’s degree.

The college’s goals include maintaining a steady, 2 percent enrollment growth, with increases tied to new programs. However, space constraints will mean that online and weekend classes will be needed to accommodate growth.

Baugher noted that, rather than a two-year school or community college, Firelands should be viewed as another campus location of Bowling Green State University.

“We will continue to build stronger relationships between three- and four-year degrees on both campuses,” she said, “and we will put programs where we have a market for them.”

December 3, 2007