BGSU trustees name national trustee, approve climate commitment


BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees at its Sept. 28 meeting named the University’s first National Trustee. It also took steps to improve the well-being of the University’s students as well as that of the Moore Musical Arts Center, and to make campus a greener place to live and work.

Alumnus James Bailey was appointed to a three-year term as National Trustee, a new position established by the board last June.

Bailey, who was named one of the University’s 100 Most Prominent Alumni during the Centennial celebrations, earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1967 and went on to an illustrious career in banking.

The creation of a National Trustee position was approved to allow the University to take advantage of the talents, resources and experiences of alumni who do not live in Ohio but who can advocate for higher education and are nationally prominent in their fields. National trustees are chosen by the board and serve three-year terms, renewable once; a maximum of three National Trustees may serve at any one time. They are non-voting members but may attend all committee meetings and serve as committee chairs.

“Jim brings a wealth of experience and connections along with a global perspective that we think will be invaluable as we take the University to the next level of excellence,” said board chairman William Primrose III. “We appreciate his ongoing willingness to support his alma mater.”

In addition, BGSU can now take another step toward its new Student Health Center with the trustees’ authorization for it to lease the land it owns at the corner of East Wooster Street and South College Avenue to Wood County Hospital for development of the facility..

The University is currently negotiating with the hospital for a public/private partnership in which the hospital will finance the construction of the building and ultimately own and operate the health center. The University will retain ownership of the ground. The goal is to have the health center open by fall 2013.

The trustees also approved upgrades to the Moore Musical Arts Center’s aging heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) system. The $3,051,650 cost will come from State Basic Renovation Funds.

At 34 years old, the system has long outlived its life expectancy and has begun to deteriorate, which causes damage to pianos and other instruments and creates an uncomfortable atmosphere for those in the building.

The action also paves the way for Moore Center to become an “All-Steinway School.” In order for a building to house and maintain Steinway pianos, its HVAC system must be able to maintain a constant level of temperature and humidity.

The board gave its approval for President Mary Ellen Mazey to sign the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, lending BGSU’s support to the effort to promote climate neutrality and sustainability. The president in 2011 had expressed her desire to join with signatories from 675 institutions of higher education dedicated to educating students, creating solutions, and providing leadership by example for the rest of society.

The commitment outlines four steps to be taken by signatories: create institutional structures to guide the implementation of a plan; within one year, complete an inventory of the campus’s greenhouse gas emissions; within two years develop a comprehensive plan for becoming carbon-neutral; and in the meantime, initiate two or more tangible actions to reduce carbon emissions.

Before deciding whether to participate, the president convened a committee charged with identifying goals and offering recommendations on how BGSU could proceed with the four steps. BGSU has a significant head start on achieving the climate commitment’s goals since it already has a number of tangible sustainability practices and programs in place.

The committee concluded that becoming a commitment signatory makes sound financial sense and will positively impact the image of the University by helping to stabilize and reduce long-term energy costs, potentially attract new sources of funding, increase the support of alumni and local communities, and provide students and faculty with significant educational and research opportunities.

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(Posted September 28, 2012 )