Ohio University Board of Trustees to discuss academic planning strategies, enrollment projections, and dynamic budget planning for FY22 during virtual April meetings

Published: April 2, 2021 Author: Staff reports

April 8-9 meetings will be streamed online for media and public access

The Ohio University Board of Trustees will receive an update on the University’s academic planning strategy, One OHIO initiative, and diversity and inclusion plans during its April meetings.

The Board will also consider capital projects and receive a budget update during the meetings, which will be held April 8-9. In addition, President M. Duane Nellis will provide an update on spring commencement, plans for the summer and fall semesters, and the University’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meetings will be held from 8 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. April 8 and 8 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. April 9 and will be streamed online for media and public access. The meetings will be conducted online in accordance with Ohio House Bill 404, which allows for public meetings to be conducted in an online environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic through July 1, 2021.

Diversity and Inclusion strategic plan
Full board meeting, 11:15 a.m. Thursday, April 8

University leaders will review the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan framework, which outlines OHIO’s core principles, strategic goals and action steps that will guide OHIO to an inclusive and equitable future.

The plan focuses on inclusive excellence, grounded in principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism. Inclusive excellence promotes greater student achievement, faculty and staff satisfaction and retention, and lifelong ties between OHIO and its graduates. The document was developed since Spring 2019, including campus-wide conversations, feedback sessions with campus constituencies, and input from the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council and Diversity Leadership Institutes.

Academic Planning and Strategy
Full board meeting, 12:15 p.m. Thursday, April 8

Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs will provide an update on the integrated priorities and timeline for the University’s academic planning and strategy initiative. The presentation will include recommendations to strengthen and refocus Ohio University’s academic core as identified by the Academic Planning and Strategy Group, which has been meeting since November 2020 and comprises 36 faculty and Deans’ Council representatives.

During the presentation, Provost Sayrs also will share recommendations of the International Opportunities Think Tank, co-chaired by Purba Das, associate professor in communication studies at OHIO’s Southern Campus, and chair of the University International Council, and Donal Skinner, Dean of the Honors Tutorial College, which was charged to explore, project, and make recommendations for the future of international teaching, learning, research, recruitment, and student support services. 

One OHIO update
Full board meeting, 12:15 p.m. Thursday, April 8

University leaders will update the Trustees on the status of the One OHIO integration plan. In addition to reviewing accomplishments and positive outcomes, including the creation of administrative and instructional efficiencies and the introduction of new leadership for each regional campus to foster an inclusive campus culture and to cultivate community relationships, the Trustees will have the opportunity to discuss emerging opportunities on our regional campuses as they align with future planning efforts. 

Marketing/enrollment update
Full board meeting, 12:15 p.m. Thursday, April 8

Trustees will receive an update on University enrollment projections, including a discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on enrollment, preliminary Spring 2021 highlights and Fall 2021 projections. University leadership will provide a comprehensive overview of active efforts to recruit and retain students, including multiple new visit strategies, such as expansion of COVID-safe in person campus visits through the new “OHIO Pawprint Tour.”

Vice President Candace Boeninger will brief the Trustees on work of the Strategic Enrollment Executive Committee (SEEC) to engage in strategic enrollment planning exercises that will respond to, reflect, and align with other key strategic initiatives.

Vice President Robin Oliver will update Trustees on expanded marketing strategies, such as an increase in targeted yield marketing, a new online undergraduate recruitment campaign, and an investment in layered digital advertising strategies.  

Budget update
Full board meeting, 12:15 p.m. Thursday, April 8

Trustees will receive an updated FY21 financial forecast, including the impact of COVID-19 on the projected year-end results, while transitioning the discussion to dynamic budget planning for FY22. Senior Vice President Deborah J. Shaffer will provide an update on state operating support, net tuition and fees, federal and state stimulus support, and institutional operating expenses. In addition to discussion about current FY22-FY26 budget assumptions and financial trends and evolving information that will impact these assumptions, University leaders will share a new interactive tool that has been developed within the University Budget Office that enables respective scenario analyses and the impacts on future year budgets.

Space planning initiative
Full board meeting, 12:15 p.m. Thursday, April 8

University leaders will update Trustees on OHIO’s space planning initiative, which has been adapted to meet evolving team and University needs for increased flexibility, optimization of collaborative work while respecting the need for focused individual efforts, and seamless integration of OHIO’s virtual and physical environments. Leveraging early adopters and building on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Flexible Workplace project will develop sustainable workplace models that can be readily scaled across the OHIO system to increase employee engagement, retention, and productivity; use campus space more effectively and realize expense reduction; and increase creative and serendipitous collaborations beyond typical networks. 

Academic health system presentation
Full board meeting, 12:15 p.m. Thursday, April 8

Kenneth Johnson, D.O., OHIO’s chief medical affairs officer and executive dean of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, will discuss the College’s vision of a new “health systems” approach to medical education that formally integrates internal and external institutional partners. The goal is to operate as an academic health system that incorporates partners in a more strategic way.

The Heritage College has undergone transformational growth over the past 10 years, empowered by a $105 million gift from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation. The college’s three academic campuses and prestigious health system partners across the state give OHIO a statewide footprint.

Virtual reality and game development program
Academics and Student Success Committee, 9 a.m. Friday, April 9

The Board will consider approval of a new degree program, the Bachelor of Science in communication in virtual reality and game development.

The program, including business and communications courses, will prepare students to become effective leaders, entrepreneurs, and creative problem-solvers in a wide variety of industries. The program will operate with existing facilities and staff, with an annual cohort of about 20 students.

Fee approvals
Resources, Facilities and Affordability committee, 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 9

The Board will consider approving course and broad-based fees, as well as graduate program tuition and fees, for Fiscal Year 2022.

Program fees for master’s programs in the College of Health Sciences and Professions, College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs will be considered. In addition, broad-based fees including super single and super double room rates for Housing and Residence Life will be considered.

Capital projects
Resources, Facilities and Affordability committee, 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 9

The Board will consider budget amendments to ongoing projects, as well as several new projects.

The budget amendments are:

  • Clippinger Renovation: This would increase the budget for the Clippinger Renovation Phase 2 by $4.98 million, to a total of $38.6 million, and the Clippinger Renovation Phase 3 by $5.66 million to a total of $34.3 million. These changes are to cover recent increases in the construction market and cost estimate uncertainty. Phase 2 addresses deferred maintenance and programmatic needs in part of Clippinger, as well as the finishing the build-out of the third floor of the Chemistry Building. Phase 3 addresses deferred maintenance and programmatic needs in the remainder of Clippinger.
  • Alden Library: The chilled water tie-in budget would be reduced by $400,000 to a total of $850,000, while the budget for replacing two air handlers would increase by $400,00 to $1.4 million. The chilled water project will address failing cooling equipment in the library, while the air handlers will maintain the proper humidity and temperature necessary for a library environment.

New projects include:

  • Heating plant switch gear: This $8.8 million project would address critical deferred maintenance needs for equipment that is well beyond life expectancy in a major electrical distribution hub for campus.
  • Weld House demolition: This $2.5 million project would include demolition of Weld House and the catwalk and utilities connecting to Nelson. The space will be utilized as recreational green space.
  • Chubb Hall HVAC: This $2.2 million project includes a renovation of the HVAC systems in Chubb Hall.
  • Aquatic Center roof replacement: This $2 million project would replace the roof of the Aquatic Center, which is beyond repair and must be replaced to avoid further damage to the building.
  • Bush Airport apron rehabilitation: This $1.68 million project would reconstruct the existing ramp at the airport to meet current standards and handle heavier aircraft.
  • Shannon Hall HVAC (Eastern Campus): This $1.57 million project would modernize HVAC components in Shannon Hall.

Human Resources updates
Governance and Compensation Committee, 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 9

University Human Resources will present an update on significant compensation projects in the department, including the 2020 biennial equity review. The review is conducted by a third-party expert to ensure that administrative, classified and professional employee compensation has been determined on a non-discriminatory basis.

The Board will also receive an update on the compensation five-year market study, a large-scale review of benchmark job descriptions and market data. As part of the review, the pay structure was aged and widened, and several positions were moved into different pay grades to ensure alignment with market.

The full agenda for the April 8-9 Board of Trustees meetings can be found on the Trustees’ website. The board meetings will be streamed here on April 8 and here on April 9.