Board of Trustees approves nursing program expansion

Published: April 8, 2022 Author: Staff reports

The Ohio University Board of Trustees approved the expansion of the nursing program onto the Lancaster campus and reviewed the FY23 operating budget during its meetings April 7-8. 

The Board also received updates on the Patton College’s Brothers RISE program and approved capital projects. In addition, student leaders shared their feedback with Trustees about the need for increased action on Ohio University’s campuses to combat racism and create a more inclusive community.

The Board commended the students for their leadership and advocacy to inform lasting structural change at OHIO, and the Trustees made a commitment to both short-term actions and long-term planning to advance institutional goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Trustees endorsed the immediate initiatives for change and committed to ensure accountability by University leadership to enact both the short-term actions and long-term planning to advance institutional goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Actions taken by the Board include:

Nursing program expansion

The Board approved the pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program to be expanded to the Lancaster campus as a secondary site of the degree being offered in Athens.

Next steps would include approval by the Ohio Board of Nursing, Ohio Department of Higher Education, and the Higher Learning Commission. Admission into the Lancaster campus pre-BSN major is anticipated for Fall 2022, with admission to the BSN major expected for Fall 2023.

Brothers RISE

Patton College of Education Interim Dean Sara Helfrich and Associate Professor of Instruction Jason Rawls shared details of the Brothers RISE (Rallying to Inspire and Shape Education) initiative that is designed to strengthen public education by recruiting students, particularly African American males, into the field of teacher education. This includes mentorship and academic and social support with a focus on racial identity and ethnic development.

The Brothers RISE program launched in the 2021-22 academic year and has thus far been successful, including the growth of a strong community of Black scholars and leaders within the college.

Operating budget

The Board approved the FY23 All Funds Operating Budget. Ohio University has balanced revenues and expenses for FY23 and remains focused on developing and implementing strategies to achieve a sustainable multi-year budget.

The discussion included forward-looking trends in revenue and expense categories and a review of net tuition, fees, room and board by campus and student level.

OHIO was able to balance FY23 revenues and expenses due to a number of factors:

  • A stronger incoming Athens cohort in FY22 progressing through its undergraduate career;
  • FY23 incoming cohort enrollment assumptions that build upon that success;
  • Compensation savings associated with the 2022 voluntary separation/retirement program;
  • Adjustments to employee compensation budgeting practices to incorporate historical structural turnover and vacancy savings.

Capital budget

The Board approved several capital expenses to make repairs and address deferred maintenance concerns.

The projects include:

  • Bryan Hall HVAC and life safety upgrades ($8.4 million): This project will upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, bring chilled water to the building and upgrade life safety equipment.
  • College Green tunnel rehabilitation ($3.378 million): This project will repair an existing utility tunnel at the intersection of Union Street and University Terrace.
  • Gamertsfelder/Washington Hall window replacement ($3.3 million): This project will remove windows that are original to the buildings and install new windows and associated architectural work.
  • Grosvenor/Grosvenor West roof replacements ($1.3 million): This project will replace the flat roofs on the two buildings.
  • Peden Stadium turf replacement ($1.3 million): This project will replace the artificial turf, which is nearing the end of its useful life and showing signs of disrepair. This would provide a safe and attractive surface and an opportunity to incorporate the upcoming renaming of the field.
  • Campus steam system repairs ($900,000): This project will address steam distribution and tunnel improvements, to be coordinated with the summer campus steam outage.
  • Nelson Dining Hall flooring replacement ($900,000): This will replace the carpet flooring in Nelson Court’s main seating area and Nelson Market with durable surfaces that will last longer and require less maintenance.
  • Athens Campus window repair/replacement ($525,000): This project is implemented biannually for window repairs and maintenance across campus. The project includes repair and replacement of windows in Putnam Hall.
  • Porter Hall flat roof replacement ($504,000): This project will replace the roof on the upper and mechanical levels of Porter Hall, including insulation and deck repair.

Fee changes

The Board approved changing the fees associated with a pair of graduate programs.

  • The Master of Physician Assistant Practice program in the College of Health Sciences and Professions currently has a fee of $60 per credit hour under the eCampus graduate rate structure, in which students pay per credit hour. The program is realigning to the Graduate Comprehensive rate structure with a comprehensive fee structure starting at nine credit hours per semester. The board will be asked to amend the fee to $334 per credit hour – still the least expensive in the state.
  • The Master of Cardiovascular Perfusion is a new collaborative degree program with Cleveland Clinic. The program fee request of $563 per credit hour is necessary to fulfill a memorandum of understanding between the Cleveland Clinic and OHIO.

Housing Master Plan

University staff and contracted consultants shared the planning process, project scope and key focus areas for the update of 2012 Housing Master Plan for the Athens campus. The master plan will provide a comprehensive review of the state of the University’s residence hall facilities in context with market position and enrollment needs and will develop a financial and physical roadmap for implementation of capital improvements in the portfolio.  A final report is expected to come to the Board in June 2022.

In other business, the Board:

  • Received a presentation about pandemic-related challenges facing higher education institutions and students, including social disengagement, student mental health, availability of transfer students, and unfinished K-12 learning, as well as how OHIO is addressing these challenges.
  • Learned about the Center for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, part of the University’s broader faculty development initiative.
  • Received an update on University enrollment strategies and current results, including Spring 2022 preliminary census information and current trends for the Fall 2022 Athens cohort. The presentation included information about the OHIO Regional Promise Program for fall 2022.
  • Approved emeriti status for several individuals upon their retirement.
  • Approved program reviews for programs in the College of Health Sciences and Professions, Graduate College and Scripps College of Communication.
  • Approved a 25-year easement to the city of Athens allowing sewer line construction on a parcel of The Ridges.
  • Approved a 25-year easement on University land on East State Street to the city of Athens allowing electrical line installation for use in new solar arrays to be installed on city land.
  • Received an update on plans for an upcoming financial statement audit for FY21.
  • Approved changes to the Board’s audit and risk management charter and internal audit charter.
  • Received an update from University Advancement on its fundraising and engagement report, which provided insight into strategic priorities and key accomplishments, as well as information about a future fundraising campaign.
  • Received an update on the performance of the Ohio University Foundation’s endowment assets.
  • Received the University’s annual human resources report.
  • Amended the Board bylaws to allow for the electronic attendance of Board members in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 3345.82, which came into effect in September 2021.
  • Elected Peggy Viehweger as Chair and Diane Smullen as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the year beginning May 14, 2022, and ending May 13, 2023.
  • Approved a certificate of appreciation for outgoing Board member Janelle Coleman.

The full Board of Trustees agenda is available at https://www.ohio.edu/trustees.