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Trustees approve Dublin Campus development plan, discuss updates on tuition, fee changes and capital improvement plan

The Ohio University Board of Trustees discussed a Dublin Campus development plan, tuition and fee changes on regional campuses and in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Park Place and Small House Planning and an updated capital improvement plan during its meetings this week.

University Planner Shawna Bolin asked for and received the Board’s approval of the Dublin Framework Plan, which will serve as a set of guidelines for the University to follow as it develops the Dublin Campus.

The Trustees approved the draft plan in August, so that the plan could be reviewed and approved by the City of Dublin. The City approved the plan late last year. The framework plan is the culmination of a series of meetings with key stakeholders and lays out the plan’s purpose, guiding framework, physical attributes, and a variety of other guidelines.

The plan was drafted with a series of key principles in mind, including establishing a vibrant community, promoting walkability, creating connections, allowing for a mixed-use environment and fostering innovation. The multi-phase project was drafted in concert with Dublin’s West Innovation District plan.

Bolin led the Board of Trustees in a planning exercise regarding the future use of the Park Place Corridor and potential investments and use of the 15 small houses on the Athens Campus.

Executive Vice President and Provost Benoit and Deborah Shaffer, vice president of finance and administration, CFO and treasurer, also delivered an update on the University’s operating forecast and FY18 Budget Planning, including a summary of the Governor’s Biennial Budget Proposal and respective university impacts. They also reviewed tuition and fee approvals for the Heritage College students, regional campus students, professional graduate programs and other student fees. The trustees approved a 2 percent tuition and fee increase for the regional campuses and a 3.5 percent increase in Heritage College tuition and fees for incoming students.

With uncertainty regarding the state budget process and limited resource growth, the University plans a one-year pause to evaluate its progress toward faculty compensation goals, and plans for no raise pools for the coming year. The University remains focused on investments and strategies to maintain academic quality and student success.

Benoit, Shaffer and Bolin also provided an update on the six-year capital improvement plan for FY2019-2024. The document, which is updated annually, is a collaborative and comprehensive effort to outline prioritized capital expenditures of the colleges, schools and administrative departments for the next six years, and the integration of the Utility Master Plan.

The plan takes into account the Board’s priorities and the economic environment within the state. The goal is to balance programmatic and deferred maintenance goals, including required grant or physical plant requirements. For example, the University is assessing utility and capacity investment needs and prioritizing accordingly, which could require other projects to be postponed or have reduced investment levels assigned.

Benoit and Shaffer outlined steps the University is taking to prioritize the FY2019-2024 plan. The presentation was an update only, and the Trustees will be asked to approve the plan at their June meeting. The plan, along with projects for FY2019-24, must be submitted to the state for its capital appropriations process in the fall.

In other business, the Board approved:

  • A resolution establishing the quasi-endowment Charles J. Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities Support Fund.
  • A resolution to proceed with the design for the Heritage College’s Athens Campus Phase I (academic replacement space) and Utilities Phase I, Chilled Water Plant 3, Bush Airport Taxiway Rehabilitation, and Clippinger Renovation Phase I.
  • A resolution to proceed with construction for Ohio University Chillicothe’s Bennett Hall electrical upgrades, Phase I; a construction phase and budget amendment for Tiffin Hall bathroom upgrades; a construction phase and budget amendment for Ping Center soil stabilization and interior repairs; Bush Airport apron rehabilitation and obstruction removal; campus steam system repairs in 2018; fault distribution and re-fusing; Gamertsfelder lobby renovations; Lausche Switchyard storm sewer remediation; and Shively Dining Hall plumbing improvements.
  • A resolution to approve a utility easement request from American Electric Power-Ohio.
  • A resolution to approve an amendment to an East State Street ground lease.
  • A resolution to approve renewal of a ground lease with Athens County Public Libraries.
  • A resolution to authorize the purchase of property at 31 S. Court St., Athens.
  • A resolution to establish a Master of Science in Nursing-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program in the College of Health Sciences and Professions School of Nursing.
  • A resolution changing the name for the Associate in Applied Business in Office Technology on the Chillicothe and Southern campuses.
  • A resolution accepting program reviews for the biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, physics and astronomy, journalism, recreation and sports pedagogy, and theater programs.
  • A resolution making amendments to the Board’s bylaws.
  • A resolution authorizing the Board chairman to change the effective date of incoming President Dr. Duane Nellis’ effective date of employment to a date agreed upon by the Chair and Dr. Nellis.
  • A resolution conferring a Mark of Esteem for Peter Souza, a faculty member who served as a photographer for President Ronald Reagan and chief photographer for President Barack Obama.