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Board of Trustees to consider FY20 Operating and Capital budgets, Clippinger renovation strategy and Richland Avenue Pedestrian Crossing during June meeting

Discussion will continue related to implementation of One OHIO vision

The Ohio University Board of Trustees will consider the Fiscal Year 20 Operating and Capital budgets, the second phase of the Clippinger renovation strategy, and the Richland Avenue Pedestrian Crossing during its meetings on June 20 and 21 at the Ohio University Eastern Campus in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

The Board will also hear an update on the implementation of the University’s One OHIO strategy inclusive of the integration of all OHIO’s campuses and functions into a single system operation.

Key agenda items, efforts and initiatives that OHIO’s Board and senior leadership are scheduled to discuss include:

University budget update
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, 2 p.m. June 20, Shannon Hall Theater

The Ohio University administration will request approval for the Fiscal Year 2020 Operating budget and a number of corresponding fees adjustments. Fee approvals are related to graduate programs, services associated with on-line programs, and any adjustments to fully comply with current State budget language. If approved, the administration will be authorized to make adjustments during the fiscal year to ensure that total expenditures do not exceed available resources.

The FY 20 Operating budget was developed in the context of a campus-wide multi-year (FY20-FY25) planning effort, with the goal of ensuring a sustainable financial future for Ohio University. Budgets are aligned to support the priorities identified in University President M. Duane Nellis’ Pathways to Prominence developed after extensive feedback of our university community.

The budget was developed concurrently with ongoing deliberations on the FY20-21 State of Ohio biennial budget. At this time, the state’s operating budget and higher education budget have not been finalized. OHIO’s FY20 budget assumptions are based on the latest information available, but the University may need to amend the budget in order to incorporate the final language of the state’s budget bill.

One OHIO update
Academics and Student Success Committee, 10 a.m. June 20, Shannon Hall Theater

Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali, Interim Executive Dean for Regional Higher Education Nicole Pennington and Senior Vice Provost for Instructional Innovation Brad Cohen will continue the discussion of the One OHIO strategy, including the integration of our multi-campus regional locations, and supporting enrollment and retention data. Since the Board endorsed the One OHIO concept at the March 2019 meeting, the University has continued planning efforts, begun transitioning into implementation and the action necessary to strengthen the connections between all of OHIO’s functions and campuses, and to break down internal barriers to the innovation necessary to make supporting critical changes.

Capital projects
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, 2 p.m. June 20, Shannon Hall Theater

The Board will consider a resolution for four construction projects, including Phase 2 of the Clippinger Renovation Strategy. The Clippinger strategy, which began with the opening of construction on the new Chemistry Building (Phase 1), would continue with the renovation of the east side of Clippinger (Phase 2), which would be occupied by the Geology and Geography departments. The conceptual cost estimate for the renovation is $33.6 million, with design work beginning in Fiscal Year 2020 and construction beginning late in Fiscal Year 2020 and wrapping up late in Fiscal Year 2022.

Other capital projects to be considered include:

  • Gamertsfelder Hall restroom/HVAC upgrades: This project, originally approved at $2 million, would expand to $7.6 million with increased scope to replace the failing existing heating hydronic system with the installation of a new four-pipe system to connect the building to the campus chilled water loop. This would result in a reduction of future utility costs and provide better temperature control and air quality for residents. If approved, the project would be complete late in FY2021.
  • Grosvenor Hall administrative relocation renovation: This project would address prioritized deferred maintenance needs, including select window and door replacement, elevator maintenance, and limited HVAC air handler maintenance. The $1.8 million project would be completed in time for occupants from the West Union Street Office Center and Human Resources Training Center to move into Grosvenor by late 2020, ensuring that the start date for the future Russ Opportunity Center project is not delayed. Construction would begin late in FY20 and be completed early in FY2022.
  • Richland Avenue Pedestrian Crossing sidewalk realignment: This is a collaborative project with the City of Athens’ Richland Avenue Passageway Project. The project would elevate Richland Avenue between West Green Drive and Bobcat Lane and address pedestrian safety concerns by creating a pedestrian passageway under the road. Bobcat Lane would be modified to allow for left turns and the bust stop would be enlarged. The cost to OHIO would be $768,000. The overall project would cost $3.3 million. The city of Athens has obtained a $1.8 million grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation toward the project. Construction would be completed in Fiscal Year 2021.

The Board will also consider a resolution that would approve the FY21-FY26 Capital Improvement Plan, including FY21-FY22 State Capital Appropriation project requests and the FY20 Annual Capital Plan.

The Capital Improvement Plan includes a comprehensive capital investments prioritization plan for Ohio University, including the facility, infrastructure and deferred maintenance investments planned at all locations, as well as funding for information technology and University initiatives.

Approval of this resolution does not authorize the University to proceed with individual projects. Each project over $500,000 will be presented to the Board of Trustees for consideration prior to execution.

OHIO Honors Program update
When: Academics and Student Success Committee, 10 a.m. June 20,
Shannon Hall Theater

Honors Tutorial College staff members will provide an update on the OHIO Honors Program pilot, which launched in Fall 2018. The pilot’s success led the University to recruit a University-wide cohort for FY20. The innovative experience-based honors program will welcome an inaugural cohort of 375 students from all colleges, and the longstanding tutorial-based degree program will welcome its largest cohort of 79 students in Fall 2019.

The OHIO Honors Program provides an experience-based complement to any major, and students can earn an honors transcript designation by completing curricular and co-curricular experiences. The pilot cohort of 48 students had an average GPA of 3.43 at OHIO, as well as an average high school GPA of 3.81 and an average ACT composite of 29. Nearly a quarter of the students were first-generation.

Student Code of Conduct amendments
Academics and Student Success Committee, 10 a.m. June 20, Shannon Hall Theater

The Board of Trustees will consider a resolution to update language in the Student Code of Conduct. The Board requires the Code to be reviewed every two years. It was last reviewed in 2017.

Key changes include a shift in the sexual misconduct process, some of which were made to comply with recent Sixth Circuit court decisions. Others include a change in the definition of a hearing officer, the addition of a sanction-only hearing option, and a lengthening of the appeal deadline. Student Senate, Graduate Student Senate and Faculty Senate were all given the opportunity to provide feedback, and the proposed revisions were available for public comment online.

Investment advisor update
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, 2 p.m. June 20, Shannon Hall Theater

Ohio University administrators will provide an update on the search process to retain investment consulting and advisory services. A request for proposals garnered proposals from 17 firms, and through a round of reviews, that list was narrowed to three finalists. As long-term investment oversight has been delegated by the University Board of Trustees to the Ohio University Foundation Board, they considered and recommended approval of the selected firm, Fund Evaluation Group, LLC, contingent upon successful negotiation of terms, at their June 8 meeting.

The full agenda for the June Board of Trustees meeting can be found on the Trustees’ website. The main board meeting will be streamed live at this link.