The Board of Trustees receives an update on University Collaboration

Leaders of three Ohio colleges shared details of their collaborative effort that represents a national model for collaboration between medical, health sciences, and public service schools during January Board of Trustees meetings this week.

During the meetings, the Board also received updates on the development of new programs and approved capital projects. Additionally, President Hugh Sherman provided an update on his five presidential priorities.

college cooperation

The deans of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, the College of Science and Health Professions, and the Vojnovic School of Leadership and Public Service shared details of the collaboration between the three that allows for a range of programs, relationships with external partners, and innovative initiatives that address the social determinants of health.

The scope of college, campus, and networking partners extends to the state and enables a collective vision of a healthier Ohio. Recent efforts that have been highlighted include City and county vaccination clinics In Heritage Hall, partnerships including Ohio Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health and the ARC INSPIRE . AWARDand expanding existing programs such as the Community Health Workforce.

Academic planning and strategy update

Executive Vice President and University President Elizabeth Sayers provided an update on the university’s academic planning and strategy, focusing on the development of new programs. This included details about goals and process improvements to launch new programs, submissions to the university’s Innovation Accelerator Program, and some recent examples filling gaps in the university’s program portfolio to meet market demand.

the Innovation Accelerator Program in 2021 to help remove barriers and provide support to faculty and departments to develop and implement new or expanded academic programmes.

Registration update

Vice President of Enrollment Administration Candice Boninger provided an overview of preliminary enrollment data for Spring 2022. She reviewed statewide enrollment trends for 2021 and provided an early update for the Fall 2022 application cycle, as well as progress toward key OHIO enrollment priorities.

capital expenditures

The Board has approved several new capital expenditures as well as a construction budget Russian Research Center.

The approved projects include:

  • Russ Research Opportunity Center: The Board of Directors has approved an additional $1 million for the project, with a total budget of $32 million, to renovate the former West Union Street office center. This is to cover previously unforeseen conditions, such as necessary structural reinforcement and additional construction work.
  • Demolition of the Research and Technology Center: This $3.25 million project will finance the demolition of the building and associated facilities, while preserving the site for future use as part of the Ohio University Portfolio Reshaping initiative.
  • Athens Campus Roof Repairs: This $1 million project allows for the repair of campus roofs that have become maintenance burdens. Priority facilities for consideration for the project include the Life Sciences Building, the Conqueror Research Center, the Academic and Research Center, University Service Center Buildings 2, 31 S Court Street, RTV Communications, the Convention Center and Jordi Hall.
  • Replacing the Biden Tower Roof: This $600,000 project will address the Biden Tower roof leakage.
  • HVAC Controls, FY22: This $550,000 project will eliminate high-priority maintenance needs related to ventilation and air conditioning controls throughout the Athens campus.

IT roadmap

Chief Information Officer Chris Ament provided an update of the university’s technology investment roadmap through fiscal year 27, including a discussion of the university’s IT strategy and the major investments in information and technology planned during that period.

The presentation included information on how the IT office is reshaping operations, a roadmap and framework for decision-making for key investments, and budget and funding considerations.

Financial update

Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration Joe Trobach provided an update to FY22’s budget and forecast, as well as COVID income and expenses.

Important changes include updates to the university’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and compensation budgets. The review included an update on expenditures related to COVID.

Emerging Leadership Academy

Four Ohio faculty leaders who participate in the Mid-America Conference Academic Leadership Development Program have presented a new faculty development initiative that they are designing and planning to launch. The Ohio University Emerging Leadership Academy will allow approximately 20 early- and mid-career faculty members to discover and develop their potential to become effective academic leaders each year.

Mick Andzolis, Associate Professor and Head of Marketing, College of Business; Shar Miller, Associate Professor and Interim Director of the School of Nursing in the College of Health Sciences and Professions; Duane Robinson, Associate Professor of Educational Studies at Patton College of Education; Alicia Stegal is Professor and Chair of the Department of Geosciences in the College of Arts and Sciences 2021-22 MAC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows. Their goal is to launch the academy in the fall of 2022.

In other business, the Board will:

  • Adopting the honorary status of a number of employees upon their retirement.
  • The Master of Financial Economics program in the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics, has been suspended. There will be no loss of faculty or impact on current students.
  • The program review for Chemical and Biological Molecular Engineering program at Ross College of Engineering and Technology has been accepted.
  • I received an update and walked around the new alchemy building.
  • Reviewing the annual report of the university’s entities. These are legal entities that are separate from the University, that are formed or operated to support a public purpose consistent with the mission of the University, that are created, controlled or heavily influenced by the University, or that receive significant support from the University.
  • The addition of funds to the College of Arts and Sciences’ quasi-endowment and the Graduate Student Research Support Fund, which provides funding for research projects by faculty and graduate students across the college, is approved.
  • Century Bond funding that was not used in fiscal year 21 for the University’s portfolio reduction projects is earmarked to fund deferred maintenance, demolition, site and space improvements, and related costs to address ongoing maintenance issues.
  • Adoption of the university’s annual competency report, which has been submitted to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Public universities in Ohio are required to submit a report each year as part of the state’s efforts to maintain efficiency in the state’s higher education system.

The full Board of Trustees agenda is available at

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