Trustees act on landscape master plan, name national trustee

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The BGSU Board of Trustees at the Oct. 3 meeting approved two resolutions from the Financial Affairs/Facilities Committee, regarding the Bowling Green Campus Landscape and Civic Structure Master Plan, and an amendment to the University’s Section 125 Cafeteria Plan allowing for health savings accounts (HSAs) to be added to the pre-tax benefits the University offers employees.

The approved landscape and civic structure master plan provides a set of guiding principles that allow the University to consistently plan and prioritize the numerous related needs throughout the Bowling Green campus.

Among the guiding principles are keeping the landscape simple and elegant, creating places for people, developing the outdoor portion of the campus as a learning laboratory, and creating a memorable and beautiful campus environment. Specific future components will include provisions for pedestrian circulation, bike routes, parking, quadrangles and courtyards and maintaining green reserves.

“Alumni returning to campus for homecoming this year are already seeing campus improvements underway,” said Board Chair Fran Voll. “We look forward to watching the campus become even more beautiful and its spaces more welcoming over the coming years.”

Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code, also known as “cafeteria plans,” allows employers to offer various pre-tax benefits to employees. The approved amendment to the University’s Section 125 Cafeteria Plan allows for the creation of an HSA, a pre-tax account to which the University and employees can contribute funds to be used for future allowable medical expenses such as office visits, co-pays, prescriptions and other qualifying items.

Currently, HSAs can only be used in combination with certain qualified medical plans such as a consumer-driven health plan, which will be offered to employees this fall as part of a new health plan option for calendar year 2015.

Unlike the Flexible Spending Account where unused money is forfeited at the conclusion of a calendar year, HSA funds do not lapse, and accumulated balances may be invested should the employee so choose. HSAs are also portable, enabling employees to them take it with them when they leave the University or retire.

In other business, the board approved the appointment of Dr. Ahmad Chaudry as chair of the Department of Public and Allied Health and as a full professor with tenure in that department. A specialist in radiation biology, Chaudry comes to BGSU from the University of Vermont, where he has served as an associate professor in the Department of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences. He received his Ph.D. and master of science degrees in molecular biology from the University of Manchester in the U.K. in 1990.

Also approved was a change to language in the Academic Charter to state that a standing invitation will be extended by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (SEC) to the chairs or designees of the Amendments and Bylaws Committee, the Committee on Academic Affairs, the Fiscal Advisory Committee and the Committee on Professional Affairs. These representatives will not have voting privileges on the SEC.

The trustees named Bruce Nyberg of Birmingham, Mich., to a three-year term as a BGSU national trustee. Nyberg, a 1968 graduate in business administration, has had a career in the banking industry, primarily as senior vice president and division head with NBD Bancorp Inc., now a part of J.P. Morgan Chase, from 1973-2001. From 2001-07, he served as Eastern Michigan Regional President of Huntington Bank. In 2011, he became director of Birmingham Bloomfield Bancshares Inc. and Bank of Birmingham, where he served until joining Flagstar Bank in March 2014 as interim director of community banking, with responsibility for retail banking, commercial banking, warehouse lending, investment and insurance services, government banking, corporate affairs and marketing.  He was a member of the BGSU Foundation Board from 2003-09.

BGSU national trustees are alumni who do not live in Ohio but who can advocate for higher education and are nationally prominent in their fields. National trustees are chosen by the board and serve three-year terms, renewable once. A maximum of three national trustees may serve at any one time. They are non-voting members but may attend all committee meetings and serve as committee chairs.