Trustees green light Moseley redevelopment, student fees, new degree program

The BGSU Board of Trustees at its May 9 meeting gave the go-ahead to an important part of the transformation of the Academic Core identified in the Campus Master Plan. Moseley Hall, BGSU’s original science and agriculture building, will be restored to its original role — although in a form that would probably be unrecognizable to Dr. Edwin Moseley for whom it was named, and without the agricultural component.

Built in 1916, the building has been used for general classroom space since the Life Sciences Building was completed in the late 1960s. With the trustees’ approval, Moseley will now be renovated and outfitted with the latest in classroom technology and instructional lab space for the STEM disciplines, including science, technology, and mathematics.

The $23 million project approved by the trustees will provide interdisciplinary active-learning classrooms along with teaching labs for medical technology, biology, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry. Flexibility is a key concept in its planning to allow for maximal use. The majority of the funding for the building’s redevelopment will come from state capital funds. The board had already approved initial pre-construction costs for the project.

In other action, the board addressed two administrative fees, for parking and technology.

In order to keep up with the cost of maintaining University parking facilities, the trustees approved a $15 increase in the cost of annual parking permits for students, to $115, or $8 per semester, to $68.

In addition, faced with constantly growing costs associated with providing access to technology (which has grown exponentially as students bring more types of personal technology items to school and classes are increasingly utilizing educational technology) and for purchasing instructional software, the University will institute a technology fee, effective fall semester. The fees will help fund infrastructure enhancements, hardware and software, and computer and print labs. BGSU has till now been one of only three state schools without such a fee, said CFO Sheri Stoll.

BGSU’s fees will vary by the college through which a course is offered and will be assessed per credit hour, ranging from $8.50 to $13.50 per credit hour for undergraduates, capped at 15 credit hours. Graduate student technology fees will be $13 per credit hour, capped at 12 credit hours. The rates are lower than the statewide average, Stoll noted.

The BGSU Firelands community will soon benefit from a better and safer road to the college. The trustees approved granting an easement of about a third of an acre of University-owned land (appraised at $3,368) to Erie County in order for Boos Road to be straightened and widened and a bridge over Sawmill Creek replaced. The area on the northern edge of campus is a major access route for faculty, staff, students and visitors to campus and the Firelands Arboretum. BGSU is one of three owners of the affected property.

In faculty-related action, the Center for Photochemical Sciences will have a new director, following the board’s approval of the hiring with tenure of Dr. Malcolm Forbes. A professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Forbes begins his role as the director of the BGSU center July 1. His goal will be to raise the visibility and outreach of the center at the local, regional, national and international levels.

To meet the growing demand for professionals in the public health arena, the University will add a bachelor of science degree in public health with an environmental health specialization. The trustees approved the new degree program, which will be offered through the Department of Allied and Public Health, with some courses taught by faculty from the departments of chemistry, biology and the School of Earth, Environment and Society.  The degree will replace the current public health specialization and will be eligible for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health. The college already offers a master’s degree program in public health in collaboration with the University of Toledo.

Given the “clear trend in U.S. public health education toward initiating public health education and training at the undergraduate level,” and with public health identified by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the five college majors on the rise, BGSU will build on its existing foundation in the college to offer an undergraduate degree that will prepare graduates for careers in public health, sanitation, safety and hygiene.