BGSU board approves new, forward-looking degree programs

Innovative new programs at the University will increase opportunities for students to engage in international settings. The BGSU Board of Trustees at its May 5 meeting approved additions and changes to academic programs, along with faculty tenure and promotion (See related story) and a new structure for learning communities.

The board honored former BGSU president Sidney Ribeau by naming him President Emeritus, and granted emeritus status to 15 retired or retiring faculty (See related story). Also, 14 faculty members were promoted to full professor; 27 received tenure and promotion to associate professor, 23 were promoted to senior lecturer and 17 to lecturer (See related story).

The trustees approved a new master’s degree in European Studies, designed to meet the high demand for people prepared to work for international companies and organizations with specific interests in Europe. The program will comprise the Departments of German, Russian and East Asian Languages; Romance and Classical Studies; history and political science. The interdisciplinary program will allow students to develop overall expertise in European issues along with a regional focus that includes a language. It will be unique in the state in its blending of the humanities and social sciences, emphasis on experiential learning and study abroad, and internship opportunities.

To complement the new master’s program, and to better prepare undergraduate students to be engaged global citizens, the trustees also approved the merger of the romance and classical languages department with the German, Russian and East Asian languages department. The new, combined department will be known as the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Its mission will be to promote linguistic and cultural competence as a bridge to achieve intercultural understanding of global issues ideas and values.

“Bowling Green State University is committed to preparing graduates who can be contributing members of our increasingly globalized world,” said BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey. “The steps we’ve taken today will further strengthen students’ educational experience and create degree programs targeted to current and emerging workforce needs.”

In the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Business Administration, two incoming faculty members were approved by the board for appointment with tenure. Dr. Mark Seals was appointed director of the School of Teaching and Learning and a full professor with tenure in the school. He served as director of the School of Teaching and Learning at Pacific University. Dr. David Dobrzykowski was appointed associate professor with tenure in the supply chain management program. He joins BGSU from the Rutgers University Business School.

In other academic business, the trustees accepted the report by Dr. Rodney Rogers, provost and senior vice president, reviewing 50 programs offered by both BGSU and the University of Toledo. The programs had been identified by the Ohio Department of Higher Education in response to the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency’s recommendation that universities in the same region offering duplicative programs look for “opportunities to consolidate.”

Of the 50 programs, the review identified 16 for further consideration, Rogers said. A second report to the board in December will recommend actions regarding those programs.

BGSU has been recognized nationally for its first-year and residential learning communities. The trustees approved the creation of a standardized programming and pricing structure for existing and future residential learning communities. The newly standardized fees will range from $75 per semester for “basic” level communities to $300 per semester for “high” level communities to ensure programming, staffing and experiential learning levels are comparable and equitable across all residential learning communities.

“The new standardized structure will be helpful for faculty interested in planning and proposing any new residential communities,” said Sheri Stoll, chief financial officer. She also thanked members of the working committee who developed the proposal for the new structure.

The board also renewed the authority of the vice president for finance and administration to purchase real estate near or adjacent to the campus on behalf of the University for another two years, with the president’s concurrence. The renewed authorization, which has been in existence since 2003, provides the vice president permission to acquire real property when the opportunity arises, up to an aggregate of $1 million. During the past two years, this authorization enabled the University to acquire four properties near campus. Two of the buildings are along East Wooster Street and will be demolished this summer, while two other houses have already been converted for use as crime-scene investigation learning sites for BGSU’s forensic science program, in partnership with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

The board said farewell to outgoing trustees David Levey of Akron, board chair, and Marjorie Burrell, undergraduate student trustee. Trustee Megan Newlove of Bowling Green was elected the new chair of the board. Daniel Keller of Huron was elected vice chair. A new undergraduate student trustee will be named later.