BGSU trustees support progress of academic programs, campus improvements

The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees at its Oct. 13 meeting continued to lay the groundwork for academic programming and campus capital projects that will enhance student learning and career preparedness.

The trustees approved an additional $1.45 million for preliminary, preparatory work for three additional aspects of the renovation and transformation of Hanna Hall into the Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center as the new home for the College of Business. Included are construction manager services, relocation of chilled water and gas lines, and the construction of several prototype offices in the existing Business Building. Faculty and students will be able to view the new office floor plans and furniture layouts and provide feedback.

The Maurer Center is scheduled to open in fall 2020.

“This is an exciting time for Bowling Green State University,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey. “The University is energized and moving forward on many fronts to provide our students the most up-to-date programs and the best learning facilities based on what the workplace demands. The Maurer Center will be a premier learning environment that will help equip our students to meet the challenges of the global economy.”

In accordance with the Ohio Department of Higher Education mandate for public universities, BGSU prepared a report looking out at the next six years to identify capital projects and their proposed funding. First among them is a comprehensive renovation of the Technology Building, including related campus infrastructure. Built 40 years ago, the building needs to be updated to accommodate new and growing academic programs as the fields of technology evolve. The total cost for the planned renovation, requisite electric hub and related campus infrastructure will be about $20 million.

“With the recent ABET accreditation and our northwest Ohio success grants for advanced manufacturing, we need to invest in labs for our students in our new mechatronics major and in engineering technology,” said Dr. Rodney Rogers, provost and senior vice president. “We want to be a leader in the workforce in those and other areas of technology education.”

The board also approved the creation and naming of the School of the Built Environment in the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering. Uniting the departments of Architecture and Environmental Design and Construction Management, the new school will allow them to collaborate on curriculum planning, innovative programming, research and teaching. The new school will be the only one of its kind among Ohio and regional universities.

In response to the House Bill 64 state requirement for public universities, the board approved BGSU’s fiscal year 2017 Affordability and Efficiency Report detailing progress on steps toward greater efficiency “in both expense management and revenue generation while offering an education of equal or higher quality and decreasing costs to students and their families.”

One required area in which BGSU has had especially good success is textbook affordability, said Chief Financial Officer Sheri Stoll. The University has changed the way in which students buy textbooks but, more importantly, has provided faculty with options that include open source texts for large, general education classes, reducing their cost by about half, Stoll said.

“It’s been incredibly beneficial,” she said.

Also at the meeting, the trustees voted to grant President Mary Ellen Mazey a 3 percent raise to her base salary, along with a contribution of 15 percent of her salary to her deferred compensation account as required by her contract. They also approved an additional bonus of $50,000 in deferred compensation, citing her exceptional performance again the last year.

In assessing her performance, the trustees noted that BGSU enrollment is strong and student retention continues to rise, the University has seen a significant increase in private support, and implementation of the Master Plan is on schedule, enhancing the learning environment for students.

“President Mazey has done an outstanding job of raising the profile of Bowling Green State University and increasing public recognition of the value and quality of a BGSU degree,” said Board of Trustees Chair Megan Newlove. “Under her leadership, BGSU continues to make great progress in meeting the goals of our strategic plan and ensuring student success, and our students now have more opportunities than ever.”

In preparation for the start of the new, three-week Winter Session in January 2019, the University and the BGSU Faculty Association have negotiated terms for faculty service in the Winter Session, which were ratified by the BGSU-FA in September. The trustees approved the addition of an article to the second Collective Bargaining Agreement covering those topics.

The board also approved the naming of a number of spaces in recognition of alumni donors who continue their strong record of support for the University with donations toward upgrades to the recently renovated Moseley Hall and for the upcoming renovation of the Maurer Center.

A new biology lab (Room 206) in Moseley Hall will be named the Ryan Family Foundation/Debra Scheetz Ryan Laboratory in honor of 1974 graduates and Falcon Flames Patrick and Debra Ryan, steadfast, long-term philanthropists for the University both in service and contributions. Debra, whose degree is in biology, was a member of the Board of Trustees where she served as chair. Patrick, who holds both a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration, served 11 years on the BGSU Foundation board. Their many areas of support include the Patrick L. and Debra Scheetz Ryan Endowed Professorship in Biology, the Pat and Debbie Ryan Entrepreneurial Fund, a classroom in the Maurer Center, the Stroh Convocation Center Fund, athletics programming and the Student Union Capital Improvement Endowment Fund.

Maurer Center spaces to be named in recognition of private support include the Geoffrey and Linda Radbill Trading/Simulation Lab, the Drew and Nancy Forhan Café, the Dabbelt Family Collaboration Space, the Grass/Reid Student Collaboration Space, the Amy and Alan Shore Executive Education Suite, and the Nelson Civello and G. David Hicks Collaboration Space.

For their leadership as community and business leaders and their support of BGSU, the trustees voted to confer honorary degrees upon two individuals: C. Raymond Marvin and Allen Schmidthorst.

Marvin, a 1960 graduate of BGSU in liberal arts, will receive an honorary doctorate of liberal arts. A visionary in the software and telecommunication industries, in 2010 he created the Ray Marvin Leadership Summit, a yearly program to recognize students for their leadership.

Schmidthorst, after whom the Schmidthorst Pavilion in the Stroh Center is named in honor of his leadership gift for the facility and for its ongoing support, will receive an honorary doctorate of business administration. A longtime leader in the restaurant and hotel businesses, he and his wife, Carol, are dedicated to supporting their communities through their generosity and economic development initiatives.