Falcon Tuition Guarantee Plan approved by BGSU board

Beginning in fall 2018, prospective Bowling Green State University students and their parents will know with more certainty what their four-year educational costs will be, thanks to the Falcon Tuition Guarantee Plan approved by the BGSU Board of Trustees at its Dec. 8 meeting. The plan calls for locks on tuition, course and class fees, and room and board plan rates for the duration of students’ undergraduate careers.

“We’re pleased to be able to provide families and students the ability to plan ahead for college costs,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey. “With the Falcon Tuition Guarantee Plan, what they pay as freshmen will be what they continue to pay as seniors, so they can budget accordingly. This is yet another step we can take to help make a college education attainable for more people and build a better future for all.”

Students who are already enrolled at BGSU will be classified as continuing students and will be charged tuition and fees as they are today until the board enacts changes as the state allows in a given year. Students who enroll the summer of 2018 will also fall into the “continuing” category for that summer, but then will be placed within the fall cohort and their tuition and fees stabilized for the remainder of their four-year undergraduate careers.

Tuition and fees will also be stabilized for students who are in five-year programs, such as those that require one or more co-ops or internships, so they will continue to pay the same amount. The tuition guarantee applies to all undergraduates beginning fall of 2018, regardless of their status as full or part time, and covers fall, spring and summer semesters.

BGSU has not raised tuition since the fall of 2013. That is also the year Ohio House Bill 59 was enacted allowing Ohio public university boards of trustees to establish rules governing tuition guarantee programs, and the University began developing its Falcon Tuition Guarantee Plan.

In other action, the trustees voted to rename the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in honor of a substantial bequest for the center and overall longtime support from BGSU alumni and Falcon Flames Paul and Margo Hooker. In addition to the bequest, Paul Hooker serves as a member of the center’s advisory board and has been a mentor for the highly acclaimed Hatch entrepreneurship program.

Margo Hooker earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1974. Paul Hooker graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in business, and two years later bought into a partnership with the owner of SFERRA linens. He later became sole owner and grew the company into a worldwide leader in fine linens for the home. The Hookers have remained active and dedicated alumni. Paul Hooker serves as a member of the steering committee for the University’s current comprehensive campaign. The couple fund multiple students through Alumni Laureate Scholarships and have made a transformational gift to the new facility for the College of Business.

Three additional named spaces were approved for the business college’s new home in the Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center, the former Hanna Hall. In honor of alumni gifts of support, the trustees approved the Everett and Rebecca Gallagher Accounting Suite, which will be the office area for the accounting department chair and staff; the Michael S. Laming Coaching Center, a student academic support space; and the Ryan Family Foundation/Patrick L. Ryan and Bradley R. Ryan Classroom.

Also at the Dec. 8 meeting, the board took another significant step called for in the Campus Master Plan when it approved $2.3 million for the demolition of Harshman Residence Hall. Built in 1964, the facility consists of a central dining hall and four residential wings. With $28 million in deferred maintenance, Harshman was also phased out of use and identified for demolition in Residence Life’s long-term plan. The last students lived in wings C and D in May 2013, and in wings C and D in May 2017. The building will be completely vacated in January or February of 2018.

There are no current plans for redevelopment of the large site at the corner of East Wooster Street and Mercer Road. Following the demolition, it will be graded and landscaped to serve as green space. Any future development will most likely take place as part of Phase Two of the Campus Master Plan, said CFO Sheri Stoll.

To help improve wireless communications for students, faculty and staff on the Bowling Green campus, the University has been working with Verizon Wireless for the past two years to place an upgraded cellular antenna system on campus consisting of a fiber optic network and 13 antennae on campus buildings. The trustee approved about a quarter acre just north of the Huntington Building for a permanent equipment shelter and utility easement.

The board also authorized providing an approximately 2.5 acre right of way to the city on East Wooster Street between Alumni Drive and Dunbridge Road for the construction of roundabouts designed to improve traffic and pedestrian safety in the area, plus upgraded water and sewer lines on the north side of East Wooster. The changes will also improve the appearance of the entrance to campus from I-75.

In WBGU-TV related action, the board approved four appointments to the Public Advisory Council for Television. The new members are Sylvia Chandler, of Findlay; Judy Ennis and Rhonda Hogrefe, both of Bowling Green; and Bart Mills, of Lima.