BGSU sets stage for fall with room and board rates, major building upgrade

As Bowling Green State University prepares to welcome its second cohort of students under its Falcon Tuition Guarantee plan, the board of trustees set room and meal plan rates for the upcoming academic year, ensuring the University remains an outstanding value.

The board also approved the next portion of funding for a major renovation of the College of Technology building, and the renaming of the student leadership center.

In other action at its Feb. 22 meeting, the trustees honored three of BGSU's most accomplished faculty members who are making important contributions in the realms of water quality, democratic citizenship and preparing the next generation of teachers. The title of Distinguished Research Professor was conferred upon Dr. George Bullerjahn, professor of research excellence in biological sciences, and Dr. Albert Dzur, professor of political science. Named Distinguished Teaching Professor was Dr. Rachel Vannatta, a professor in the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy and co-director of the Center of Assessment and Evaluation Service. Each will be recognized again at the annual Faculty Excellence Awards April 16.

"Our faculty continue to stand out in their commitment to serving the public good in their respective fields," said President Rodney Rogers. "Their scholarship creates important new knowledge, and they are tremendous teachers and role models for our students."

For the incoming fall class of students, the trustees approved an average 2.5 percent increase in room rates for its three-tiered system ranging from basic to deluxe rooms. The standard basic double room cost will increase 2.8 percent, or $80 a semester, to $2,945.

Meals plans will increase by only 1.5 percent, or $1.67 per week for the Bronze Plan, which is used by the state for comparison purposes. Incoming students will be guaranteed those rates for all four of their undergraduate years.

With the changes, BGSU remains in the lower half of the 13 state public universities for room and board rates.

"We remain a terrific value," said Chief Financial Officer Sheri Stoll.

Following up on action taken last September, the trustees approved the final $9.3 million needed to prepare the Technology Building's educational and research spaces for the next generation. The overall project is expected to cost $10.4 million in state capital funds and be completed in summer 2021. In September, the board voted to approve initial funding of $1.085 million for architecture and engineering professional services to begin the planning process for the building, which houses classrooms, computer labs, a robotics lab, large-format printing and hands-on laboratory space for the visual communication, engineering and construction technology programs.

The renovations will also improve usability of a large, flexible space that can be utilized for large projects such as in construction management. Additionally, the planned renovation will include replacing and updating all building systems, including incorporating energy conservation measures.

"The transformative changes planned for the Technology Building demonstrate our ongoing commitment to investing in world-class teaching and learning spaces," said Dr. Joe Whitehead, provost and vice president for student affairs. "Our mission is to prepare our students for next-generation, rewarding careers and to support high-demand programs that help meet the workforce needs of Ohio."

In addition, the board approved the naming of two campus spaces.

The Center for Student Leadership will now be known as the C. Raymond Marvin Center for Student Leadership, in recognition of the many contributions of the 1960 BGSU alumnus. Marvin, of McLean, Virginia, has modeled leadership throughout his life, from his student days on campus, as a business and community leader and on the national level in government, law and professional organizations. He has long supported leadership development opportunities for BGSU students such as the annual Ray Marvin Leadership Awards. In 2017, the University presented him an honorary doctorate of liberal arts in recognition of his leadership in business and community services and engagement with his alma mater.

"Ray Marvin's significant contributions will allow us to continue to elevate the student experience at BGSU," Rogers said. "We are empowering our students to graduate from BGSU and be leaders in their profession and their community. That's one way BGSU creates public good."

The board also honored Trustee Betty Montgomery of Columbus by naming an area in the Center for the Future of Forensic Science the Betty D. Montgomery Conference Room. A 1970 alumna, she has had a distinguished career in public service, having served as Ohio auditor of state, Ohio attorney general, state senator, Wood County prosecuting attorney and prosecuting attorney for the city of Perrysburg. She has been a longtime supporter of the University in many areas. BGSU has presented her the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Centennial Alumni Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.