President Ross says construction of proposed biosciences building to begin in fall; provost search down to eight

University President George Ross announced during Tuesday's Academic Senate meeting that construction for the proposed biosciences building will begin in the fall, and the project will take 30 months to complete.

The estimated cost of construction is $89.4 million, with $30 million already pledged from the state.

The building will be 158,000 square feet and will be constructed at the site of the present Washington Court apartments..

The university made seeking funds for the biosciences building a priority in 2008, Ross said.

The future opening of the College of Medicine is expected to increase the number of biology majors on campus, so Brooks Hall, where the biosciences program is currently housed, will not provide adequate space for student demand.

“One out of every 15 majors at CMU is signed in biology. In a matter of years, we have gone from 450 biology majors to 1,000," Biology Department Chairman Steve Roberts told Central Michigan Life in February.

Provost search down to eight semifinalists

Ross also announced Central Michigan University has chosen eight semifinalists in the search for a new provost.

Ross talked to the eight semifinalists this past weekend.

"We're inviting three of them to campus, and that will happen over the next few weeks," Ross said.

Provost Gary Shapiro announced in September that he would be resigning at the end of the 2012-13 academic school year. Shapiro, who has been an employee at CMU since 1978 and has held the provost position for three years, will be taking a year off before returning to CMU to teach in 2014.

CMU hired Parker Executive Search, an Atlanta-based search firm, in January for $70,000 to assist in the search.

The university hopes to make an offer on the position by the end of April.

The provost is the second-highest ranked administrator at the university, and is responsible for the university's academic division, leading the university’s seven academic colleges, the College of Graduate Studies, Global Campus, and other parts of the university, including international education and academic affairs.

Library funds

Funding for the Charles V. Park Library was briefly mentioned at the meeting.

An additional $180,000 in funds have been added to the library's regular fund for the 2013-14 school year. Shapiro says the library typically receives $100,000 to $150,000 in funds each academic year.