Board of Trustees approve action items Thursday
Members of the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees stressed a commitment to increase the number of Global Campus courses at their Feb. 19 meeting in the Bovee University Center.
Trustee Tricia Keith gave her report on the activities of the Academic and Student Affairs committee, where faculty communicated the challenges of increasing global campus course offerings.
"From a board perspective, we are proud of the national ranking that we have in our online programs and we want to ensure we are able to maintain that wonderful ranking," Keith said.
Faculty members expressed concerns about producing online content at the committee meeting. She said accelerating the number of course offerings is important for the future of the university.
Board Chair William Kanine said he benefitted from information shared by presenters at the committee meeting and stressed the importance of maintaining CMU's reputation as a top ranked Global Campus provider.
"We have to look and seriously consider what we are going to do and what we are going to consider to make online offerings a better opportunity for everyone," Kanine said. "Access and affordability are important.
University President George Ross and trustee Sarah Opperman stressed the importance of staying competitive with other universities who have adapted and improved CMU's Global Campus model.
Opperman said CMU has been doing well competitively but is "starting to slip back" and is losing market shares.
"We have to recognize the pressures from other universities," Ross said. "It's about our students and preparing them. As we go forward, I will rally our leadership team on this campus."
The board also passed several action items including a motion authorizing Ross to ratify and sign collective bargaining agreements with unions representing faculty members and the campus police department, as well as $1.7 million in upgrades to the steam generation system.
Board Chair William Kanine opened the meeting by welcoming newly-appointed trustee Rich Studley before Ross delivered his president's report to board members. Ross highlighted several achievements of the university, including the continued construction on the $95 million Bioscience Building, the success of CMU's alternative breaks program and the strategic planning team reconvening to update metrics of the university's strategic action plan.
"That plan outlines five priorities for the university," Ross said. "Student success, to promote excellence in research and creative activity, to support quality faculty and staff, to build community partnerships and to uphold smart infrastructure stewardship. This is a time for momentum at CMU."
Ross addressed the board with optimism for the future of CMU, expressing a renewed "cohesiveness" among leadership at the university.
Promotions to tenure were given to 22 faculty members, which will take effect in the fall 2015 semester.
Provost Michael Gealt reported quarterly figures for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. CMU brought in $2.5 million in awards this quarter, consistent with the $2.5 million awarded in the previous quarter ending in September.
Vice President of Facilities Management Steve Lawrence reported that construction for the Lodgco Hotel project is on schedule to meet its March 2016 deadline.
Lawrence said the only change in construction is the removal of a proposed restaurant on the south end of the building due to bidding issues.