Board of Trustees announces investments from FCC auction, approve Ross' 2018 salary


President George Ross speaks during the Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 7 in the Bovee UC.

About $14 million will be invested in scholarships, academic advising and a new public broadcasting program.

The spending plan was announced at the final 2017 Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 7 in the President’s Conference Room, located in the Bovee University Center. 

In February, Central Michigan University announced the sale of its Flint public broadcasting station for $14.1 million as part of the FCC spectrum auction. At the meeting, the board authorized that the proceeds be allocated to three programs:

  • $7 million will fund the "Bellows Grant," a need-based scholarship that will provide assistance to low-income students. The grant is named after CMU’s first president, Charles F. R. Bellows.
  • $5 million for the “Forever Maroon & Gold Advising Program” to improve student advising efforts with reorganization. The program would require students to meet with an adviser two times during their first year at CMU. 
  • $2.1 million to create the “WCMU Student Careers in Media program” where students will have the opportunity to work with professionals and gain hands-on experience.

In an interview following the meeting, President George Ross said when it came to the process of deciding how the funds should be spent, he and the trustees designed a plan that would directly impact students.  

“Early on in our conversation we decided at least half of it has to go back to our scholarships,” Ross said. “We knew we had a need with advising. We had some discussions and made a decision.”

New business

The board discussed its annual performance review of Ross during its meeting. Board members expressed that they are pleased with his performance this year. There was unanimous support to increase his salary for 2018. Ross declined the compensation increase. His salary will remain at $461,250.

Election of board officers for 2018 also took place and included:

  • William Weideman, chair
  • Tricia Keith, vice chair
  • Robert Wardrop, vice chair
  • Barrie Wilkes, treasurer
  • Mary Jane Flanagan, secretary

President's Report

Ross opened his report by complimenting the work of the academic organization review committees.

He also provided an update on the search for a Chief Diversity Officer. That position was recommended by the Equity and Inclusion Task Force. The CDO will report to President Ross. Applications for the position are being received and reviewed, he said. The position should be filled by the end of the spring semester.

Taking the time for recognition, Ross pointed out the work and research of two physics faculty members — Koblar Jackson and Juan Peralta. The two are conducting research in molecular behavior.  


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