Trustees updated on counseling services, construction at committee meetings
Central Michigan University's Board of Trustees heard presentations about mental health, admissions and summer construction during June 26 committee meetings.
The board's formal meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 27 in the President's Conference Room on the third floor of Bovee University Center.
Policy and Bylaws
Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Barrie Wilkes presented updates to the 2019-20 parking map.
Lot 28 in front of Foust Hall will change back to a commuter lot. It was previously designated as an admissions tour lot, but it rarely filled up and was far away from Warriner Hall, where admissions tours begin. Instead, 16 parking spaces in Lot 10 in front of Warriner will be reserved for admissions tours.
The unnamed road that leads to residence hall parking lots behind Woldt Hall will be named Woldt Drive to eliminate confusion and help drivers find those parking lots easier.
Trustee William Weideman explained the Enterprise Risk Committee was formed this year to allow trustees to take time to discuss the university's top concerns. The committee discussed accreditation, alcohol and drug use, campus mental health and emergency management and communication.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Tony Voisin said alcohol violations have decreased over the past few years. Drug violations have remained relatively steady, he said, with a very slight decrease.
Mental health is the fastest increasing concern on college campuses, Voisin said. He said the university has made changes to counseling services to increase access to students. Changes included adding counselors and diversifying services. The CARE Team, which allows faculty, students and parents to share concerns about students who may be struggling, has also become increasingly active on campus.
Because of the changes to counseling services, there was no waitlist at the CMU Counseling Center during the 2019-20 academic year.
"We can't rest on our laurels, however," Voisin said. "With increased numbers and increased complexity of these issues, we need to look at the services and diversifying those."
Jonathan Webb, associate vice president of Facilities Management, updated trustees on the university's new emergency communication plan. The university adopted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines, which focus on communication, access controls, education and training and emergency planning.
Part of the emergency management update included building a new webpage on CentralLink. The page is easier to navigate and includes guidelines for everything from severe weather and bomb threats to elevator entrapment. In an emergency, students, faculty and staff can find step-by-step instructions and information about who to contact.
Academic and Student Affairs
Director of Admissions Lee Furbeck updated the committee on Fall 2019 freshman class enrollment. She said as of right now, deposits are down 9.7 percent from the same time last year, however, there were only 35 less students signed up for orientation compared to last year.
"What we're working on right now is making sure the students who come in to orientation stay in the pipeline and actually show up in the fall," Furbeck said.
So far 2,555 freshmen have submitted deposits for the fall semester.
"If we could reduce melt – so we don't lose as many as we did last year – we could still come in at 2,500 freshmen (this fall)," Furbeck said.
Furbeck said CMU will be launching the common application on Aug. 1. She said it will diversify the applicant pool, including increased interest from international students.
Trustees will vote to approve a proposed Ph.D. in physics program at the formal meeting.
Finance and Facilities
Webb also provided an update on summer construction projects. He said there are 78 active projects this summer. The three main projects include the Center for Integrated Health Studies – which is set to be partially open in September – improvements to residence halls, and athletic facilities.
The Residence Life improvements include substantial renovation to North Campus, adding access controls to the rest of the residence halls and the decommissioning of Barnes Hall, which is set to be completed by August.
Athletics has completed the new video board at the south end of Kelly/Shorts stadium. The board is operational and will be ready for use in the fall. As for the Chippewa Champions Center, construction crews are beginning to demolish the north end zone. Webb said the building is scheduled to be ready for use in August 2020.
Webb and dietetics faculty member Jeffrey Fisher introduced plans for a Culinary Nutrition Center. The dietetics program currently has a home economics classroom to learn about food preparation, but Webb said it is outdated and needs some changes to maintain accreditation.
"It gets quite a bit of use right now," Fisher said. "We hope that this renovation will increase the use. We're hoping to introduce some state-of-the-art technologies to train students on the food service technologies they will be using in the workplace."
Webb said the project will be ready for approval at the Board of Trustees meeting in September.
Wilkes gave a brief overview of the budget for the 2019-20 academic year, but it will be discussed in detail during the formal meeting.