Takeaways from the CMU Board of Trustees committee meetings

The Board of Trustees meets in committees on June 23.

The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees committees met on June 23 to prepare for its June 24 formal meeting.

Trustees attended three committee meetings to discuss upcoming parking ordinances, the merging of several degree programs and the status of summer construction.

The board will meet virtually for their formal meeting at 10 a.m. June 24.

Policy and Bylaws

The committee meeting began with Vice President of Finance and Administrative services, Nicholas Long, explaining the need for approval on the revised campus map for 2021-22.

“It's a revised campus map, just basically taking into account changes that we've made on campus,” Long said. “Any changes in buildings, any changes in access and closures, routine updating. And we do this at this time so that we can print these maps and make them available on our website in preparation for the upcoming academic year.”

The second item on the agenda was an annual process of amending traffic control ordinances regarding signage around campus. The amendment would order enforcement of signage marking speed limits and accessible parking, by the campus parking services and CMU police.

“We have 295 handicap spaces that we will enforce the guidance that if people park in those spaces without an appropriate handicap permit, they will be cited.” Long said.

Both items will be placed on the consent agenda to be approved in the formal session on June 24.

Academic and Student Affairs Committee

The committee discussed the need for additional staffing in the counseling center to meet summer demand, freshman enrollment and department mergers in CLASS

Reviews of 37 CMU departments were conducted to decide how they fit into CMU’s budget. This is part of a process the university is calling academic program prioritization.

The goal of this process is to identify “marquee programs,” which will be considered priority programs, and “watchlist programs,” which will be least likely to receive funding. There will also be a middle program; majors in the middle “...could have potential to be something in the future but they're not currently marquee programs,” Provost Mary Shutten said.

Schutten shared a list of the marquee programs and the “themes” they fit into. She did not identify what majors will be in the middle and watchlist programs.

  • Community and Leadership:
    • Teacher Preparation (Early Childhood, Special Education, Elementary Education)
    • Public Administration
    • Integrative Public Relations
    • Social Work
    • Philosophy and Religion  
  • Design and Technology:
    • Animation
    • Data Science
    • Logistics
    • Engineering and Technology
    • Broadcast and Cinematic Arts
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation:
    • Business Information Systems
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Fashion Merchandising and Design
  • Environment and Climate:
    • Biology, Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
    • Environmental Science
    • Environmental Studies
    • Meteorology
  • Health and Welbeing:
    • Communication Disorders and Speech
    • Language Pathology
    • Counseling
    • Exercise Science
    • Medicine
    • Neuroscience
    • Physical Therapy
    • Psychology

“We're hopeful as you look at this slide and the audience does as well, that this will be the place where we will again become more fully known from these as a result of this process and all the input we've received,” Schutten said.

In the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, two departments will be created due to mergers. The history and world languages and culture departments will be combined into the Department of History, World Languages and Cultures. Anthropology and the philosophy and religion department will form the Department of Philosophy, Anthropology and Religion.

In addition to departmental mergers, sociology, social work, political science and public administration will form the School of Politics, Society, Justice, and Public Service.

“It is an unusual name,” Dean of CLASS Richard Rothaus said. “In part that's intentional. Part of it is trying to capture the history and identity of where we're coming from. We don't want to be specious about who we are, we don't want to pretend we are programs or an entity that we're not.”

The establishment of the School of Politics, Society, Justice, and Public Service will be approved at the formal session on June 24.

Finance and Facilities committee

The meeting began with a presentation from Long where he informed the committee of a “modest” tuition increase of 1.9 percent for undergraduate students. This increase, as well as other budget-related agenda items are to be approved at the formal session on June 24.

Associate Vice President for Facilities Management, Jonathan Webb, gave the committee an update on summer construction and the master plan.

The Down Under Food Court is currently under construction and will be getting a new name under CMU’s new food service provider, Chartwells. This project is on schedule to be completed in September. In addition, Burrito Bowl will become Shake Smart.

A digital adobe lounge is currently being built in the Charles V. Park Library and will be open for student use in August.

Finch Hall is currently receiving infrastructure repairs like the sidewalks and the masonry on the outside of the building.