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Ohio State Board of Trustees to support student trustees’ voting rights


Ohio State students might soon have a couple of voices on the OSU Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday at the Longaberger Alumni House. Its schedule includes limiting the power of the recently established Wexner Medical Center Board of Trustees, giving the two student OSU Board members voting privileges, adopting a Presidential Search Committee document, approving a new building naming policy and choosing to sell a nearly 400 acre piece of property.


Trustees to limit Med Center Board

The Board is set to revoke some of the powers of the Wexner Medical Center’s Board of Trustees when it votes at its Friday meeting.

The Medical Center’s board was established in August in order to provide a more specialized governance of the Medical Center in light of its continued expansion. However, after a planned discussion at the governance committee meeting Thursday, the Board is set to vote Friday to change some language with regard to the authority of the Medical Center Board.

The changes were recommended by the Medical Center Board, according to the Board of Trustees agenda.

The current version of the bylaws grants the Medical Center Board the authority of “development and strategic allocations of resources of the University Wexner Medical Center,” including operations, fiscal health, space and facilities management and utilization.

If approved, the new bylaws would limit those powers and others to a “consultative role” which will make recommendations to the OSU Board of Trustees.

The revised bylaws also state any action taken by the Medical Center Board should only be taken by the voting, non-public members in a majority vote.


Voting privileges for student trustees

The Board is also set to give support for Ohio legislation proposing full voting and participation privileges for student trustees. Student trustees make up two of the 18 board members, however, they currently can only observe and discuss items and cannot vote on them.

The proposed resolution coincides with pending Ohio House Bill 111, which would grant voting power to student trustees.

The possibility of students gaining voting privileges is contingent upon that legislation.

OSU’s current student trustees are Benjamin Reinke, a third-year graduate student in nuclear engineering, and Stacie Seger, a third-year in agricultural communication.


Presidential search

The Board is also set to formally adopt the presidential profile, an eight-page recruiting document drafted by the Presidential Search Committee as a way to guide Presidential Search Committee members and potential presidential candidates in the search for OSU’s next president.

That profile was drafted by the committee’s advisory subcommittee after getting input from about 30 university forums.


Finances and donations

The Board is also scheduled to review and approve the naming of more of $2.2 million in new endowments.

A new naming policy for buildings and physical spaces is also set to be approved by the board Friday, which requires name changes to be reviewed by groups including the OSU president and his or her cabinet, the senior vice president for Advancement, a gift acceptance committee, which is a joint committee of the Board and the University Foundation Board intended to review “particularly complex” naming opportunities, and the university provost, depending on the type of building being named.

The Board will also establish a new university affiliate, the American Lightwight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which is a U.S. Navy competitive procurement, in partnership with the Edison Welding Institute and the University of Michigan. The Navy is set to have a $70 million contract with the nonprofit, which aims to “ensure world leadership in the application of innovative lightweight metal production to government and commercial applications.”

The dean of the College of Engineering will have oversight over the affiliate for the university.


Sales and acquisitions

OSU receive an approximately 387 acre property in Pickaway County as a gift, subject to Board approval Friday. That property has been appraised at $2.6 million, to be sold immediately, and the proceeds will be used for an endowed scholarship for Pickaway County, support for Extension and 4-H programming and to support construction for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

OSU is set to also sell more than 45 acres of land to nonprofit Step by Step Academy, a center for children on the autism spectrum, for a price of $4.5 million. That parcel of land was acquired by the university when Harding Hospital was integrated into the Wexner Medical Center. A 2009 appraisal of that land gave a value of more than $5 million.

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