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Ohio State Board of Trustees discuss new members, compensation philosophy

The  OSU Board of Trustees met Jan. 31. Credit: Lauren Weitz / Lantern photographer

An OSU Board of Trustees committee meets Jan. 31. Credit: Lauren Weitz / Lantern photographer

The Ohio State Board of Trustees held committee meetings to discuss topics including new Wexner Medical Center Board trustees, OSU Foundation fundraising progress and trustees filing Ohio Ethics Commission disclosure statements Thursday and Friday.


Governance Committee 

The Governance Committee met Thursday to discuss the appointment of two new Medical Center Board members among other items of business.

The Board of Trustees discussed the appointment of two members of the OSU Wexner Medical Center Board effective Friday. David Fischer’s term would end May 13, 2015. Abigail Wexner, wife of Medical Center Board Chairman Les Wexner, would serve a term ending May 13, 2016.

“They will certainly be excellent members and we look forward to receiving reports from the Medical Center in the future,” said Governance Committee chairman Alex Shumate.

Ohio State alumnus Alan VanderMolen, vice chairman of DJE holdings, president and CEO of Edelman Global Practices, who is from Chicago, is set to be approved as a charter trustee to the Board of Trustees at the Friday meeting. VanderMolen’s term would last until Jan. 31, 2017.

The Board created the position in February 2009 as a way of “strengthening the governance capacity of the Board,” according to the Board agenda.

VanderMolen said he is excited to start at his new role upon appointment.

“I’m honored and I can’t wait to work with all of you, and hope to drive some positive progression in the university,” VanderMolen said.

A revision to the university compensation philosophy was also discussed at the meeting.

The compensation philosophy is intended to help guide OSU to “pay competitive salaries by using systems that are clearly communicated to employees and readily administered by managers,” according to an Office of Academic Affairs and Human Resources document. The new framework, which would include “competitive salaries” and “individual effectiveness” as part of determining rewards for employees, would require review and approval by the President’s Cabinet and Senior Management Council, according to the agenda.


Advancement Committee 

Daniel Wampler, president and founder of Sensus, a manufacturer and supplier of flavors, extracts and essences, and an OSU Foundation Board member, gave a progress report on fundraising activity for fiscal year 2014 at the Advancement Committee meeting. He said approximately $202.6 million has already been received or pledged, which means OSU is slightly ahead of schedule toward accomplishing its goal of raising $390 million by the end of the fiscal year.

About 22 percent of the raised sum has come from private grants, according to published meeting materials.

Trustee Linda Kass called attention to the importance of this “significant amount” of support the university receives in the form of “private research grant philanthropy.”

Jennifer Keyes, OSU senior director of annual giving, said target analytics indicate OSU currently ranks first among some peer universities in alumni donor participation at 12 percent and fourth in annual giving revenue among that same pool of institutions.

Student Trustee Ben Reinke said the reported decline of the effectiveness of the phone program as a vehicle for the annual giving program to raise money in 2013 could likely be attributed to the increased availability of technology to younger generations of students. Reinke said some students have told him that they have an aversion to being cold-called by their university on their smartphones for money.


Audit & Compliance Committee

The Audit and Compliance Committee discussed a potential plan to help Board members file disclosure reports to the Ohio Ethics Commission at its meeting Thursday.

At the beginning of the committee meeting, Rick Stover, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, presented an external audit update to the committee. Overall, he said he had “no changes to report on the university since the last committee meeting.”

Stover also briefly introduced planning for the FY 2014 audit.

“We are starting our 2014 session with the compliance office, looking for areas that require improvement,” Stover said, including obtaining management information about staffing, scoping and accounting changes, among other things.

During the next meeting, the committee is slated to be provided with the plan for FY 2014.

Gates Garrity-Rokous, the OSU vice president and chief compliance officer for the Office of University Compliance and Integrity, spoke about compliance processes and communication initiatives at the meeting as well.

One of the initiatives Garrity-Rokous presented was to establish a framework for training university stakeholders in compliance education.

The “key communication initatives” outlined also mentioned the desire to create an inventory of university training to “identify overlaps and best practices,” according to the agenda.

Garrity-Rokous also asked the committee to support a new process to assist individual trustees in filing confidential disclosure statements with the Ohio Ethics Commission. He reminded the committee members they have the option to supply the Office of Legal Affairs with the same disclosure statement they make to the Ohio Ethics Commission.

The Office of Legal Affairs in turn can give trustees access to a secure website where disclosures can be updated as needed, which would aim to make it easier and more efficient to identify and manage “potential conflicts,” according to the agenda.


Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee

The Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee met Friday to discuss the College of Education and Human Ecology’s study of the student development theory.

The student development theory looks at the how each student as a “whole person” responds to and uses “various stimuli and experiences to grow” throughout their undergraduate, graduate or professional career at OSU, according to the agenda.

The theory is looked at in multiple places, including the College of Education and Human Ecology’s Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program, and then is then applied “throughout the student experience,” according to the agenda.

Vice President for Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston emphasized the importance of a student’s wellness in his or her growth.

“Student wellness is the foundation on which all of our activities for our students are based,” Adams-Gaston said.

Adams said while depression used to be the primary issue facing students, research has since shown that anxiety and stress have taken over.

The dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology Cheryl Achterberg talked about the college’s profile and upcoming actions during the committee meeting as well.

“In terms of the future, we will be rolling out high quality e-learning modules that range from preschool education for the children of our military members to new degrees in our athletic coaching,” Achterberg said.

Achterberg also said there has been a significant change within the College of Education and Human Ecology.

“We began with three school and three different departments and vastly different sizes and different cultures. We now have more three more balanced departments that lend themselves to shared governance, a fair distribution of sources and multi-disciplinary collaboration,” Achterberg said.

Along with the changes within the college, Achterberg said the college will have opportunities to partner with Columbus City Schools in order to help that system improve in the future as well.

According to the agenda, the college has placed a high priority on replacing Campbell Hall in the future.

Along with an increase in diversity, Achterberg said the college itself is one of the highest ranked colleges in the university based on the U.S. News and World Report.

“We are truly reinventing this college. We need to work with the entire campus in order to want to have the impact we want,” Achterberg said.


Correction: Jan. 31, 2014

A previous version of this article misspelled Les Wexner’s name.

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