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Ohio State Board of Trustees unanimously approve 2018 budget, new strategic vision

NEWARK, Ohio — The Ohio State Board of Trustees met Friday and unanimously approved all agenda items including the university’s fiscal budget for 2018, a new strategic vision and the reappointment of Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce McPheron and CFO Geoff Chatas, Ohio State’s Vice President and CFO.

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

The 2018 Fiscal Year budget plan predicts $6.9 billion in revenue and $6.6 billion in expenses.

With this budget, Ohio State expects to spend $1.9 billion on university personnel, compared to $1.7 billion in 2017, which is a nearly 6-percent increase from the previous year.

In Fiscal Year 2017, Ohio State’s total revenue was $6.8 billion, including $927 million in tuition and fees from students, according to documents presented Thursday to the Board of Trustees.

The Board’s finance committee projects $1.12 billion in revenue for 2018 tuition and fees, which have increased for incoming students as part of Ohio State’s Tuition Guarantee Program. This would bring a $22.8 million increase in tuition and fees revenue from the 2017 fiscal year.

Time and Change Strategic Plan

The new plan, named “Time and Change,” has five pillars: teaching and learning; access, affordability and excellence; research and creative expression; academic healthcare; and operational excellence.

University President Michael Drake said these new areas of focus will help Ohio State continue to be a premier college in the country, and will push the university to new heights.

Appointments made official

The Board officially approved the hiring of men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann, and reappointed McPheron as executive vice president and provost and David Williams as the dean of the College of Engineering.

Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce Mcpheron. Credit: Courtesy of OSU

Holtmann signed an eight-year contract in June following the firing of longtime coach Thad Matta. Holtmann’s base salary is $3 million per year through the 2024-25 season, and he is also eligible for a number of performance-based incentives.

McPheron’s reappointment lasts until May 31, 2021. McPheron was elevated to his current role in June 2016 after serving as the vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences since 2012.

Williams’ reappointment runs until June 30, 2022. Williams has been the dean of the College of Engineering since 2011 and previously served as the President of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The Board also voted to reappoint Chatas, and will extend his time at the university to February 2020, as well as Deputy CFO and Vice President of Operations Kristine Devine, whose new term will begin April 1 — though these reappointments were not published in original agendas available.

Revocation of Degree

The Board revoked the doctoral degree of Jodi Whitaker. She was the lead author of a study titled “Boom, Headshot!?: Effect of Video Game Play and Controller Type on Firing Aim and Accuracy,” which was retracted by an academic journal.

Whitaker’s co-author, Ohio State professor Brad Bushman, recommended a retraction in 2015 after a Villanova University researcher found inconsistencies in the study’s data, which suggested video games could result in improved shooting with real guns.

       

Woody Hayes construction, utility system capital improvement projects

Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo Editor

Woody Hayes Athletic Center’s East wing $7.8 million renovation is set to begin March 2018 and is estimated to be complete December 2018. This update includes a new production kitchen, nutrition area, expanded lounge, new rehab space, new team activity areas, according to documents provided at the meeting.

The design and bidding of the renovation will begin in September 2017 and run through February 2018. Nearly $7 million will be allotted to construction with contingency while $900,000 will go toward professional services.

Cannon Drive’s Phase Two design was approved. Phase One of the construction project, beginning Sept. 5, will run for 22 months and cost $51.6 million.

The city of Columbus will be contributing $18.3 million — a fixed amount — in the form of a grant agreement. The figure came from the city’s desire to pay for 50 percent of the cost to raise Cannon Drive, which amounted to $18.3 million in early estimates.

Ohio State’s newly-formed Energy Partners, its privatized partnership with ENGIE-Axium, will pay for the cost of utilities in the project, which will come to $4 million based on early estimates.

Construction on Waterman Farm’s multi-species project will cost $15.4 million and begin November 2018 and run to August 2019.

The Board also approved improvement projects to be carried out also by Ohio State Energy Partners. Utility spaces such as Cannon Drive, Postle Hall and McCracken Power Plant will be worked on for costs estimated to be around $6.8 million. Postle Hall’s chilled water infrastructure will be extended, and McCracken’s boiler controls and equipment will be updated, along with its north chimney.

Real property

The university’s Polaris Parkway property will be purchased at a cost between $6.775 and $6.825 million; it has been leased by Ohio State since 2004.

The two-story, 9.3 acre property is currently being used as an office, laboratory and vivarium research facility to support the Wexner Medical Center’s need for laboratory and research spaces, according to documents provided at the meeting.  

The university will sell its 1782 state Route 38 property in London, Ohio. The property is to be sold to the adjacent house’s owner. Proceeds of the sale will go to the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, according to Board documents.

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